Looking for your next senior sales role? King Recruit explores: The Do’s And Don’ts of Senior Sales Interviews

Once you’ve identified the role that you want, it’s vital that you perform at your very best in an interview to secure the job in question. We take a look at some do’s and don’ts to ensure that you next senior sales interview is a big success.

Do: Plan, prepare and practice

This is essential for any interview but is especially important when interviewing for a senior level sales role. Whilst researching the company may be sufficient for junior roles, for senior sales roles you need to be doing a lot more. That means as well as researching the company itself, you need to research its competitors and the market in which it operates. So as well as your potential employer’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities, look at their competitor’s too. Research is essential for success in sales, so it’s a great way to showcase your ability at it as well as showcasing your insights.

Do: Showcase the real you

To secure a senior level sales role, you have to ensure that your interviewers can see that you have the right personality for their business. It’s vital therefore that you showcase the real you during the interview. It may be one of the oldest phrases in sales, but ‘people by people’ is as true now as it ever was. Be prepared to talk openly and freely and showcase what you are really like. Creating a good rapport with your interviewers early on can get your interview off to a flying start.

Do: Utilise storytelling and STAR methodology

More and more interviews now feature competency based interview questions. These questions, which ask you to report and reflect on a particular past experience or occurrence are designed to see how you react in certain situations and how you learnt from them. The best way to answer these is to use the STAR methodology and split your answer into four sections.

Situation: Describe the situation and the background to your answer. It is crucial that your interviewer understands the context of your story.

Task: What was required of you? Why did they ask you? Why was the task important? What was to be achieved?

Activity: What did you do? Why did you do it? Remember to highlight the skills and personal attributes you used.

Result: Explain how the whole situation turned out, and how your personal actions helped to achieve the result. Make the interviewer understand how you achieved the specific outcome by taking specific actions. Also, don’t be afraid to discuss what didn’t go as well as you expected, but always remember to showcase what you learned from the experience.

Don’t: Get defensive

Senior level interviews are designed to probe and test you. You’re interviewing for a senior sales role which is a crucial hire, so it’s right that they’re going to push hard to find your strengths and weaknesses. It’s essential that you don’t get defensive if their line of questioning gets quite demanding. Instead, stay positive and be honest. Would you get defensive when pitching to new clients or customers? No, so there’s no reason to do so now, you are selling yourself remember!

Don’t: Try and be perfect

When interviewing for a senior level sales job, you of course want to portray that you are the best candidate and the solution to the company’s needs. However, this does not mean that you have to be the perfect candidate who has no weaknesses and has never put a foot wrong. Answering this way simply won’t wash. Interviewers are looking for people who are self-aware, who can admit what their weaknesses are and explain what they have done to overcome them.

Don’t: Be too confident

Confidence is key to a successful career in sales, and to be interviewing for a senior sales role means that you bound to have a great deal of it. However, it’s essential that you handle this confidence in the right way, because if you don’t it can come across as arrogance which generally isn’t going to go down to well with your potential employer. Be proud of your achievements, give examples and provide proof. But do so with a touch of humility and explain that you’re always learning and trying to get better.

If you’re looking for your next senior sales role, why not get in touch with us? We work with some of the best and brightest companies in the Southwest, Call Rebecca Ridler (in confidence) on 01392 790725 or send your CV to enquiries@kingrecruit.com