I’m going to take a pause from the main focus of the Sales Hiring Epidemic series written primarily for business owners and hiring managers. I’d like to address this blog to those job seekers looking for their next sales challenge. (For the rest of you who hire sales people, watch for these mistakes and proceed with caution.)
You’ve applied to many places and you’ve finally been accepted for that job interview you’ve been waiting for. Be aware of these 5 interview mistakes made far too often by sales candidates.
Mistake #1: You don’t really know what you want to do in your next sales role. How can a hiring manager determine if you are a fit for their position or their company if you don’t know what you want to do, or with whom? Be prepared to describe your ideal next sales position.
Mistake #2: You do way too much talking. This might be a result of nerves or a lack of experience, preparation or confidence. Some sales reps are so extroverted that they struggle with any silence in a conversation. When interviewing, be sure that you give the interviewer enough time to ask their questions and respond to your answers. If you do 80% of the talking, you are in trouble.
Mistake #3: You don’t answer the interviewer’s questions. How often have you asked someone a question and it takes them 10 minutes to give you an answer? And when they stop talking, you realize that they didn’t really answer your question. Or for at least the last 5 minutes your mind has wandered elsewhere. When asked a question, be succinct in your answer and allow the interviewer the opportunity to respond.
Mistake #4: You don’t ask any questions, or enough questions. I’ve seen this so many times. Candidates come in prepared to answer questions and that is all they do. They don’t display any curiosity. The interview feels like a Q&A session and never like a conversation. You are interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you. Don’t be afraid to ask clarifying or follow-up questions.
Mistake #5: You don’t secure a next step with what’s going to happen after the interview. This is a huge mistake and sadly, many sales people make it. If you are interviewing for a sales position, it’s critical to secure a next step. Ask how you did and what will happen next.
The way a sales candidate interviews is exactly how they will sell. Be upfront and honest and avoid these interview mistakes and you’ll be well on your way to your next sales adventure. If you find that this blog is helpful or you know others who may benefit from this information, please feel free to share it or subscribe here.