Shined shoes and a crisp collar still transmit a high-voltage impression when you’re applying for a sales job. But it’s what’s above the collar that counts most of all.  The most important thing you need to dress for any sales job interview is your mind.  Learn everything you can about the company and its immediate needs.  Craft your conversation as carefully as your press your suit.


  • Talk their talk. What messages has the company CEO emphasized in recent articles, shareholder reports or public speeches? In a natural way, fold some key terminology and concepts into your conversation.
  • Offer a lifeline of hope to an ailing business or market region. Do you have a workable plan to rejuvenate the soft spot?  What can you reliably promise to achieve in your first three months?  Companies love salespeople who can make key contributions quickly.
  • Point to your successes in team selling initiatives.  In bigger firms, sales pitches are often shouldered by groups.  Show you know how to tap experts in forging a complicated deal.  Spotlight your ability to support the success of others in a low-key way.  Today’s learner organizations prize team play as never before.
  • Showcase your enthusiasm.  Concentrate on a list of 5-10 “sparkle points” before the interview.  Ready your mind to return to these topics if the conversation wanes.  They could be key buzzwords in the company’s vocabulary or descriptions of a new product line.  As a salesperson, you will be judged by your ability to keep a stalled conversation moving along briskly.
  • Close with gusto.  Follow up the interview with an immediate thank-you.  Reaffirm your enthusiasm and stress your energetic readiness.


About the author Harvey Mackay

Seven-time, New York Times best-selling author of "Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive," with two books among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. He is one of America’s most popular and entertaining business speakers, and currently serves as Chairman at the MackayMitchell Envelope Company, one of the nation’s major envelope manufacturers, producing 25 million envelopes a day.

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