1. I think that arriving on time should be a “no brainer” but so many candidates do not arrive on time and make no apologies for it. There are even some candidates who don’t show up and never call. At my sales agencies, a note is put in that candidate’s file which could hamper their future chances. Try not to arrive more than 15 minutes early. I know that candidates that arrive 30 to 60 minutes early is a personal pet peeve of mine.
2. Remove your Bluetooth from your ear. And while you’re at it, remove the sunglasses from the top of your head.
3. Watch your language. I am quite amazed when candidates use profanity (swearing) to make a point. That shows bad form. I will also assume that this will be the language they will use with a client.
4. Dress for the position. I can’t stress this enough. The interview with the sales recruiter is no less important than the interview with the actual client. Last year I had a candidate show up in sneakers and jeans for a sales job. When I asked him about his attire, he told me that he felt that the meeting with the recruiter was not very important. Needless to say, I have not recommended him for any of my clients because his judgement is off and I have no idea what his “professional” image looks like. You can never be over dressed for an interview but you certainly can be under dressed. Err on the side of safety.
5. Get rid of your gum.
6. Try not to smoke a cigarette in your car before the interview. I have a client who reported back to us that our candidate smelt like cigarette smoke and that it was a turn off for her.
7. Practice the interview. In a sales interview I’m looking for standard information in every one such as what did you sell, to whom, sales cycle and accomplishments. The other part of the interview is situational or behavioural questions. This is where I will ask the candidate to give specific examples of different scenarios. It is difficult to prepare for these types of questions but you can prepare some short examples of difficult situations or biggest accomplishments that you had.
8. Take care of your body language. This includes how you sit, the tone and pitch of your voice, the words that you use and your passion for what you are speaking about. This is a sales job; I want to see positive energy. Also try and read the body language of the recruiter. Have you captured my attention? Are you going on and on? These are things that some candidates need to work on. Why not ask the recruiter how you did after the interview. When asked, I always give a truthful answer.
9. Focus on what you can do for the sales recruiter’s client not what’s in it for you.
10. Ask for the order. You are in sales after all. What makes you great for this role. This is your 30 second commercial. Notice I said 30 seconds. Don’t ramble on.