My first sales job, the hiring manager took one look at my resume and didn’t want to interview me. He thought I wasn’t qualified(spoiler: I wasn’t). But within the first five minutes, he knew he was going to hire me.
It’s been a candidate’s market for the past few years, making it easier to land jobs for which you may lack qualifications. With the recent shift in the market, it’s getting harder to land those jobs, and is no longer a market in favor of candidates. You have to show up and WIN the interview by going above and beyond. If you haven’t had to go the extra mile to land a job before, now is the time to strategize and get creative. Otherwise, you’ll continue interviewing and losing jobs.
Many hiring managers treat sales interviews like a sales process. How you sell yourself throughout the interview process is showing them how you will approach the role if they hire you. If you’re doing the bare minimum in the interview, they are likely to think you will do the bare minimum in your job.
Doing the same things everyone else does. If all you do to prepare for the interview is read their website and the hiring manager’s LinkedIn, you’ll have the same answers as everyone else. You are typically up against people that have more experience and are more qualified than you. If you have the same answers as the person with 10 years of experience, who do you think they’re going to want to hire? Don’t show up with minimal information on the company or standard questions, and expect to win the job - you are preparing to fail.
Do more than what is asked of you throughout the interview process. SHOW the hiring manager why you are right for the role, instead of just TELLING them. The way you approach the interview shows the manager those intangible traits they can’t see on your resume. Think outside the box; what qualities does the role require and how can you show those qualities throughout the interview process?
If you get cut during a sales interview process due to a lack of experience, the best thing to do is think of it as an objection you didn’t overcome so you can learn how to win it the next interview process you’re in. Learn how to overcome it = win the job.
How did I win that first job I wasn’t qualified for? I knew I was up against candidates that were more qualified than I was and needed to do something to stand out. Prior to the interview, I went to 10 medical practices and asked if they used the company I was interviewing for. I made a book of those 10 places and put the reasons why they did or didn’t use them and brought it to my interview. When the hiring manager asked me what I knew about his company, I presented the book to him and told him what I knew was working and what wasn’t working for his company…I even found out he owed one of the nurses a Starbucks drink and let him know that too.
That company turned into our first client when we started Pursuit, and is still a client to this day.
Find the job you really want and do everything in your power to WIN it.
Looking for a roadmap to a sales interview process? We're sharing our exact internal interview process from a sales recruiting company.