10 years ago
January 5, 2015

Smile! Show Some Personality During Your Sales Interview

During a sales interview, the hiring manager is just as interested in your personality as he or she is in your skills and qualifications.

Rhys Metler

During a sales interview, the hiring manager is just as interested in your personality as he or she is in your skills and qualifications. When you are out in the field your winning personality will be a key to making sales, so it is important for you to show  who you are during a sales interview and how your personality makes you the best fit for the job. Here’s how to let the best points of your personality shine through in a sales interview.

Show Personality through Your Attire

Showing your personality through your attire should not be taken to extremes; you don’t want the first thing an interview notices about you to be a whale tie or overwhelming piece of jewelry! However, your attire is important as it represents who you are and how you will be likely to come across to potential clients. Dress appropriately to the industry your sales interview is for; more traditional industries usually call for understated dress, while industries like web marketing allow more latitude. In either case, you can show your personality by choosing tasteful attire that makes you look your best while still being comfortable during the sales interview with appropriate embellishments such as a watch or tastefully eye-catching briefcase.

Prepare for the Most Common Questions

In any sales interview, variations on the same common interview questions are likely to be asked. These questions are go-tos for sales interviewers because they are tried and true ways to uncover an applicant’s day-to-day personality. Be prepared to show your personality in the best light by preparing for these questions ahead of time:

  • Why did you choose a career in sales?
  • What is the most difficult goal you have set for yourself, and did you meet it?
  • Were you happy with your performance in your last position? Why or why not?

The interviewer’s goal with these questions is to determine how you approach decisions and how you surmount adversity, aspects of your personality that are vitally important to sales. Be honest when answering these questions, and use examples that highlight how your personality allows you to move forward positively no matter the circumstances.

Use the Opportunity to Ask Questions

Declining to ask questions after a sales interview is one of the biggest mistakes an applicant can make. Even if the interviewer was thorough in explaining the company and position, he or she expects that someone truly interested in the opportunity will have at least two or three questions. Moreover, you can ask questions that will give the interviewer a better idea of your personality and goals by focusing on the aspects of the opportunity that bring you and the company mutual benefit. Such questions include:

  • What paths for advancement does the position offer?
  • What are the challenges in the sales department, and how could I make a contribution towards overcoming these?
  • Is there any further information that I can provide about how my background and experience will allow me to make lasting contributions to your organization?

Don’t Forget to Smile

In a sales interview it is easy to become singularly focused on providing the right answers, to the exclusion of paying attention to your body language. As a sales professional you know how important body language is, so do not neglect this in your sales interview! Smile like you mean it whenever appropriate, and show interest with other key body language such as leaning in slightly towards the interviewer, keeping your arms to your sides or on the table, and nodding to show understanding and attention when the interviewer is talking.

Your personality is the basis for your accomplishments in sales. Don’t miss the opportunity to let your personality stand out during a sales interview; the next step in your career could depend on how comfortable you are sharing your personality. Smile and show confidence in your ability to sell, and the rest will follow.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.