Congrats, you landed an interview for a sales position—and you’ve been putting in the work to get ready.
You feel totally prepared: Your resume is clean, you’re dressed for success, you’ve rehearsed your answers to those commonly-asked interview questions, and you’ve researched the company so thoroughly you could write a book about them.
But when it comes to a sales interview, there are a couple of things that you absolutely have to nail to really ensure you crush the interview—and they’re not as intuitive as you might think.
In my experience as a Recruiting Manager, I’ve interviewed hundreds of applicants for sales roles, and these are two tips that—if followed—always ensure a successful interview.
Tip #1: There’s No Such Thing As Being Too Competitive
Recruiters who staff for sales positions are looking for highly competitive candidates.
One of the top reasons candidates fail in sales interviews is because they don’t come off as competitive enough. Companies recruiting for Sales positions also want someone who thrives in a metrics-driven environment.
This can be hard to understand, because being competitive is considered a harsher personality trait that you might want to hide during an interview. However, as long as you’re focusing on your drive for success and how the spirit of competition helps you achieve your goals, then you’re safe to talk about it.
In fact, for a sales interview, it’s an absolute must.
During the interview, be sure to talk about times when you used your competitive drive to find success. Were you an athlete growing up? Were you the top salesperson at Footlocker? If so, what were your numbers? Maybe you’re extremely motivated by hitting goals. Maybe you thrive in a commission-driven setting. Or maybe you just want to make a ton of money (sounds nice, eh?).
However you decide to spin it, just be sure to drive home the point that you are competitive with a capital “C” (and that’s how you push yourself to succeed).
Tip #2: Enthusiasm Is Key
Have you ever heard the expression, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it” before? Well, we think it’s both what you say and how you say it.
When you’re in the hiring process for a company, it’s important to show that you’re passionate about the position you’ve applied to, and the organization as a whole. Your enthusiasm must come through in your speaking voice, since it’s your only tool of communication during an interview. (Unless you choose to communicate through interpretive dance—and if so, power to ya!)
But sometimes, it can be hard to gauge how you’re coming across to an interviewer. Maybe you think you sound as jolly as a Christmas elf, but to the interviewer, you sound bored and ready for your afternoon nap.
For this reason, we suggest you practice putting that pep-in-your-step (or in your voice, rather) in front of friends and family. Sit down with people you trust and practice answering mock-interview questions with enthusiasm. Ask them for candid feedback on how you’re coming across and whether they hear passion in your voice. You may be surprised by how much honesty comes your way.
So now that you’re equipped with these insider tips, you can walk into that interview with your head held high, ready to rock it. You’ll be sure to dazzle the interviewers with your unyielding enthusiasm. You’ll blow them away with your competitive drive. Now, enough talking—go land that job!