Gain Control Over Your Sales Interviews by Planning Your Questions
If you’ve experienced varying degrees of success with interviews over the years then it might be worthwhile revisiting the quality of your questions. The following should provide plenty of ammunition and better prepare you for next time round. Remember to tailor the questions to suit your own personality and circumstances and make judgement calls on what you believe is appropriate.
GENERATING SMALL TALK:
“Well thank you for meeting me. I do appreciate meeting me at this time, particularly if you’ve been interviewing a high number of candidates for this position? How is the interview process going for you so far?”
GATHERING PERTINENT INFORMATION:
Asking this question will provide you with clue to enable you to tailor your responses.
“Can you elaborate for me the interview process you have in mind? What time frames have you in mind to have a job offer made?”
“Before we start this interview, do you mind if I ask a question? I have of course read your job specification but I’m curious to hear back in your own words; just what is your ideal candidate in terms of experience, skill-sets and personality?”
“What specific element of my CV caught your interest?”
“Am I making sense so far? Is this what you want to hear?
Are we singing off the same hymn sheet?
What is on your mind right now?
Did you expect this meeting to proceed as it has?
Are you pleasantly surprised?”
PUTTING THE INTERVIEWER ON THE SPOT:
NAME, how long have you worked for company X? How would you personally rate them as an employer?
PUTTING YOURSELF IN THE ROLE:
“I like what I’m hearing so far; can you elaborate a little more on your company plans?”
“Just what exactly are your expectations of me in the first six months? In the first year?”
“Can you see me working effectively and getting on with other members of your team?”
“Why has this role arisen? What is the background to this role been created?”
“I’m very interested in what I am hearing so far. In fact I’m even more interested in this position having met you personally. I have no doubt I can work closely with you NAME. I do however have a slight reservation; you haven’t addressed any major concerns. Why is that?”
ADVANCING TO THE NEXT STAGE:
“Well, if you have no major concerns remaining, does this mean I will be advancing to the next stage? Can we provisionally schedule a date for meeting again? If I haven’t heard from you by an agreed date would you object if I called you?”
“Well it makes perfect sense for me to come on board; what do you think?”
Next month: We discuss how to handle salary negotiations
Further comments on interview preparation by Mark O’Donoghue can be viewed on www.cvcoach.ie – career planning for sales people.
Mark O’Donoghue is founder of CV Coach, a service that delivers professional CVs and one on one Interview Coaching to the Sales profession in Ireland. Mark has over twenty years experience in sales and is also the founder of Sales Appointments, a B2B sales recruitment agency.
Range of services provided:
1. Professional CV writing
2. Interview preparation
3. Role Play / Power Point Presentations
For more information, check out the following:
Mobile: 087 2867692