One of the most important deals you’ll need to close is your first “real” job. For many it’s right after college / university and for others it starts well before. Regardless, success at this crucial step will set you up for many great years to come.
A very important rule of sales is to always put yourself in others shoes to understand how they feel, think, and why they would care. This is an critical point to grasp… When you are younger you often just worry about you, your career, and your life etc. Prospective employers are aware of this and they want to ensure your focus will be on them and putting forth the required effort to be successful in whatever you are signing up for. Managers will need to place bets and sign their name to sponsor potential new hires. Successful recruiting practices and the ability to develop top talent are critical attributes of next level managers and something we all get heavily measured on.
When you show up for your interview appreciate the fact that you won’t have all the skills needed for the job right out of the gate. Understand your strengths and weaknesses clearly because you will get challenged on them. Most often we are solely looking to check if you are overstating your capabilities and finding discrepancies in the storyline. Managers will size you up closely to assess your ramp and time to value for the Company. The good ones will not only interview you for the position at hand but also evaluate your headroom for the next level up. When I interview people I am always looking for what this person can bring to the team in the way of knowledge, experiences, and culture. If I don’t see you being able to challenge the existing team over time then you will get passed on.
The main points you’ll need to demonstrate are as follows:
1. Completed your homework – don’t show up blind and shooting from the hip! Research the company, the position, and the people… in particular the person you are interviewing with. Ask intelligent questions based on your research to help you standout from others.
2. Why you? What is it about you and your background that makes you different then the rest of the pack? What have you been successful at? How have you overcome adversity? The hiring manager will need to genuinely know that you’ll do whatever it takes to be successful and failure isn’t an option!
3. Believe- if you did the homework right in #1 then you’ll have many of the facts for why this is the winning team you’ll want to be part of. Know that you’ll never have all the answers and both parties at some point will need to take the leap of faith. Hiring managers want believers, those who buy into their vision and the company goals. Make sure they believe in you and vice versa, you them!
I cleared the hurdle for my first real job for a few simple reasons.
- I’m a first generation American, my parents both immigrated to the U.S. from different countries starting from scratch (my hiring manager definitely related). I made it crystal clear was willing to do whatever it takes to be successful.
- Failure was not an option for me, under no circumstances was I going to let my parents down. They had it pretty tough so I definitely wasn’t going to waste this opportunity.
- I believed 100% in the sales manager and the opportunity at hand. I was going follow his advice to the tee and make sure I gave it my all. In return, they believed in me and gave me the shot.
Sales is a people game, people hire to their culture and values and assemble a winning network of individuals behind a common cause.
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