The recruiting process and sales share many commonalities. When you break them down, they are both about selling. The objective of a sales interview is to find the right solution….
The recruiting process and sales share many commonalities. When you break them down, they are both about selling. The objective of a sales interview is to find the right solution. Candidates need to sell themselves as the right fit for the organization and companies need to sell themselves as a great place to work.
But there is a fine line between selling yourself well and appearing arrogant or smug.
The reality is that you have to sell yourself. Whether you want to do it or not, it’s part of the process. You need to sell why you are the best candidate for the job, why you are different, and how you can help a prospective employer. And you need to be good at it.
Selling yourself is not something that comes naturally to a lot of people. You aren’t used to doing it, and many of us have been conditioned not to boast about ourselves. Many candidates worry about talking too much about themselves and coming off as desperate or full of themselves.
A sales job interview is an ideal time to communicate your successes. Hiring managers want you to explain why you are the best candidate.
The good news is that, as a sales professional, selling is what you do best. You just need to apply your sales strategies to yourself rather than a product or service. You are the commodity you are trying to sell, and no one knows you better than you do.
The following tips will help you effectively sell yourself in your next sales interview:
In order to effectively sell yourself during the interview, you need to position yourself as the solution the company is seeking. To do this, you need to have an excellent grasp of what the company is looking for. Take time to research the company, industry, job type, and figure out what you can offer the company. How can you help them? What specific skills and experience can you offer? What can you offer that other candidates cannot? Answer interview questions with this perspective in mind.
Looking the part has a big impact on selling yourself in a sales interview. The first impression a hiring manager gets from you will be a lasting one. Therefore, you need to look like you belong in that role. You need to be well dressed (how you are dressed will depend on the role), be well groomed, and also carry yourself with confidence. Have a firm handshake, make eye contact, and have good posture and body language. A strong first impression will get the interview off to a good start and put you at the top of the list of candidates. This is step one of selling yourself.
One of the most important situations in which to have a strong elevator pitch is during a sales job interview. Most interviewers will ask you to introduce yourself, and this is your chance to give a strong overview of who you are, your experience, skills, and why you are great for the job. The key is to customize your pitch for the job and position yourself as the solution to the company’s hiring need. Make sure to practice your pitch and try to make it as natural as possible.
What you say is important, but how you say it is even more impactful. Saying you are compassionate is one thing, but being able to back it up with a specific example helps to tell your story. You’re going to be asked behaviour questions as part of the interview process, so be prepared to not only tell your story but also explain the impact of your actions.
Similar to the point above, when asked about your career successes, it’s vital to back them up with important performance metrics. Stating you were a top sales rep on your team says something about you being a top performer. Saying that you have met your sales targets for 2 years straight and generated X amount of revenue for the company while cutting costs by 20% paints a more specific picture of what you can do. It also helps the interviewer visualize you doing the same for their organization. The more context and data you can provide, the easier it will be for hiring managers to understand the impact you can have on their company.
Speaking clearly is important. All sales companies want to hire people who are strong communicators. When answering questions, do so briefly and efficiently. It’s important to find the right balance between being too short and being long-winded. Also, avoid common crutches such as like and umm. Use appropriate language for your audience.
You can make a great impression on the interview by simply asking them thoughtful questions about the job. All top candidates ask questions about the role and organization. It shows you have an interest and you have put some thought into the job itself.
Knowing how to sell yourself is important, but when you do it during the interview can be the key to putting your best self on display. You need to look for the right time to sell yourself. Here are some ideal times to sell your experience, skills, and insights:
Use these opportunities to strategically sell yourself. Be ready for these opportunities to arise and know the key points you want to communicate with the interviewer to best utilize this time.
Learn more about how to effectively prepare for and perform well during your next sales job interview. Check out these insightful blog posts:
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.