Appear positive and confident
- Make eye contact with your interviewer
- Mirror your interviewer’s style – if their style is formal, adopt a formal approach. You can relax a little if your interviewer’s style is informal, but always maintain professionalism
- Always dress in professional, smart clothing
Know your stuff
Research the company (interviewers want to know that you’re enthusiastic about their role, not just any new role), their competitors and your interviewer – LinkedIn can be a useful tool here in helping you understand your interviewer’s background and interview style, you may even find some common ground to draw on; prepare some thoughts beforehand around what you think differentiates the client from their competition.
Make sure you know your CV very well. The STAR framework (Situation, Task, Action, Result) is a useful model for describing your capability in competency-based interviews. Make sure you prepare in depth answers; lack of depth is a common reason for failure at interview.
Interviewers want to see that you have the social intelligence and empathy to listen to and collaborate with colleagues across functions but don’t neglect examples of accountability. Your interviewer will want to understand what you were responsible for and what you achieved, even from within the team setting.
Be prepared to explain why you left your previous positions. If needed, prepare a brag file that’s ordered sensibly and up to date. Make sure it prioritises your current achievements; focusing too heavily on past success may suggest an inconsistent sales performance.
Focus on examples of your work that show your willingness to go above and beyond. Be prepared to describe your career ambitions and make sure that you pitch them at the appropriate level; you don’t want your interviewer to think that their company is too small or established to accommodate your plans.
Approach your second interview as a completely separate interview; continue to do your research between interviews and prepare different examples. Make sure that you understand what’s expected of you at assessment centre/final interview; will you need to present or participate in role play or group exercises?
If you have to present, make sure that you put the appropriate effort into your work; it’s an excellent opportunity to showcase your skills and demonstrate your willingness to go the extra mile.
Always ask questions at the end of the interview; it gives you the opportunity to show that you’ve given serious thought to the role and organisation.