Professional Attire – Dressing in a businesslike manner will help you make a good impression at your interview. You only have one time to make that first impression so make it a great one. Suits are the appropriate attire for interviews. Male: Dark suit; white shirt; black, polished shoes; black socks; contrasting tie. Female: Business suit; white/ivory blouse; matching shoes. Be conservative with your hairstyle, makeup and jewelry.
Get Directions- obtain directions to the interview location. We recommend making a trip to the location prior to the interview. Why? So you don’t get lost the day of the interview or stuck in traffic.
Get organized- Spend time before you interview date getting important interview items together. You will need extra resumes, reference sheet (names and phone numbers), and letters of recommendation, sales results documentation and your brag book. Know your schedule for the next couple of weeks so you are prepared to schedule the next interview.
Research- With information readily available, hiring managers will expect that you have spent time researching their company. Some of the key areas that you might focus on would include: company history, key personnel, locations, products & services, competitors, financials and latest press releases.
Rehearse- Prepare ahead of time to answer the typical questions asked during sales interviews. Be able to provide specific examples.
DURING THE INTERVIEW
Arrive Promptly- Arrive 15 minutes early to the interview. This will allow you time to relax and get prepared for the interview. It also shows that you are eager and interested in the opportunity. You can arrive to the location earlier, please wait until 15 minutes before your scheduled interview time to announce your arrival since hiring managers have several interviews scheduled on a particular day.
Company Applications- Although you have forwarded your resume to the hiring manager, most companies have an application that will need to be filled out completely by all applicants. Remember to bring everything you will need when filling out applications. We do not create a business professional impression to ask to borrow employer’s pens or telephone books. You will be expected to know job titles, and dates of employment; the name, address, and phone number of the employer; and a description of your duties. Make sure that the dates of employment don’t overlap or conflict. It is not appropriate to write “see resume”. It demonstrates a lack of ability to follow directions and shows lack of respect for company’s hiring process.
Interview Questions- Listen carefully to the questions being asked. If you are unclear what is being asked, ask the interview to restate a question. Answer questions directly and focus on addressing the questions being asked. You want to remain upbeat and make positive statements about your previous experiences and supervisors. Avoid talking to much or volunteering information. We all have the heard the expression “he almost talked himself out of the sale”
Closing the Interview
- Thank the interviewers for their time.
- Request a business card. You will need the contact information for follow up
- Shake hands in closing.
- Sales professionals are expecting the candidate to close. Ask, What’s the next step or After speaking with you today, I very interested in this opportunity “Do you have any questions or concerns that I have not addressed during the interview.
Follow up with your recruiter immediately following your interview. The recruiter will conduct an interview debrief with you. The recruiter will be looking for detailed information about the interview so they can quickly follow up with the hiring managers.
After your interview, be sure to send a thank you note to the interviewer. This is very important because a thank you note gives you one more chance to remind the employer about the special skills that you can bring to the company.