Everyone dreads job interview questions, especially the one that usually comes near the end of the interview: “So, tell us about yourself?” Not many of us know what to say to this, and some end up fumbling for facts that make them stand out from the rest of the applicants.
  However, if you utilise these sales skills in your next job interview, you will be able to sell yourself and your talents with ease and confidence. Of course, one way to develop these skills is to take sales and marketing courses online, but if you do not have the time for courses then even reading through any available course material will help to boost your sales abilities.

Stand out from the beginning


During an interview, your appearance and mannerisms sell you as an employee without you even realising it. When in doubt about what to wear for an interview, always err on the side of conservative. You will want to look your best but you will also need to be comfortable, so avoid wearing new shoes or trousers that feel too tight.
  If your interview is a business situation, be prepared to shake hands, maintain eye contact and build rapport with the interviewer and with anyone who may be in the interview with them. Building rapport can be considered as the “getting-to-know-you” stage of the interview, and shows that you are not only suitable for the position but that you can interact with people. Prepare yourself to speak about previous positions, and show your ability to communicate well and be part of a team.

Prequalify the company and yourself


In sales, pre-qualifying a lead means ascertaining whether or not the person who has expressed interest in the product suits the buying criteria. In order to do so, you will have to research the company and find out who it is, what it does and how it treats employees.
  If you have not had time to pre-qualify the company, then take some time during the interview to ask pertinent questions. Have a list of at least five questions you would like to know the answers to, and avoid asking questions solely about the salary and benefits. These may be important to you, but in an interview, you need to show potential employers how beneficial it is for them to have you as part of their company.

Presentation preparation is key


Have you ever met a salesperson who did not have a perfectly planned pitch? These professionals know that when you are selling anything, you cannot be “umming and ahhing” while the customer loses interest. Prepare your presentation before you go to the interview.
  This can be as simple as looking for common interview questions and answers online, or making a list of your strongest qualities in order to work them into conversation or a line of questioning. Mention anecdotes from your previous position that show your dependability or creativity, depending what role you have applied for.

Quell any concerns


The manner in which you handle negative qualifications or concerns will show the interviewer your accountability skills, and the fact that you are able to deal with difficult situations. If you continue to side-step obstacles in an interview, these may come back to haunt you further down the line.
  Figure out a way to mention, explain and solve these concerns for the interview early on in the process, such as offering to take courses to brush up on certain skills that you may be lacking. Showing initiative is one of the skills that successful salespeople have, and it can work wonders for job prospects.

Listen for “buying signals”


Buying signals are signals a customer (in this case the interviewer) will make to show their intention is to buy the product, or hire the job applicant. This will include describing specific steps, as opposed to vague ones, in the application process such as coming in for a second round of interviews, becoming more animated when speaking to the applicant, or spending more time in the interview than has been allocated.
  However, these are only signals that you are a strong contender for the role, and it is important to offer more proof than past accomplishments and interest in the role to become a finalist out of the other applicants. You will need to show leadership qualities in the interview to show proof that you are perfect for the role.
 

Final thoughts


While job interviews can be terrifying, using the skills of a salesperson can equip you with the confidence you need to ace the interview and get the perfect job to pave the way to a brighter future. Remember, you are selling what they want, so walk into the interview room with your head held high.

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