Improving Your Interview Experience

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

In preparation for your interview it is worth considering sales and interview technique in order to improve your interview experience.

If you are interviewing for a commercial role which will include an element of customer focus where you would present a professional approach to strategic customers therefore the way that you present yourself should mirror this.
Present yourself as commercially aware and professional by preparing questions in advance of your interview and researching the company/market/competition etc.

People often mistake the best sales people for being passionate, tenacious and determined. Those are good qualities, of course they are, but the best sales people are actually inquisitive, consultative and listen to the information they are given to utilise it to the best effect, this is the same for good candidates at interview! Ask questions to seem enthusiastic and build report. Open questions let people open up and feel comfortable this is invaluable in an interview. Ask what the interviewer is looking for and you can give it back to them!

Remember you are selling yourself so YOU are what they are looking to invest in!

Good sales people ask good questions so try to prepare at least 20 questions such as the following examples, this is actually very easy to do as many are very straightforward and honest. This list was prepared in 5 minutes, just think Who, What, Why, How, When and Where?!: This could be the company that you work for every day for the next 5 years so surely you have lots of questions to ask! Good commercial people ask good questions about the responsibilities, the remit, the bonus structure, the size of the territory, the best products, the key accounts, the areas that need improvement???The list is endless almost so it should be easy to find yourself making good conversation!

What is the outline of duties for the position?
What is the territory outlined?
What is the budget of the territory?
What is the strategy outlined for the role?
What is the bonus structure?
What is the training?
What are the progression and development opportunities?
What is the turnover of the company?
What is the turnover estimate for the life science division?
Who will the role report to?
What is the interaction with the other members of the team?
What are the key elements/skills/attributes that you are looking for in the individual suited to this position?
Why has this position come available?
Who do you view to be your key competitors in the market?
How do your products/services differentiate from your competitors?
How would you describe the company culture?
What is your background?
Why did you decide to join the company?
When would you be looking to hire this person?
How many people have you interviewed already?
How many people are you intending to interview?
What do you see as my key strengths? What do you see as my key weaknesses?

There are so many questions that you can ask so no excuses and no one line answers!
Think WHO, WHAT, WHY, WHERE and HOW???

Try to build a report and remember being inquisitive is always mistaken for enthusiasm which is what employers are looking for!!!

Always close the interview with a leading question such as: Do you have any reservations or concerns as to my application for the role? (You are then given the opportunity to address concerns!)

If they say: We have to see other people....don't just say okay....ASK FOR MORE INFO!!!
For example: How many more people do you need to see? How would you compare the other candidates that you are seeing to me? When can I expect to hear from you and what feedback would you give me on my performance today?

Interviews are about highlighting what makes you the best person for the job and demonstrating it to the employers to beat the competition.
You have to sell yourself and don’t be afraid to go the extra mile! You wouldn’t see a customer without trying to sell the product! That doesn’t mean being pushy or aggressive but get some feedback and attempt to get the deal done!