Acing an interview requires a combination of a lot of things; confidence, positive approach, good communication skills, knowledge, diligence and so on. However, one thing that tops them all is preparation. Without prior preparation you cannot expect to sail ahead of your competitors, especially if you are sitting for a sales and marketing job interview. This post is meant as a ready primer which can be referred to before heading for a face to face interaction with the recruiter.
This is a highly favorable time for the millennial, especially those who are seeking new jobs as they can now access multiple employment opportunities in industries like information technology, FMCG, banking and manufacturing among others. In all of these, sales and marketing experts are particularly in demand, considering that organizations are aggressively pitching their products and services to consumers.
Here are some preparatory interview questions and answers that you must know.
The recruiter here wants to know if you are really passionate about sales or this career happened to you just by chance. Sales and marketing is a high pressure job where you have to keep a constant eye on the monthly targets. If you want to sustain in such pressure cooker situations only your passion can help you do that. There are many sales professionals who had to cut short their career because they couldn’t handle the pressure as they lacked the passion to sell. These professionals were disillusioned with the promises of great salary and commissions on meeting targets.
This is a staple question of every recruiter out there and yet most of us get it wrong, every single time. Instead of telling a biography of your life, which the job has nothing to do with, succinctly tell the recruiter about your past accomplishments, milestones, and achievements in similar roles. You should be perceptive enough to judge what the recruiter is interested in to know. Tell him what he wants to hear, not what you want to say. However, stay short of being boastful.
Be specific and back your answers with stories and factual representations. The recruiter wants to judge your knowledge here and therefore instead of giving generic responses, try being as discreet as possible. You will have to cite numbers to support your campaign and its success. Be ready to be cross questioned.
This is another way of asking why the recruiter should hire you ahead of all other candidates. Focus on your strengths, the unique selling point. Your USP should be compelling enough to make the recruiter at least consider you as a serious candidate for the role. Whether it is a certification or diploma from a top class university in sales and marketing or your highly successful track record, you have to provide convincing arguments in favor of your hiring. You can also tell the recruiter about any specific marketing strategy that you have built for the prospective employer based on your research. If everything clicks, this answer could be the clincher.
Not every strategy or technique that you apply in marketing will succeed and the recruiter knows that too well. Therefore, instead of getting defensive and making a mess of the entire interview, own up to your failures honestly. The recruiter simply wants to know if you acknowledge failures with the same jest and honesty as success. Admitting to missed expectations will also send a message that you made course corrections and implemented steps in order to make the campaign more successful.
This is a tricky question and there is no one most suitable response to it. While most of us are in the job for money, it is better to not say it bluntly. You cannot be too ideal and say customer satisfaction or client service as the recruiter will call your bluff. Instead, try and strike a balance between job satisfaction, money, and helping clients.
You know the dreaded question was coming. More than a valid recruitment question, it is trap to know how well you can hold yourself against tough situations. Of course, no one would want to reveal their weaknesses to their prospective manager and that too when you are being hired for your strengths. Neither you can simply get over it and say you have none. Forget about tricking the interviewer by telling strength as a weakness such as “I work too hard and forget to eat food or sleep at time.” The trick is to tell a weakness that has little or negligible impact on the role you are being hired for. For instance, “I do have the necessary working knowledge of computers but I am a little less techno-savvy and I would like to change that about myself”. Also add how you are working to improve upon your weakness.
There are a score of other question and answers that a recruiter can ask depending on your role and experience. However, the important thing is to not get surprised, maintain a calm composure and remain confident, no matter what.
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