Interview Tips

Research


It is always useful to be fully clued up about the company and the role you are applying for. You should use the internet to look at the company website for information such as company history, future products, and growth plans.


Rather than looking at just the website phone the manager of the company and ask constructive questions e.g. what are the opportunities for progression like within the company? Could I have a company brochure? Show initiative by visiting the company offices or showroom of the role you are applying and speak to the manager of the relevant department. This is an excellent opportunity to show your keenness for the role. Ensure you ask for brochures and questions such as what it is like working at the company?


Look at the company competitors and find out how they are different to the company you are applying to. Think of why you want to join this company over its competitors and get this across at interview.


Personal presentation


Ensure on the day of the interview you are dressed smartly in business attire, dark suit/white shirt/ bright tie for men and polished shoes/combed hair and shave - knee length skirt, bright shirt for ladies. During the interview do not wear jewellery/wrist bands (apart from wedding rings etc) and avoid alcohol and smoking prior to the interview.


Ensure you carry briefcase and/or folder holding your CV, ideally on watermarked paper, also have a separate sheet detailing your key achievements/awards (BRAG file) if applicable.


Prepare a short presentation on the company and where you see yourself fitting into the team and the department. This may not be required but will be sure to impress. By preparing this presentation you will ensure that you are head and shoulders above the other candidates.


Behaviour


Present yourself well in reception, and be polite to the staff - from the moment you enter the offices the company will be observing your character.Give the person interviewing you a nice firm handshake (not too firm) while maintaining eye contact.


In the reception area and during the interview maintain a good posture sitting upright and maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Also, be enthusiastic and confident during the interview but don't be too relaxed and arrogant.


Attempt to break the ice by commenting about the positives of the company e.g. anything that may catch your eye e.g. picture on the wall/buzzing environment


Closure


At the end of the interview you will be asked if you have any questions, this is your opportunity to demonstrate your questioning technique (a key part of selling). Never decline to ask questions at this point, ensure that you have around 12 questions prepared. E.g. ask some questions about the structure of the business - the opportunities for promotion? -. Also ask about the targets and what a typical day at the company is like?


This is also a good opportunity to ask more indirect questions relating to how you can fit into the company. Such as how do you see me fitting into the team? - What do I need to do to ensure I have a second interview? - have I done enough to secure a second interview? Have I done enough to secure the job?


Remember


Always ask for the job at the end of the second interview - this will be expected of you since you are applying for a sales position! Likewise at the end of your first interview be sure to find out if you have a second interview lined up. If the interviewer appears undecided this is your opportunity to ask further questions and show your sales skills.


DO NOT!


Drink alcohol or smoke prior to interview - this will create a bad impression and is guaranteed to be frowned upon by the interviewer.


Attend the interview in casual dress or trainers - be sure to be smart.


Don't ask questions such as what will be the pay? What are the hours? What is the sickness policy?


Forget to prepare good questions for the interviewer and do not forget to prepare suitable answers to difficult questions


Talk down about your previous companies, this will look bad on you.