The staffing company Manpower conducts their Annual Talent Shortage Survey highlighting occupations that are hard to fill. Every year sales representatives are near the top of the list. Sales representatives are on the front line of generating revenue for their organizations.
Qualifications of a good sales representative are to be outgoing, energetic and enthusiastic. They must show they have perseverance, have a thick skin and display professionalism. These qualities can be demonstrated with effective follow-ups after a job interview. After a job interview, many candidates may not think to do a follow-up with the hiring authority but this can make a good impression. Hiring decisions are based not just on qualifications but those candidates that are remembered most.
At the initial interview, ask for the business card from the representatives you spoke with. Immediately after the interview, make notes on who you spoke with and what their duties are. The first follow-up should consist of an email or phone call within 24 hours after the interview to everyone you had contact with. Present yourself in a professional manner and reinforce that you are interested in the job. Conduct yourself based on the tone of the interview. If the interviewer was concise and to the point, the first follow-up should reflect this. If it was laid back, keep your communication that way (but still remain professional).
Within a week after the first interview, send a letter thanking the company representatives for the opportunity and their time. Address each interviewer by name and title and reinforce your skills and interest in the job. This does not need to be a detailed narrative but a concise note focusing on specific points. This correspondence can be sent by e-mail especially if there are multiple interviewers.
The Second Round
After the second round of interviews, follow-up contacts are more concise and focused than previously as you become familiar with the company and job requirements. It is important in the second interview to find out the projected timeframe of subsequent interviews and the expected deadline of when a final decision will be made. A few days after the second interview, send a note to the company officials you feel are more involved in the decision-making of new hires. Express confidence by stating you are looking forward to the next opportunity to be interviewed. Provide recognition of what was covered in the interview to express your understanding of the requirements of the position.
If you have made it to the final round of interviews, the position may be between you and other applicants. You should know the time of when the final decision may be made. Showing persistence at this stage may reflect well for a sales representative position. Send a brief note a few days before the decision is to be made stating you are excited about the opportunity to join the company and reiterate what you can offer. If there is no response from the company, send out a final follow-up letter to each person you spoke to at the first interview. This letter should remind the company officials of the position and date of your first interview. If not selected for the current position, this may impress the company to consider you for future sales jobs.
With any contact it is important to remember the following:
Make sure the names and titles of representatives contacted are correct.
Pick up keywords and phrases used consistently in the interviews related to the position.
Show confidence. A good sales representative is poised and self-reliant.