Employers often narrow in on three key areas during the hiring process – your history
, your fit
with the company and team and how you perform in the interview
First and most easily evaluated is your history, which is typically laid out in your resume. This provides insight into your track record of success, past employers and relevant work experience. An interview is naturally the next step in the hiring process. These can take many forms (phone, Skype, panel, one-on-one, etc.) involving situational or behavioural style questions. Interviews can also be more casual and feel conversational in nature. Last, job fit has to do with you – your skills, personality and alignment with the organization’s current or desired culture. The intersection of these three elements is where employers find the “perfect hire.”
There are a number of things to keep in mind during your job search so potential employers will see you as the “perfect hire.” The five tips below will ensure you stand out from other candidates, and if done right, will help you land the perfect sales job:
1. Get your history right. Your social media profile and resume need to be an exact match including companies you’ve worked for, when you worked there and the positions you held. Employers looking for great sales talent look up candidates they are interviewing on LinkedIn and other related sites. When your profiles don’t match, it’s misleading and tells the interviewer that you don’t have a strong attention to detail.
2. Numbers show performance, and performance sells. Employers don’t just want to know you’re in sales, they want to know how good you are at it! The easiest way to communicate success is by speaking the right language. Hint: use numbers and be specific about what you’ve achieved. For example: “exceeded quote by 105 per cent,” “landed 45 new accounts” or “grew existing accounts managed by 13 per cent year-over-year.”
3. Prepare for the interview like it’s a sales call. Confirm the appointment time, location and who will be attending the day before the interview.
-Dress for the part. If it’s an outside or inside sales role, dress as if you are the newest ambassador in something that aligns with the corporate brand.
-Bring a pen and paper and take notes.
-Also bring extra copies of your resume, for both you and the hiring manager to refer to.
-Prepare questions in advance. The worst thing you can do when asked “do you have any questions?” is to say “no.” A critical skill that employers are looking for is the ability to ask effective questions. If all your questions were answered during the conversation, be prepared to think on your feet and come up with one last thought-provoking question.
4. Ask for the sale and confirm your interest. At the end of the interview, ask questions like: “do you see any barriers that would prevent you from moving forward with me?” or “what are the next steps?” Be sure to clearly confirm your interest to move forward in the hiring process. Your interviewer should leave the meeting with a strong sense that you want to work for the company. Desire and interest are two critical elements that employers are looking for when adding great hires to their team. Don’t forget to send a thank you note. Re-cap why you are the best candidate for the job and relate the note to something that was discussed in your meeting.
4.Do your homework. Prepare by researching LinkedIn and other social sites for your interviewer’s profile. Learn about the hiring manager and find common ground, shared interests or a person that you might know in common.
Bryce Carter is the National Director Business Development at Grand & Toy, where in the past two years, he built a new 25 person business development team with the above tips in mind. He transferred internal talent and aggressively recruited amazing external talent using these basic principles to ensure he brought the best to the team. Bryce's previous 15 years of experience working in the recruitment industry and combined experience building companies has shaped his expert level view on hiring top talent.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.