Nail the Final Sales Interview and Land the Sales Job You Want
You’ve worked hard to get to the final sales interview and you may be one of two (sometimes three) finalists. The final interview is where the decision to make an offer will be cemented or the job offer will go to someone else. Will you get the sales job of your dreams?
These interview strategies will help you prepare for your final sales interview so you don’t wind up in second place.
#1: Be Conscientious —If you are flying out for an interview, be mindful of travel expenses. Several years ago, we had a candidate fly out to New York for a final sales interview with the CEO of a rather large international organization. The candidate ordered a $100 bottle of wine with his meal and included it in his expense report. This proved to be a little over the top for our client’s preferences.
Overly expensive menu items should be avoided or excluded from your travel expense report for reimbursement. That is —if you want to get the job. We rightfully received an ear-full from one of the executives at this larger company about this particular expense report item. Needless to say, it was not well-received and he didn’t get the sales job.
#2: Continue Prep Work—Some very talented salespeople have built exceptional sales careers leaning heavily on gut instinct. For them, light research has always been enough. But chances are this technique isn’t going to work for you. I would not promote this strategy for interviewing.
Preparation is a minimum expectation for today’s sales interviews. Now more than ever, there is absolutely no reason not to do your homework. Prep work is invariably 100% required.
Don’t show up to the interview without taking the time to do both internet and direct research on your prospective employer. Preparation is the foundation of executing strong interviews. Conduct research throughout the interview process and take the time to learn about every person you cross paths with during the interview cycle.
#3: Get Your References Ready—You can also expect your references to be checked during the final interview stage. You may also fill out background check requests, applications, and more. So get your references ready and make sure your resume is accurate and up to date. If you haven’t done so already, contact your references and let them know more about the role and company you’re interviewing with so they can prepare for reference check calls.
The general rule of thumb for references is the more current the better. Those who have worked with you directly and can comment on the quality of your work are better than colleagues who’ve worked with you from a distance as they will be less familiar with the details of your accomplishments.
#4: Don’t Let Your Enthusiasm Levels Drop—It’s common to have one sales interview three to five times within the same company. This is partially about consistency. The organization wants to compare notes and check your responses to confirm they are being told the same things. The rest of the redundancy is simply by accident and happens because interviewers have been trained in the same interview methods and techniques.
Don’t allow yourself to become stale, annoyed, or bored during the process because of repetitive interview questions.
We have seen salespeople passed over time and time again in the interview process for “lack of enthusiasm.”
#5: Ask for the Sales Job
What? You think asking for the job is beneath you? You think it’s implied you’ll get an offer? If you want the job, ask for it. Do not leave the final interview without some sort of idea about where you stand or when a final decision will be made. Average sales jobs are easy to get, but great sales jobs are competitive and may require extra-effort to secure. If you’re interested in receiving an offer, ask for the job.
Don’t Trip at the Final Interview
Once you’re at the final sales interview and you’re sitting in front of the CEO, it’s time to close the deal. Review this list, and put this information into practice.
Giving your best interview takes effort, careful preparation, and endless research. Yet once you put these ideas in action, you’ll be more likely to land the right sales job with the employer of your choice. Who knows, keep at it and you just might find yourself with multiple offers. Look who has leverage now?!