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Key Steps to Interview Success

Preparing for a sales interview is unique and unlike preparing for a function for any other role. There are several key competencies that you’ll need to navigate successful in order to get the job. Below are Celsius’ key steps on nailing a sales interview and ensuring you get the job.

Step 1: Company Research

From the moment you’re introduced to the opportunity, your research begins. Whilst on the phone to your recruiter, there are a number of questions you need to ask not only to give you some background information and context to your research, but also to qualify whether this is something you want to pursue. You should ideally have 1 A4 page of information for each of the following three areas: The Company, The Role and You.

For the company, you will need to research who they are, what they do and what their USP (Unique Selling Point) is. From there, it is worthwhile exploring the greater market and creating a competitor analysis that will allow you to answer questions and demonstrate your knowledge in the interview.

For the role, you should find out what your core responsibilities are. These are likely to be meeting targets, reaching out to clients and driving new business, but it Is worthwhile asking your recruiter what these targets are and what additional responsibilities this role will entail. From here, you should lay out how you plan on achieving these targets.

For you, you should be able to provide examples of why you are suitable for the role. The easiest way to do this is to find out from your recruiter what the company are looking for and provide examples of when you’ve demonstrated those attributes. For example, if they want someone who is determined, then describe a scenario where you have applied determination and succeeded. This could be anything from winning a sports game to climbing a mountain.

Step 2: Recruiter Briefings

In the court of law, lawyers will have hours of witness preparation in order to ensure that their witnesses hold up well under cross-examination, and what recruiters do with their candidates is not too dissimilar. These briefings are vital interview training that will enable you to tackle tough questions and provide excellent answers. When it comes to sales interviews, there are three key competencies that you will need to handle; cultural questions, general competency and sales competency.

Cultural Competency is important for the interviewer to establish if you will fit in with the rest of the team. These questions will be about your hobbies, passions, interests and the types of people you tend to spend time with. These questions should be honest, but considered. We all have passions, but it is important to remember that they are not looking to talk to you for 30 minutes about why you love to play the accordion. Keep these answers light-hearted, but short, simple and most importantly, ask them what their interests are too. This is an easy way to start exploring common ground and build a relationship.

General Competency will cover questions about your background, your degree and experience. You will need to structure a smooth narrative that explains why you chose the paths you chose, how this has lead you to their company and where you want to go from here. Every move should have a good reason behind it, ideally relating to the traits that they are looking for in their ideal candidate.

Sales Competency is usually the trickiest test for graduates. They will be expecting you to treat the interview as a sales meeting, in which they are expecting you to close the deal. What you’re doing throughout this interview is demonstrating your suitability and your desire to do this job. The best way to show that is to ask for feedback and address any concerns they raise in the meeting. This will not only allow you to further demonstrate your value as an employee, but also show them that you have the confidence and the capability to close a meeting. Once you have addressed your concerns, then you can ask about the next steps and try and get a date and time for a 2nd interview confirmed before you even leave the building.

Step 3: The Interview Itself

Once you are prepared and have your research, then it’s time to apply your practice. You should wear your best suit, polish your shoes and present yourself as best as you can. Interviewers are looking for people who they can introduce to their clients so this is an important first impression. You should plan your journey in advance and ensure you are at the offices 30 minutes before the interview and in the reception 10-15 minutes before. Then, the handshake. It should be firm and you should make eye contact with the person you’re shaking hands with. Once you’re in the interview then the most important thing to remember is to speak slowly, clearly and confidently, demonstrate as much enthusiasm talking about the role as you do about your passions and explain clearly why you want to work for them. If you follow the steps above and put the effort in, then you will have a fantastic chance of securing the position.

Celsius have been helping graduates find fantastic roles in technology sales for over 13 years, and the expertise of our Talent Management Team give candidates the edge in sales interviews. Through Celsius, you will not only receive interview preparation and assistance, you will also be placed on a 3-Module training course endorsed by the ISM. Celsius are dedicated to helping graduates find fulfilling and lucrative careers in tech. Talk to us today to find out more on 0161 274 9800.

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Celsius Graduate Recruitment
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Dane Road
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