One of the worst things that can happen to you in a job interview is to get a tough interview question that makes you freeze, like a deer in the headlights. You are surprised, you don't know which way to go, and so you just sit there waiting for disaster.
have thought about this job and how you'd be successful
Once I had an entry-level sales candidate call me right before her phone interview. She said, “Hey, do you mind if I ask you a couple questions? I want you to tell me, without worrying about hurting my feelings, what are my weaknesses and what do you perceive are my strengths?”
I received this great comment from a hiring manager on interviewing, and thought her insights would help you in your next interview, when you answer interview questions.
My observations as a hiring manager are in line with what you are saying in this video. I've interviewed candidates for a position in software development team and asked them a standard question: "Where do you see yourself in three years?" Many responded enthusiastically, "I want to be a manager", not realizing that this be viewed as a threat to the continuous employment of a manager :) A safer answer is "I want to be a senior programmer."
The biggest assumption people make is that if they tell you what they did, you will understand that they will and can do the job. I think this approach is far from perfect, and they will be better understood if they spell this out explicitly. For example, "I can support Oracle database and resolve performance issues because I have such and such experience to rely upon." What I heard often was "I am passionate about Oracle and done a lot of Oracle programming" - how [your passion helps] me was not spelled out for me.
The big ideas here are to remember who you're speaking with and adjust your answers accordingly, and give evidence-based answers (especially quantified ones that include numbers, dollars, and percentages) instead of only talking about your passion. Passion and enthusiasm are good, but evidence is better.
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It's always important to practice your interview answers, or to role-play an interview, before your actual interview. Practicing your answers means that you will be less nervous, more confident, and more effective at selling yourself for the job. If English is your second language, this is even more important. Practicing means that you will say what you mean to say, and you will be able to deliver your answers smoothly and confidently.
If English is your second language, here is an excellent tool to help you practice your job interview answers:
This series consists of 50 different videos where I ask a job interview question that you can answer on your own, and then you can play my answer. Compare both, and easily see how to improve your answers immediately. These are the answers that will get you hired.
I've been hearing many comments from folks who aren't as comfortable with English telling me that they love this tool. I encourage you to give it a try and see for yourself.
These questions are pulled from my How to Answer Interview Questions Series. The series contains 101 questions, so feel free to explore and get even more interview answers that will get you the job. Also, Forbes has a great list of 50 questions to ask before hiring sales employees. I encourage you to look over this list for additional questions you may be asked, and practice how you would answer them. When it comes to interviews, it's always better to be over-prepared and ready for anything.
Got a sales job interview coming up? Get ready to talk about your sales strategy. Giving the interviewer a sample sales strategy is a great way to demonstrate how you will operate on the job.
When you are asked about a sample sales strategy, it will likely come in some version of the classic challenge: "Sell me this pen." This is a role-playing exercise that many sales managers love as a part of their job interview questions. After all, there's no better way to see how you sell than to see how you sell.
There are a lot of opinions (ahem...) about this issue, but I will tell you that as a sales recruiter, I can ask this of my candidates and tell what someone's skills are like, or if they are missing skills using this strategy. So this is very valuable to hiring managers, so expect that you may be asked to role-play a sales scenario.
No matter what they ask you to 'sell' to them, the principles and the strategy are the same--just use the same principles you would use in any sales process. I am a big fan of SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham. SPIN stands for Situation, Problem, Implications, Need-payoff.
The words you use to describe yourself in the job interview should be as strategically chosen as any job interview answer you give. Every word you use in the job interview should work for you to sell you for the job.
What are great words to describe yourself in a job interview?
Dynamic – this says that you can change and adapt in order to succeed
Successful – if you are successful in some areas, chances are you’ll be successful in others
Strategic – you can make good decisions with the big picture in mind
Motivated – great for sales positions
Creative – this is a must for creative-type jobs, of course, but also good for companies that need problem-solvers
Focused – you don’t get distracted by unnecessary or unhelpful things
Organized – organized means you are in control and things happen the way they are supposed to
Enthusiastic - this means you will also be motivated to work hard and well
Valuable – this is a great lead-in for some way you have made or saved money for your previous employers
Think about what qualities you possess that would be especially valuable for this job, and point those out in your interview.
For more words to describe yourself in a job interview, see these posts:
What's just as important as performing well in the interview so you get the job offer? Evaluating the company and your interviewer to determine if you should accept said offer.
If you're not sure how to tell if the job is a good fit, U.S. News and World Report has a great article you should see: How to Interview Your Interviewer. It has 5 good tips on how to go beyond the job description to find out the truth about the job, get a feel for company culture, what questions to ask in the interview, and more.
The toughest job interview questions are often those that require us to tell about our greatest accomplishments. First, you have to know what those are--which ones will be impressive to the hiring manager? Next, you need to be prepared to explain those achievements. They want to know details.
In the video below, I will give you a very easy way to prepare interview answers that will get you the offer.