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Services

Belgium’s leading employers trust us to deliver fast, efficient hiring solutions that are tailored to their exact requirements. Browse our range of bespoke services and resources

Read more
About Robert Walters Belgium

For us, recruitment is more than just a job. We understand that behind every opportunity is the chance to make a difference to people’s lives

Learn more

Work for us

Our people are the difference. Hear stories from our people to learn more about a career at Robert Walters Belgium

Learn more

How to succeed at a sales job interview

Now is the time for those who aspire to a career in sales. In fact, the role of Sales Representative ranks as the number one fastest-growing job* in the last six months, according to LinkedIn's recent research. The role of Account Manager also ranks high on this list, with a place in the top five. Moreover, we even find Account Manager in second place when we consider jobs with the largest number of open vacancies**.

To secure a great sales job, it is of course vital to perform well during the job interview. Viktorien van Loon, managing consultant at Robert Walters, shares some valuable interview tips specifically for a sales job interview.

Approach it like a sales call 

A good salesperson must also be able to sell themselves. Look at it from the company's point of view - if you can't sell yourself, how are you going to sell their product? You will also represent them in the market, so keep this in mind during the conversation. You should approach the conversation like a sales call. 

Do thorough research on the company you are meeting with and try to think of every possible scenario. 

What weaknesses can they point out? What do you have to offer that the competition does not?

"Consider taking a consultative rather than a commercial stance. More than ever, companies are looking for salespeople who offer solutions to their customers' problems. Few companies now take an aggressive, old-school sales approach," says Viktorien. 

Do your research  

You need a good knowledge of relevant retail data, trends and sales cycles. So check out the latest blogs, press articles, industry-specific magazines and public information to find out as much as possible.

Viktorien: "The most important thing is to thoroughly explore the company you are interviewing with. Delve into the products they offer, what the market is saying about them and then - armed with this knowledge - think about how you would sell their products."

Questions to prepare for

You need to prepare for questions on a number of specific topics. In particular, you need to be ready for the following points:

  • Key sales principles and practices (e.g. dealing with objections, recognising potential customers, closing the deal, etc.)

  • Your vision of customer service - crucial for success in sales

  • Competency-based questions on your adaptability, persuasiveness, negotiation and presentation skills

Here are some specific questions you are likely to be asked:

  • Do you always meet your targets?  

  • What has been your biggest challenge in your career so far? And how did you overcome it?  

  • Which deal are you most proud of and why?  

  • What would you do if you got no response from one of your clients?

Bring proof of your achievements

Any sales professional who's interviewed will wax lyrical about their career achievements. But not everyone will take evidence of this to the job interview. "While you should be careful not to bring information that is confidential to your current or previous employers (as this implies carelessness), you could bring sales rankings, references or payslips if applicable," advises Viktorien. "You can also mention your network during the interview and indicate the types of clients you are in close contact with. This shows your ability to build long-term relationships with (potential) business partners."

Keep a list of questions at hand

Viktorien: "When the interview comes to an end and you are asked if you have any questions, don't just say 'no'. Thoughtful questions indicate two things to the interviewer: your interest in the company and the position and your ability to listen to what you were told during the interview. After all, they don't want to hire a salesperson who only talks about the product they are selling and doesn't listen to what they're being told."

To avoid getting stuck, it is wise to carry a list of questions that you can pull out on request. Some examples include:

  • What qualities do the most successful salespeople in your company possess?

  • What percentage of your sales force hits their targets?

  • How much flexibility do salespeople have to negotiate deals?

  • What are the main obstacles to success for your sales team?

  • How big is your sales team and how is it structured?

  • What is the most enjoyable thing about working in sales at your company?

Close the deal  

"As with any sales interview, you need to end the conversation on the right note. If you feel the conversation went well, ask the interviewer if he or she has any concerns or needs more information from you. Also make sure to ask specifically about next steps and when you can expect feedback on the interview. After all, this exudes enthusiasm for the position," Viktorien concludes.

 

* shows the professions with the largest increase in the number of open paid vacancies in the past six months compared to the previous six months
** this reflects the highest number of open paid vacancies in the past six months on Linkedin

 

More information

Curious how much you can earn in a sales position? Download our free salary guide and find everything you need to know. Don't forget to take a look at our latest sales jobs.

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