5 things not to do at a Sales interview!


Whilst there are many good things to do before, during and after your sales interview, here are five things that you must never do!

1. Be late

Arriving late for your Sales interview puts you at a huge disadvantage, and may disqualify you from selection. Whatever the reason, it is your responsibility to arrive on time. So allow plenty of time to get to the interview location (it's a good idea to find a coffee shop locally if possible, and read through your notes, company and role information quietly to prepare yourself). Arriving at reception panting and sweating after having run from the train station is not a good start either........

2. Be unprepared

Whatever type of Sales role you are being interviewed for, you will significantly multiply your chance of success if you research, prepare and can demonstrate that you have put effort into finding out about the company, role, competitors, marketplace etc. Any candidate who looks at the company website for 20 seconds and breezes into the interview will quickly be 'found out' and dismissed from the process. Preparation is key!

3. Be untruthful

It is often tempting in Sales interviews to claim more on-target performance than you actually achieved, or claim a large sale yourself when you were only a part of a team effort. This is not a good idea. Presenting information in a positive way is part of selling, but misleading an interviewer is not. If you do, when references are taken up (or an informal call is put into your colleagues to check the veracity of your claims), you will be bounced out of the process.

4. Be loquacious

In an interview situation, you will be nervous, certainly to start with. This often manifests itself as excessive talking, a feeling that you have to fill every empty second with more and more words. This is not good. You want to listen to the interviewer's questions very carefully, and deliver succinct, considered answers that address his query. The more you talk at length the easier it is to lose the thread of the question you are trying to answer, and you will not present yourself as a competent sales professional. If the interviewer wants more information on a topic, they will ask for it!

5. Be rude

There are a few things in an interview that will come across as rude; these include looking at your watch, talking over the interviewer, not waiting for them to finish a question before starting to answer, playing with your pen, tilting your chair back, gazing around the room rather than focussing on the interviewer, and even criticising the company you are being interviewed to join(!) I have seen all of these over the years, so concentrate on avoiding any comment or behaviour that may be interpreted as controversial or rude!

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