How Sales Candidates Can Stand Out in an Interview
It’s a tough job market! Ever find yourself sending out dozens of job applications per day, only hearing back from them months later to let you know they’ve moved on with another candidate?
It can be rough facing constant rejection, especially when you know that you are a perfect fit for that position. In a sea of candidates, a company looking to hire a sales team might be looking for any number of requirements, and in a hot market, the standards for new hires have risen with demand. This is why when you do score an interview, making a great impression is essential. You’ve got one shot at this, so make it count!
We sat down with Ryan Winthrop, our manager of Human Resources, to discuss some points that he looks for when he is interviewing new candidates for outsourced sales.
Arriving on Site
First impressions are everything! Make sure that you have arrived on time for the interview, as you are setting the tone for all your future interactions. If you’re worried that you’re under dressed, you’re probably under dressed – the way that you present yourself to the public is a statement on how you expect to be treated, and you don’t want that statement to be the guy who walked in wearing a pair of sneakers or running on three hours of sleep.
Presenting Yourself Well
Make sure that you are fully engaged during the interview process. Particularly for outsourced sales companies, the energy that you put into a conversation is reflective of the kind of effort you will be putting into your work moving forward. Be positive, be enthusiastic, and be attentive.
Make eye contact with the people you are speaking with (if this is difficult for you, looking at the point between their eyebrows is often a useful trick that will give the illusion of the same thing.) Imagine you are a hiring manager and a person comes into your office, reading directly off their resume with a scripted, monotone voice. Would you trust this person with the responsibility of being part of your sales outsourcing services?
When you are asked a question by the hiring team, make sure that you listen carefully to what they ask and respond appropriately. Employers don’t ask you what your greatest weakness is so that you can give a fake answer, but one that shows that you have earnestly reflected on your work history and are cognizant of your workplace behavior. Although the needs of companies vary from place to place, many of the questions that they ask will be around similar themes that you can rehearse.
Be prepared to talk about your experience in measurable terms – if you were asked to make 100 calls per day, talk about how you were able to meet or exceed that quota. Giving a number to reference alongside an example of your work experience allows companies to gauge the kind of work that you were doing and holds you accountable for your performance.
Know The Company
Nothing is more embarrassing than showing up for an interview for a company that you know nothing about. Do some research about the position that you are applying for, the kind of products that they sell, and the work environment that you are about to enter, and how you will fit into that culture.
It is expected that you will have several questions about the company that you are applying for during the interview process. Having knowledge about the company you are applying to will allow you to ask good questions that show that you are prepared and you will be able to apply your experience to the work you are looking to do. For instance, going into an interview for an outsourced sales and marketing firm without a proper definition of outsourced sales will leave you looking clueless and the hiring manager wondering why you applied for the position in the first place.
Be Comfortable in Your Skin
Nobody ever said that impressing strangers was easy, and you’re not going to ace every interview. Get a friend to practice with before the interview, and ask for their feedback when you answer questions while getting into the habit of being a more engaging speaker and listener. If you mess up an interview, view it as practice – there is no such thing as wasted experience, even if you don’t land the job. Hiring managers will sometimes provide you with feedback as to why they didn’t hire you—it can’t hurt to ask—and this information can be essential for cracking your next interview.
Taking the time to understand how you present yourself, preparing yourself for the questions you are going to be asked, and taking the time to research the company you are applying to will help you land your dream job in no time!