How to Ace a Sales Interview

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
Are you preparing for an important sales interview? We have you covered. Read on for strategies, tips, and advice, along with the prep tools available to help you ace it.

Strategies to Ace a Sales Interview

The key to acing any job interview is the ability to sell yourself appropriately. So, if you are interviewing for a sales position, you will simply have to demonstrate the sales skills you'll need to perform the job in question. Succeeding on a sales interview requires the same strategies you use to ace a sales call. You will need to:

  • Be prepared. Do your research about the company, prepare answers to anticipated questions, and be ready to negotiate.
  • Utilize your strong interpersonal skills. Make a good first impression and use a few handy psychological tactics.
  • Demonstrate your skills and knowledge. Provide examples of your successes, have relevant anecdotes, and ask pertinent questions.

How to Prepare

In the days leading up to your sales interview, do as much research as possible about the company, including its history, financials, successes and failures. As you do your research, formulate questions to ask during your interview. It is also important to arm yourself with answers to common interview questions. For guidance, see's How to Prepare for a Job Interview course, which offers tips and advice on interview preparation, execution and follow-up best practices from experienced counselors. Also, (especially if you are going for a second or final interview) be ready to utilize your negotiation skills to work out employment terms. A brief video lesson on negotiating is also included in the job interview course.

Use Your Interpersonal Skills

Like sales, interviewing requires finely honed interpersonal skills. Most critically, keep in mind the importance of first impressions. Be confident, upbeat and conversational; listen carefully to questions, and pay attention to the non-verbal messages you are communicating. Also, make sure you dress in accordance with both the culture of the company with which you are interviewing, and the impression you want to make. If you want to brush up on these skills, watch this short lesson on Interpersonal Interaction: Skills and Definition. If your interview includes a presentation, you may want to check out this Presentation in the Workplace course for help.

Demonstrate Your Abilities

Your interviewer will want to learn about your sales abilities and accomplishments, and if ever there is a situation when the adage 'show, don't tell' is appropriate, it is in a sales interview. Be prepared with anecdotes and examples of your sales experience and skills, which make a much stronger impact than vague descriptions. Be sure that your examples offer specific information regarding projects on which you've worked and the results you achieved.

You should also - through your anecdotes, questions and conversation - demonstrate your knowledge of the strategies and techniques that are critical for successful salespeople. Check out these online lessons and courses that will help you review important sales skills:

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