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Sales interview top tips

Ani Lputian

The Technology Sales Interview is a very unique process. After speaking with our Sales Recruiter Ani Lputian we came up with these top tips.

As with all the other types of interviews we have spoken about, knowing what you may face can give you the head start you need to present yourself in the best way as well as put you in good stead to find out whether the company is the one you want.

Here are the top tips to ensuring you ace your interview.

1.      “Tell me about yourself” is a very common opener to Sales interviews, so it’s worth practising exactly how you can answer this and leave an instant impact. You should also think about how you would answer this depending on whom you are speaking with. This is your opportunity not only to sell yourself but also ‘close’ at the start of the meeting. The way to do this is by structuring your answer as present, past and future – in the future section you can really hone in on the sort of environment and role you are looking for.

2.      Choose three examples of deals you have taken to fruition. Whether account management or new business, you want to choose those you specifically learnt from or those which challenged you the most. How did you overcome those challenges and how did you close that deal? Practise saying these out load so you have optimum impact on the day.

3.      Come prepared with numbers and figures. It’s all too often that sales-people forget to bring or work out the specifics prior to their interviews. It’s imperative you know your deal sizes and commission and that you are ready to be questioned in depth about it. Confidence will very quickly be lost in you if you don’t know exactly how much you did last year or what your targets are.

4.      You will be asked about what you know about the company. They will want to know what exposure you have had to them as a competitor or what you have heard about them, why you are there and what research you have done. This needs to be prepared and structured into concise areas to allow you to clearly show your interest and your approach to the application. I suggest focussing on the basic background, products, customers and future strategies. Those who take the opportunity seriously will stand out the most here.

5.      It’s all about you, what you want and what you show them of yourself. The rapport-building, your drive, your ambition and your goals will paint a clear picture of who you are and what you want to achieve. 

6.      You will definitely be thrown left-field questions (please get in contact for a list of the possibilities). Expect it and know that you are supposed to think clearly under pressure and you have lots of experience in dealing with Sales-people and non-sales-people who have asked you a plethora of left-field questions in the past. You are equipped for those so don’t let it throw you off track.

7.      Knowing what success looks like to you and how you define it is a topic that often gets covered. Focus on your most successful years and the difficult ones, you want to be able to demonstrate your ability to put process into action and recover from difficult times and also not become stagnant when things are going well. Success means something different to everyone, so be sure to have a clear idea of what it means to you.

8.      Speaking clearly about your future ambitions will help you identify whether the role is right for you and will show your interviewer exactly how ambition you are and what in turn they can do for you and your career if you work hard in this role. Think it through, be clear and know that nothing is set in stone. Long term ambitions often change with opportunity.

9.      Always be closing, often this is overlooked by the most competent closers in the business. Don’t forget where you are and what you want to achieve and show off your closing mind-set and skills.

10.  Notes afterwards will help you fully evaluate whether this is the role for you and will help you formulate your feedback. Did you enjoy the interview? Did it tick your boxes? What are your boxes and which ones are your priority? Knowing you favour this role over others will make all the difference when you speak to your recruiter about the next steps.

Good luck in your next interview!