Three Interviewing Mistakes – And How To Avoid Them

Updated: January 18, 2011

Here are the 3 worst interviewing mistakes sales reps are making, and what you can do to avoid them:

  1. Filling your resume with every job you've worked at for the last 10 years. The first mistake sales reps make - and that hiring managers look for first - is listing five to seven jobs (or more!) on their resume within an eight to ten year time frame.

    Nothing will disqualify you faster than a history of job hopping, or a history of staying at jobs for less than a year. (One resume I saw last week listed 3 jobs this year alone!)

    Obviously, the reason this is a red flag for companies is that they see themselves investing thousands of dollars hiring and training you only to think that their company will be the next one on your resume.

    The Solution
    : Omit jobs you've stayed at less than a year, and never list more than four jobs in a ten year period (it's better to have only three). You can disclose other positions once you move forward during the interview process - in person - after you've earned a chance to wow them with your personality, experience, and obvious qualifications for the job.

  2. Talking for too long when asked a question. Whenever a hiring manager calls you and begins asking questions, make sure your answers are direct and short. You'd be amazed at how so many sales reps will go on and on and on…..

    What the hiring manager is thinking is that you are a sales rep who will talk past the close, never listen to your prospects, and never close any business. "No wonder they're looking for a job," frequently goes through my mind…

    The Solution
    : Listen carefully to what you're being asked, think about how to answer it directly, then answer it and shut up! This one technique will separate you from 80% of the sales reps interviewing for the same position.

  3. Don't interview or interrogate the hiring manager. I know that you have questions about the job, and you should ask a few, but don't interrogate the hiring manager! Nothing makes us more irritated than being grilled about every aspect of the job, especially about the pay and comp plan. You're the one being interviewed, not the other way around.

    The Solution: Ask some basic questions but save the majority of them for the END of the in person interview. Believe me, the hiring manager will appreciate it and be much more likely to bring you in.
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