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How to Prepare for a Sales Interview

08.15.11   |   Job Search & Career   |   Amanda Musto, Marketing Manager at Treeline Incorporated

Are you selling yourself short when competing for a job?

By Ray Mills, Treeline Consultant


The real value of a search firm isn't in the number of opportunities they have, but rather the information they can provide before the first initial interview.

With any sales engagement the more information you have up front, the more effective and meaningful the meeting will become. This same philosophy rings true with the interviewing process, which is simply another sales engagement. If you come across unprepared for an interview it typically ends the same way an unprepared sales engagement does.....with a closed door. A reputable search firm can provide the information you need to ensure you are not selling yourself short.

Open sales doors by walking into that first interview relaxed, confident and able to convey and understand the hiring organizations message as if you were already an employee. This doesn't mean you are already the technical guru of the organization, but it does mean you can hold an intelligent business conversation. At the very least, demonstrate to the interviewer that you are serious about the opportunity and that you always take a professional approach to your business dealings.

Too many times a sales candidate is passed over because they did not come across as focused and knowledgeable even though they may have a career track record of success. To most accurately represent yourself you need to prepare for the interview as you would any other sales opportunity and that's by planning up front. By leveraging the knowledge of a reputable search firm you will be putting yourself in the best position to shine and to formulate a mutually beneficial meeting with the hiring organization. Companies in today's market are looking for articulate, committed, educated, and professional business individuals and that's what you need to deliver.

Here is a list of what you should know in a sales interview, without the knowledge of the list below, you are selling yourself short.

  • Who is the company, what market do they play in, what is the value of their deliverables?
  • Who are you meeting with, what is his/her role in the company, how does your role tie into theirs?
  • What is the corporate culture like, what is the mgmt style, what are their growth plans?
  • Why is the position open (growth, promotion, attrition?)
  • What is the quota, territory, avg sales cycle, avg deal size?
  • What is the salary range, OTE and top rep earning?
  • How does my background directly/indirectly tie to their business?

 

This may sound simplistic to many of you, but sometimes the simple things get ignored. Don't have the career opportunity door close because you failed to effectively prepare. Information is power and the value of a search firm is exactly that.

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