The job interview is always, at its core, a sales process, because your ultimate goal is to get the manager (the buyer) to hire and pay you for doing a particular job (buy your product, which is your skills as an employee). Even though that’s true, sales interviews are not like regular job interviews.

Why are sales interviews different? Because, in a regular job interview, the potential employer is looking at your experience and skills. In a sales interview, the skills they’re looking for ARE the sales skills. You are actively demonstrating your sales skills during the interview.

You’re going to be assessing the situation, evaluating the company’s challenges, and wrapping it up with a needs/benefits statement: “Mr. Manager, you told me that these are your issues, and I can solve them with my ________ skills.” And then you’re asking for the next step in the process (closing the sale): “Based on this conversation, can you see me in the job? What is the next step? Can I expect to hear from you next week? Can I meet with your VP?”

The sales interview is a microcosm of the sales process. You demonstrate your skill set right there. It’s like if you made doughnuts, and you went to an interview to get another job making doughnuts, and you didn’t say a word—you took the dough they offered you and just made the doughnuts to show them your skills. It’s the same concept in a sales interview—you need to pull out all your sales skills in the interview to demonstrate your ability. It’s an audition.

You’re showing them exactly how you’ll represent the company, interact with customers, and ring the cash register for them—right there in the interview. That’s why sales interviews are different, and the successful sales candidate will be aware of that difference.

Author's Bio: 

Peggy McKee has over 15 years of experience in sales, sales management, sales recruiting, and career coaching. Her website, Career Confidential ( is packed with job-landing tips and advice as well as the practical, powerful, innovative tools every job seeker needs to be successful.
Peggy offers customized interview coaching to help you through the rough spots and find a job faster. Find out more about what she can do for you—job-search strategies, social media help, role-playing interview questions, resumes that get the interview, 30/60/90-day plans that get the job, and much more at