If you’ve managed to get through to the interview stage for a sales or marketing position, then congratulations; this is no mean feat in itself these days as there is just so much competition when it comes to applying for a job. However, you aren’t at the finishing line yet as you still have to get through the interview process which can be harder than you might imagine.
With more people seeking these positions than ever before, employers have started asking some really tricky questions which you need to know how to overcome. Here are a few tricky interview questions for marketing/sales roles and how to overcome them.
Tip 1 – Can you tell me a little about yourself?
Now, this might sound like a simple question at first, and it is one that you can be asked during an interview for any position, whether it is in the sales and marketing field or not, but it is also a question that requires a lot of thought. This is a very wide question as you could literally tell the interviewer anything you like; you could tell them about your hobby’s, work life, personal life etc.
Answering this question is not easy but you should be focussing on a few different things to do it efficiently and correctly. Firstly, you should make sure that your answer is no more than 1 – 2 minutes long (you don’t want to bore the interviewer or take over the interview). Secondly, you should give them an overview of four main areas; work history, education, experience in similar roles and a little general information about yourself so they know you’re human. Stick to this rule, and you’ll be good to go.
Tip #2 – If I handed this product to you, how would you sell it to me?
This is probably one of the toughest questions that you might be asked during an interview, and it is usually one that is asked for high-powered sales jobs. Being a great salesperson is an art and usually, it can require that you sell something quite boring and menial (although don’t say that to your potential employer). So, because of this, one of the questions that is quite often asked by the interviewer is how would you sell a certain product.
Usually, they will hand you something quite boring when they ask this question (a stapler or a pen perhaps) and it is your job to really sell it to them. This is simply an area where you have to let your skills shine through. Look at what’s good/different about the product and make a point about it. You need to make sure you maintain your confidence too as this is hugely important (we know this can be difficult in a job interview scenario).
This question isn’t usually that common luckily, and for a lot of salespeople, it gives them the perfect opportunity to demonstrate their skills.
Tip #3 – Why should we hire you?
Definitely one of the toughest questions you can be asked during an interview and it will require a creative answer. The best way to answer this question is to really sell yourself (something you should be relatively good at if you are applying for a sales/marketing job). Think about what sets you apart from the rest of the applicants and let the employer know. Most people will say something along the lines of how hard working, creative and determined they are, and whilst it is important to mention these things, it is also important to “think outside the box”.
Be confident in your answer and try to think of something as unique as possible. Perhaps you have worked wonders for a previous company that employed you? Or perhaps you have a way with people that very few people have. Whatever it is, this is your time to let the potential employer know about your skills.
About the Author:
Laura writes on behalf of JamRecruitment.co.uk, a UK-based jobs website offering hundreds of job listings and a job advice section.