So, you're about to hop on a first call with the Hiring Manager, congrats, exciting!
Seems like on paper your experience fits with the role, now it's time to make a solid impression. In this in-depth blog article, we will delve into the realm of Sales roles interviews and provide you with actionable tips and strategies to help you prepare effectively. By following these guidelines, you'll be sure to leave a positive and lasting impression and increase your chances of making it to the next round.
1- Research the Company and Industry:
a. Company website: Familiarize yourself with the company's history, leadership team, recent news or press releases. Look at which products they put the emphasis on, their tagline, the messaging/positioning. These are words you can write down and use when you'll explain your understanding of what the company does.
b. Industry landscape: do you have existing knowledge within this industry? Do you understand the motion between different firms? The problem this industry solves? Google queries like "XYZ industry report" or "XYZ industry white paper". Good old Wikipedia can help too.
c. LinkedIn: check-out their LinkedIn page, their recent posts, what are they usually talking about? Is there any recent events that is worth talking about during the interview?
d. Competition: look at websites like www.g2.com and see who they're competing against, the size of the industry, the opportunities and threats.
e. Blog: what is their blog usually talking about? What are the recurring themes? Seeing any pattern?
f. Reviews website: turn to websites like www.trustpilot.com, www.clutch.co, www.capterra.com etc and understand what clients like and dislike about the offer.
g. Trial: is there a free trial offered on the website? Try it! Write down what your understood, the paths you tooks, the struggles you had using the product.
2- Understand the Role:
Consider the following:
a. Review the job description: Pay close attention to the required qualifications, skills, and responsibilities outlined in the job description. Identify key selling points from your own experience that align with the role.
b. Research the typical sales cycle: Understand the steps involved in the sales process, such as prospecting, qualifying leads, presenting, negotiating, and closing deals. Prepare examples that demonstrate your proficiency in each stage.
3- Let your numbers talk:
Don't bring fluff to a KPIs fight! Sales roles thrive on measurable results. During the interview, be ready to showcase your achievements and provide specific examples of how you've exceeded targets or contributed to revenue growth. Consider the following:
a. Quantify your accomplishments: Use numbers, percentages, and dollar figures to illustrate the impact of your previous sales achievements. This demonstrates your ability to deliver tangible results.
b. Discuss challenges and solutions: Describe challenging situations you encountered in previous sales roles and explain how you overcame them. Highlight your problem-solving skills and resilience.
4- Be the STAR:
The STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) technique is an effective way to structure your answers during the interview. Use this format to share relevant stories that demonstrate your skills and experience. Follow these steps:
a. Situation: Set the context by describing the situation or challenge you faced.
b. Task: Explain the specific task or objective you needed to accomplish.
c. Action: Detail the actions you took to address the situation and achieve the desired outcome.
d. Result: Quantify the result or outcome, emphasizing the positive impact your actions had.
5- Practice, Practice, Practice:
When I started my career, I would take any interviews that was thrown at me, just to keep practicing. To understand what people were looking for. The more you practice, the better you'll perform in the interview. Consider these techniques:
a. Mock interviews: Arrange practice interviews with a friend or mentor, focusing on common sales role interview questions and scenarios.
b. Video recording: Record yourself answering interview questions to identify areas for improvement in your communication style and body language.
c. Time management: Practice delivering concise and impactful
6- Keep the problem in mind
If you're interviewing for a role, keep in mind that there's a problem they're trying to solve. The problem could be "have more top of the funnel leads" or "close higher ticket Sales" or "shift our Sales towards the Enterprise segment".
Regardless of what the problem is, they see you at the potential right fit to solve it. So wrap all your explanations around the main problems that are expressed in the job description or that you gathered during your research or past conversations.
All the best!