Sales representatives help ensure current customers have the products and services they need by closing sales, identifying new markets and sales opportunities, and turning leads and prospects into customers and revenue. Or, they may showcase or sell a product to other businesses, organizations or agencies (rather than selling directly to consumers).
Almost every company has some form of sales, whether retail products, goods or services. Sales reps often work directly with customers or businesses and do research to understand what they need and want, and provide those solutions to them through the sales process.
If you’ve applied for a sales representative role and are scheduled for an interview, that’s great! To have a successful interview and be hired for the job, it’s time to do some research and prepare for the interview.
Do your research.
You should always research the position you’ve applied for and the company you’re interviewing with. Understand the job responsibilities listed in the description and ideal requirements for a candidate. Think about how you meet those requirements and what experience you have with those responsibilities. If you don’t have experience, consider how you’d make up for that in another way.
Also read about the company, including the history, mission, values, and anything else that you may want to know. Have an idea of the company’s sales strategy, and do additional research on the product or service they sell. Try to come up with some examples of how your previous sales experience prepared you to contribute to their organization. This helps show the hiring manager you did your research and are interested in both the role and the company.
Prepare answers and examples for common interview questions.
This list of common sales representative interview questions and answers is a great place to start. Having an idea of what to expect in the interview and preparing your responses ahead of time can help ensure you have strong answers, and helps you to feel more prepared and confident. It also gives you time to think through examples to support your answers, which can be beneficial during the interview.
Write down questions to ask the hiring manager.
You should always have questions to ask the hiring manager, whether about the job, company, expectations, leadership, etc. You can ask about the hiring timeline, the company culture, mission or values, or any questions specific to the role, product or sales strategy.
Don’t be afraid to showcase your personality in this interview. Sales reps should be self-motivated and ambitious. Often your success is defined by yourself and how hard you’re willing to work to generate leads and prospects and close sales. Show you can be coached, are open to new ideas, and are adaptable. Strong sales rep candidates are also typically social, collaborative, and outgoing, so share this side of you during the interview.
Finally, don't be afraid to be passionate. That passion often comes out in your interactions with prospects and customers, and doing what you love will help ensure success for you and your company