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Job Interview

Hello everyone, i'm new here so please bear with me. I have a job interview coming up in a furniture store. What type of questions will probably be asked of me. I heard that some people will hand you a pencil and ask you to sell that particular pencil to them as opposed to another pencil on their desk. (This one had a really good way of doing it, but I don't remember!) I have sold before, so I'm not really new to it, I just have not done it in some years. Any help would be so appreciated. Thanks. - by keech
hey man - i'm not that well established on this site but love interviews - and have inteviewed people myself - along side some amazing sales managers...

Certainly in the UK - I'd be very suprised if they do anything as 'old-school' as expect you to sell them a pencil in your interview. This is something that, in my experience, is reserved for training courses - where observer's feedback is used to help you develop.

I'd suggest that the interviewer will be looking for the correct attitude (in relation to situations you'll face day to day). How to get past the anxiety of appraoching people, motivating yourself to keep going through any negatives you might face, and so on...

In the fields I have experienced Sales teams can sometimes be guilty of driving unrealistic expectations of other departments - therefore, a "how do you feel about working as part of a team?" type question could well feature....

Many sales forces believe (rightly or wrongly!) that Customer Service is the part of their business that put them on a pedestal above the rest of their industry... Setting and exceeding customer expectation may feature - "Tell us about a time you provided excellent service by exceeding a customers expectations" - type thing....

A lot of it will depend on the credability of the company you're being interviewed by of course!

If the role involves earning commision I always mention that I am money orientated! Not to a huge degree, but mention that the idea of making a decent chuck of money appeals to you - if you're making a decent chunk of money (for your own reasons/goals) then the company are sure as hell making a BIG chunk of money!

Ultimately - the sales manager/store manager will be looking for a low maintenance, motivated, goal driven, smart person to represent the company. Projecting these qualities will never do any harm - although bare in mind - if any of the things are uncomfortablly far from who you really are - don't take the job! - it might not be the best thing for you!

Hope that's a little help... I'm sure the guys/girls here can be more help again!

Good luck

Stephen - by Stevie
I'd be very suprised if they do anything as 'old-school' as expect you to sell them a pencil in your interview. This is something that, in my experience, is reserved for training courses - where observer's feedback is used to help you develop.
Stevie, thanks for the nice post.

I just wanted to add a contrasting opinion, if I may:

When I interview salespeople (to work for me or for one of my clients) I always ask them to role play selling me something. I feel that can tell more about a salesperson's ability to sell in a sixty second role play than I can in an sixty minute interview. It may indeed be old school, but I can ask a candidate how they go about determining a prospect's needs and they'll give an impressive answer. But then when they role play with me, they don't ask one single question of the "buyer" but instead jump into a presentation of the pencil's features. That tells me that the salesperson sees her job is to "tell" rather than "ask," and high performing salespeople see selling as being more about asking.

To use a pencil as an example, if I ask a candidate to "sell" me one, I'm looking for lots of great questions before he presents the features or benefits of the product to me. I want to hear things like "why do you need a new pencil?"; "why are you shopping for a new pencil now as opposed to six months ago or six months in the future?"; "how many pencils do you need?"; "what kind of pencil do you use now?"; "what do you like about your current pencil?"; "what do you not like about your current pencil?", etc.

It sounds silly, of course, for a pencil, but it isn't at all silly if the candidate is going to be making a living selling furniture, kitchen remodeling, homes, or life insurance, in real life.

In addition, the role play gives me some idea of how the candidate can think on her feet, be creative, and keep her wits about her in pressure situations.

Having said that, I always interview candidates two or three times, so that piece of the process is also vital.

The best to you! - by Skip Anderson
Hello everyone, i'm new here so please bear with me. I have a job interview coming up in a furniture store. What type of questions will probably be asked of me.
Hello, Keech, and welcome to the forum. Congrats on securing an interview.

I think one of the most important facets of a job interview is to be able to subtly turn the tables on the interviewer and become the interviewer yourself. You'll need to answer questions, of course, but if you can get your interviewer talking, you'll be developing rapport and trust, and people love to talk about themselves and their situation ("what are the three biggest challenges facing your store right now?"; "tell me about the best salesperson you ever hired?"; "how do you like to work with your employees?" etc.).

I have a lot of furniture industry experience - I'd be happy to chat with you on the phone for 20 minutes (no charge). If you'd like to do that, please email me through this forum and include your email address and phone number.

Good luck keech. - by Skip Anderson
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