Finlay James

How to approach the sales interview

How to approach the sales interview

All good sales people know how to close and understand how important it is. Fact. 

You may be surprised to learn then that when we ask IT sales candidates “how did your close go” after an interview we often hear "I didn’t close as it wasn't that type of interview". So in other words you didn't close the meeting.

This is effectively interview suicide. The main reason for an interview is to sell yourself and demonstrate your sales ability. The interviewer, who is most likely a sales manager or sales director, will expect you to at least try to close the interview regardless of the style in which the interview was conducted. They will always look upon a lack of close negatively.

This puts you in dangerous territory, as an employer will speculate that if you cannot sell yourself or close for the next hiring stages then you will struggle to manage an entire sales process and close deals, and ultimately miss your targets. There is a massive knock on effect from not asking this question!

Don’t get me wrong, you shouldn’t be pushy or close aggressively, but demonstrating a consultative sales close will go a long way in the eyes of the interviewer. Even if the meeting is very relaxed and friendly you still need to close! Please don’t fall into the trap which hundreds of sales candidates have done in the past and not close, as you’ll be hurting your chances of moving forward in the process and getting the job.

Over the next 5 days I’ll be covering the main 5 stages involved in our traditional approach to a sales interview. These 5 mini blogs will be packed with hints and tips on to help you ace your interview, including:

  • Understanding the interviewer’s requirements
  • Introducing a pre-close
  • General discussion
  • Isolating and trial closing
  • The Close!