In a sea of sales candidates – especially in a challenging time like this one – you may be wondering how to stand out in an interview. Below are some ways that could help you stick out in the crowd so that you can make it to the next phase of the hiring process.
1. Ask the interviewer questions
Many of our clients typically tell us after an interview that the candidate didn’t ask any questions when meeting with one or more interviewers.
For context, this usually happens when a candidate is meeting with a few employees at the company during that visit.
There is no excuse for not having questions. Even if someone just pops into the room to meet you for 15 minutes unexpectedly – it’s critical to have question at the ready.
There are always role-specific questions to that you can ask someone (a critical topic worthy of a deeper dive). In addition, there are loads of questions you can ask the interviewer about their perspective on the company: their own experience there, the culture, challenges, the good, bad and ugly, etc.
Even if you are meeting with the hiring manager (decision maker) 3 to 4 times throughout the process – there are plenty of questions you can ask him/her. Remember, this is the person you need to get to know the best. So treat it like a get-to-know session by asking those questions.
2. Be enthusiastic
Some other feedback we typically receive from sales training and consulting clients is that some candidates don’t come across as enthusiastic about the job.
Always show enthusiasm when meeting with a potential employer. If you aren’t excited about the opportunity, then you shouldn’t be there. And if you are coming across as unenthusiastic because you think acting aloof or playing hard to get is part of the game. It’s not.
Yes, you should let a company know you are entertaining other opportunities, but know that A: that’s usually assumed so don’t dwell on it, and B: the company needs to see that you are excited about the potential of working at THEIR company. Even if they are a second or third choice.
3. Bring something to write on
This comes up with our clients more than you think. Always bring a notepad and pen to take notes and have your questions handy. It shows that you’re engaged and prepared, and ready to get as much information about the company and role as possible.
When it comes to note-taking, jotting down a note here and there is acceptable. Just make sure you’re not sitting there with your head down for most of the time the interviewer is talking.
These tips might seem simple – even common sense – but you will be surprised what we hear from our clients after they’ve interviewed sales candidates. Something as simple and being enthusiastic about a job opportunity could easily differentiate you between a competing candidate, so make sure you put that extra effort in. To learn more on how to stand out in an interview and further your sales career today, contact our office for a consultation.