I saw a picture of this list on LinkedIn one day and I thought it was so on-point that I started to send it as an attachment to prospective candidates as they prepared to interview with us. In my time working at AlwaysHired I have noticed that there are several basic habits and patterns that separate the successful job hunters from those who are unsuccessful from the start. I interview people daily over the phone or in-person for our sales bootcamp, which trains people on how to land their first SDR job, and it’s impressive to see how many people miss the mark on the basics. I can tell you that even if you know very little about tech sales, but practice the 10 things listed below, you are building a strong foundation for job hunting success.
1. Be on time - By ‘on time’ we really mean early. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people show up late to interviews or class. It’s probably the worst first impression you can make. If you can’t show up on time for an interview how can we trust you to show up on time for work?
2. Work Ethic - Show that you are internally motivated to succeed. The key word is show, not tell. Show us what have you accomplished in past roles. What strategies do you plan on implementing in the future? The easier it is to see that you have a history of a disciplined, focused and creative work ethic, the better your future employer feels about what you could add to their company. Work hard, work smart and seek to improve.
3. Effort - Always put in your best effort, nothing else is worth pursuing. Having said that, effort alone is worthless unless you can keep adjusting to get the results. The results come when you know how to execute, get feedback, adjust and improve. As the famous FB quote goes: “Done is better than perfect.” Do your best, make mistakes, improve on them and execute.
4. Body Language - Your body language accounts for 55% of your communication. When you are sitting across from an interviewer make sure to match them and be aware of what your body language is communicating. Check out this power pose TED Talk for more insight.
5. Energy - 38% of your communication is your tone and energy. That means the way you sound combined with your body language accounts for most of your communication. Keep this in mind as you interview and make first impressions. Building rapport with others is easier if you are high energy and positive.
6. Attitude - A positive attitude and outlook makes a big difference in sales. In fact, it is necessary to succeed. Sales managers are looking for the sales leaders who energize the rest of the team and can stay positive in high pressure situations. Be positive and be authentic.
7. Passion - People have different ways of expressing their passions but when you are interviewing it’s always good to explicitly express your desire work for the company and explain the reasons why. Show that you have a passion for their product, to get into tech, to succeed, to learn, to put in the work, to earn money, and to have fun.
8. Be Coachable - In sales this is a critical attribute. If you are not coachable, your sales career will be painful and short lived. Taking feedback and implementing it is what will set you apart. If you get feedback in an interview or otherwise, be grateful because it is always a gift. If you get negative feedback in an interview, ask ‘why’ on the spot and try again - before they even ask you.
9. Do Extra - Recently I heard a sales leader say: “Do the job you want, not the job you have.” It stuck with me because it speaks to the internal drive it takes to get better and move up. Master your core skills and then put yourself through your own bootcamp to get better.
10. Be Prepared - Always prepare for any interview, class, or important phone call. Do thorough research on the company, people and product. Make a list of questions and prepare your answers for the standard questions you’ll get. This is one of the easiest things and most important habits you can build.
When we interview candidates for our tech sales bootcamp we are screening for these qualities and attributes amongst other things. Anyone can get these basics down, they only require practice and motivation.
Want to learn more about what it takes to get your foot in the door at a tech company and start your career in tech sales? Check out our sales bootcamp schedule here.