Closing an Entry Sales Interview at a Hot Startup

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Learn about yourself

After four-years of college, people expect you to know your story.  Thus, when asked for a biography or when approached with a common statement, “tell me about yourself,” then you should have a clear, interesting, and articulate story to tell. Whether you’re fresh out of college or packing 10 years of experience, you should always have a clear, compelling story to answer on hand to answer the classic “tell me about yourself”.

In order to truly understand and articulate yourself, I recommend taking time to reflect what excited you as kid and doing a personality test (Myers Briggs, Strength Finder, etc.).

This is a no brainer, but make sure to know everything on your resume and LinkedIn, cold. Highlight industry (or sales) blogs, events, books, and other sales concepts you have learned or engaged with. Professional athletes are known for being stellar salespeople, so it’s usually wise to mention if you had a competitive career.

Do your research

Taking the time to keep on top of companies, events, and trends in the industry is an often-overlooked step that will pay dividends in your job search. Research every company you interview with to get a feel for what the company is like and be able to speak intelligently about them. Some good places to start taking notes: Company’s support page, Quora, Glassdoor, Youtube, Crunchbase, Angel List, and Techcrunch. It’s also a good idea to take a look at competitors’ websites.

Research the people you will be interviewing with and get a feel for their interests, accomplishments, and values. (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, personal blogs, Instagram, etc.) Try to find some common ground to connect on.

Come prepared with a 30 second pitch of the company in your own words, a discovery phone call script, and targeted questions to ask each interviewer.

Recruiter as a resource

Recruiters are your internal champions. During your initial call with a recruiter, make sure to ask them what the format of the interview might be like (i.e. is there going to be a mock sales call?). Get an understanding of the interview process before they make an offer decision (i.e. is it 2 phone screenings and 2 on-site interviews?). Always make sure to thank them for all the help and seek feedback—you don’t want to burn any bridges, and its just good manners.  At the end of the process, even if you don’t get a job offer, building good rapport with the recruiter could open up doors to future opportunities and other recruiters in their network.

Closing the interview

At the end of the interview it’s usually good to close with “Do you have any feedback, hesitations, or concerns I would be able to address right now?” Lastly, be sure to confirm next steps going forward and follow-up with written thank you note.

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