Earlier this year, the Saleslogic team gave some of their best interview tips. In this post we’re going to expand on some of these points, providing a checklist to help you prepare and excel at your next job interview.
➢ Study the job description – Take your time to understand the job description, check out the responsibilities and ensure the role is a good fit for you.
➢ Identify your own strengths and skills – Cross reference your skills with the job role and back them up with examples. Use the STAR method to give you competency based examples for each skill or responsibility. Remember - In the sales world, stats and sales figures matter. You should be able to back up your skills with numbers that prove your abilities.
➢ Do your research – What does the company do? Assess their values and mission statement, both on their website and via social media profiles. How do they communicate their employer brand? Do they sound like a company you'd like to work for?
➢ See if you're connected to any employees on LinkedIn - If you are, you might be able to find out more about the role, and what it's like to work there. LinkedIn and other social media platforms can be a great way of finding out about your interviewer, as long as you know their name. If you haven't already, now is the time to ask your recruiter who the interviewer is.
➢ Prep your questions – Once you've researched the company and role, you should have lots of questions in your mind that you'd like to ask. Make a note of these – an interview is a two-way street. Asking questions will help you decide if the position is right for you.
➢ Get your interview outfit ready – This should be done well in advance. Don't wait until the morning of the interview and then frantically raid your wardrobe. Dress smart and sharp. You won't be penalized for overdressing.
➢ Print off a copy of your CV and job description – Having a CV and job description to hand can be useful for both last-minute prep, and as a memory-aid during the interview.
Attending the interview
➢ First impressions count – Everyone matters; from the receptionist to the interviewer, and everyone in between. Make sure you're polite and positive to everybody you come into contact with.
➢ Allow plenty of time to get to your interview – Turning up on time is essential, but don't be super early. If you're more than ten minutes early, go and grab a coffee, or take a walk around the block.
➢ Present positive body language – Sit forward, and appear open and confident. Avoid crossing your arms and be sure to maintain eye contact.
➢ Don't rush your answers - Take your time to fully understand what you’re being asked. If you’re not sure, ask the interviewer to repeat the question or ask them for clarification.
➢ Engage with the interviewer – This is your time to shine. Your preparation will stand you in good stead, and you should be able to provide interesting, well thought out answers. Where possible, provide examples from previous roles that prove your experience.
➢ Don't panic – If your mind goes blank, try to remain calm. Your preparation will pay dividends. Take a moment to compose yourself and think how you’d answer this question if a friend or relative asked it. This can help you to relax enough to think back to your interview prep. Also, if you have taken a copy of your CV and job description into the interview, use it to pull out relevant parts of your experience, skills, and education. Don’t spend time studying or reading off your CV, but glancing down momentarily can help to jog your mind enough to remember some of the best bits about you.
➢ Ask your pre-prepared questions – Asking poignant questions can be a great way to check whether this role is right for you. How is success measured in this role? What might be expected of you in the next 3 months? Do they have any concerns about your CV or experience that they'd like to discuss before you go?
Interview follow up
➢ Don’t be afraid to ask about next steps – Checking when you might hear back from them is essential. This helps to set a timeframe for a decision; a must if you want to remain sane in the meantime. Discussing this will also help you to double check whether there may be any other stages in the process such as a second interview.
➢ Follow up with your interviewer – Send a thank you note the day after. Keep it short and sweet; thank them for their time, and express your continued interest in the role. This will help you to stay fresh in their mind, as well as showing that you are a good communicator and true professional.
If you’re looking for a new position within the Sales sector, or need to hire a Sales professional, then get in touch: