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Sales interview guide for graduates. Part II

Posted by: Megan Speet

Different companies implement a variety of interview processes which may include Telephone Interviews, Face to Face Interviews and Assessment Days. Regardless of the process they employ, there are a small number of questions you are likely to be asked in one form or another and failure to respond correctly will prevent you moving forward in the interview process. It is imperative that you familiarize yourself with these questions and sample answers.

1-Why do you want to be in Sales?
2-Why will you be good in Sales?

1-Why do you want to be in Sales?

You will almost definitely be asked to explain why you want to be in sales. Good responses tend to centre around really wanting a challenge, being very money motivated (high On Target Earnings); selecting an industry where you really can progress up the career ladder quickly; wanting be in control of your career progression; being rewarded for the work you put in and having the right skills to do the job effectively.

In essence:

  • Money-uncapped commission, control of your own earnings.30-50k in first year
  • Career progression, meritocracy, rewarded for hard work put in
  • Working in a fast paced, dynamic environment.
  • Sales is one of the biggest industries in the UK

2-Why will you be good in Sales?

Sales interviews tend to be based on certain competencies and in order to be considered you will need to provide hard evidence that you possess these competencies:

  • Competitive
  • Confident
  • Resilient
  • Ambitious
  • Hardworking
  • Money Motivated
  • Persuasive

These traits, coupled with an understanding of the skills that make a decent sales person (i.e. effective questioning, listening skills, handling objections from clients and candidates, closing) and working extremely hard, are all part of the innate make up of top sales people.

You will need to think hard about where you have demonstrated these skills or displayed these traits. These examples can be from any area of your life including academic results, sporting achievements, personal achievements (self funded travel, self funded study, artistic achievements etc)

Example include:

  • President of a University society (persuasiveness and drive)
  • Being promoted at work (drive and ambition)
  • Achieving better than expected exam results (drive and ambition)
  • Running a marathon (tenacity and drive)
  • Juggling your degree with lots of part- time work, sports activities and society duties (drive, ambition)
  • Working all hours to save money for a trip abroad (drive and resilience)
  • Winning awards at school or university (achievement and drive)
  • Positions of responsibility (ambition)
  • Sporting achievements-School/University/County level/Captain, (competitiveness),
  • Public speaking, presentations, debating, mooting (Confidence)
  • Any work related achievements/awards always go down well.

Remember all these must be delivered with a real passion and enthusiasm, and mention as many relevant examples as you possibly can. There is nothing worse than interviewing a candidate and having to pull the information from them. Volunteer as many examples as possible. It‟s unlikely you‟ll be penalised for being overenthusiastic!

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