The Selling Factory

How to Prepare for An interview

Written by Jaret Mittenthal

A recent graduate from the University of Florida in May of 2020, he is a financial consultant at Equitable Advisors supporting individuals in their wealth strategy. He is a former Sales Development Intern at The Selling Factory in Gainesville, where he worked with local businesses on their marketing, outreach, and sales.

Photo by Content Pixie from Pexels

So here you are entering the big, scary room about to start interview questions and answers with a top executive at the company and the recruiter, who will make your final employment decision for a sales development representative (SDR) job. Your palms start to sweat and your voice starts to quiver. To ace interview questions and answers, there are certain interviewing techniques that can help you.

Interviewing Techniques to Follow

From my training as a sales development representative, preparing for entry level sales jobs is essential. These interviewing techniques for the interview questions and answers can support you. Do thorough research on the company. Scour the website for a couple of hours and have a good idea of what they do and what product or service they offer. When asked “Do you know what we do here at _____?” or “Are you familiar with_____?” use this information to inform your response such as, “Yes, I am actually extremely impressed with your ______ and how you ___________” Here is an example of a situation that happened to me during interview questions and answers: After doing my research, the recruiter asked me “Are you familiar with what we do here at BrightEdge?” and my response was “Yes actually, I am a big fan of your technology and am really optimistic about where the company is headed going forward”. 

The recruiter was impressed that I took the time to learn about the company. This is how to set oneself up for success before the interview. Now let’s dive into how to win the interview. I hope your palms are not still sweaty because you are extremely prepared and were meant for this position and this moment. Confidence is key. Project your voice from your chest to sound loud and presentable. This will mask the nerves if there are any. 

There are three interviewing techniques that I always try to do to exude confidence:

  1. Laugh. This helps to build trust and to develop a connection right away. It also shows that you are relatable, which is something recruiters are drawn to. Here’s an example: 

Interviewer: “Hey ____ how are you doing today?”
You: “Great! I’m a little cold which I did not expect in Florida but I’ll get over it (Insert a chuckle here or a light laugh).”

  1. Talk up your experience, especially relevant experience. Recruiters are interested in what makes you stand out. Highlight aspects that differentiate yourself from your peers. I was fortunate to have sales development representative (SDR) experience. This provided a great talking point about my successes and challenges in this field. In addition, it was important to showcase my work with CRMs such as Hubspot, Salesforce, and Nimble, which many graduates are not familiar with. Big thing companies love, having experience with. 

  2. Ask questions. This is super important because it shows that you are actively listening. It can be something as simple as asking about a picture of the interviewer’s family, or something more creative. Be prepared with at least seven to eight questions (unless more specified by the recruiter) specifically about the company and the role.  The more creative the better. After, you can ask questions about what you talked about during the interview or information you looked up during your research on the interviewer beforehand (check out their LinkedIn). An example from my experience is that I noticed the interviewer had said he went to and recently graduated from the University of Illinois. I remembered this until the end of the interview so after I asked all the job-related questions I said, “So did you watch the Illini beat Wisconsin, or were you there?”. The beam of excitement I saw from him definitely contributed to his overall impression of me, as the recruiter told me after how much the interviewer said he liked me.

More Techniques to Remember

  • Hygiene. Don’t smell and don’t have bad breath.

  • Appearance. Dress to impress. Make sure your clothes work well together. Color schemes are everything. 

  • Match the interviewer’s tone of voice and posture. If he or she is leaning forward, lean forward. If the interviewer is leaning back, do the same and appear relaxed. Match the tone of voice. They are bringing energy and are enthusiastic, bring it right back. They seem calm and are talking very slow, do the same.

  • Have an elevator pitch. Tell them about yourself in a concise statement. Include your year in school, major, graduation semester, current or previous experience, and what you are looking for in terms of a position. If you want to include something impressive you do in your free time that is also beneficial. It should sound something like this: “Hi, I’m Jaret I am a senior at UF graduating in May of 2020 with a degree in Business Administration. I’m currently interning at The Selling Factory in Gainesville where I do marketing, outreach, and sales for local companies. The position I’m interested in is the ______ (If you are in an interview they already know this part so don’t include it). In my free time, I coach a little league baseball team a few times a week (This part is better for an interview rather than an initial conversation at a career fair)”. This is a great way for them to get a sense of your confidence and will make the get-to-know-you part easy.

These interviewing techniques can help your confidence and prime you to get an entry level sales jobs. You’ve successfully avoided the sweaty palms and the danger of having your voice quiver. Good Luck with your interview questions and answers and becoming a sales development representative (SDR)!

 

Kira Baker

Campaign Manager

Kira is a recent graduate from the University of Florida where she received her Master of Science in Entrepreneurship. She is passionate about helping businesses grow and connecting with new people. Some of her hobbies include traveling and hiking. She hope to visit all of the National Parks one day!

kira@thesellingfactory.com

Jared Glosser

Vice President

After graduating from UF in 2014 with a B.A. in history, Jared started his professional career Fundraising for a non-partisan political lobby in South Florida. In 2016, Jared moved back to Gainesville to work for a non-profit, recruit students for international travel opportunities, and pursue his MBA at UF. Jared has been with The Selling Factory since 2019 focusing on operations, client onboarding, and client success.

jared@thesellingfactory.com

Ian Massenburg

Chief Operating Officer

A graduate of University of Florida (B.A. 2001), Ian Massenburg brings over 18 years of sales executive and sales management experience to The Selling Factory. Before coming on-board, Ian worked alongside Brad at Infinite Energy, and then spent his next 3 years as VP of Partnerships selling SaaS products B2B. Ian brings his vast knowledge and experience to the team and to our partner companies served.

ian@thesellingfactory.com

Damien Paulk

Campaign Manager

Damien is a University of Florida graduate that recently joined the team full time after working as a Sales Development Intern for one year. As a Campaign Manager, Damien looks forward to contributing to the growth and success of The Selling Factory. When Damien is not at work he enjoys exploring Gainesville with his girlfriend and dog or watching the Gators dominate college football.

damien@thesellingfactory.com

Brendan Viehman

Campaign Manager

Brendan graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Project Management. For the past 5 years, he has enjoyed working with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency development. In his free time, he surfs and makes personal finance videos for his YouTube channel.

brendan@thesellingfactory.com

Savannah Howard

Campaign Manager

A graduate from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, Savannah obtained her Bachelor of Science in public relations with a concentration in French. After almost two years as a sales development intern for The Selling Factory, she joined the leadership team in 2021 taking on the role of Campaign Manager. In her free time, Savannah enjoys going to concerts and festivals and cooking for her friends and family.

savannah@thesellingfactory.com

Zack Kampf

Campaign Manager

Zack is a creative technologist with experience in advertising, event planning, and game design. He started as an SDR in 2018 and has been with TSF ever since. Upon graduating UF in 2019 he became a campaign manager and is currently seeking a master's degree from NYU. In his spare time, you can find him at the intersection of Art & Technology!

zack@thesellingfactory.com

Josiah Blakemore

Campaign Manager

Josiah has over 8 years of sales experience, worked with Brad and Ian at Infinite Energy, and also spent time selling SaaS as Director of Partnerships at SharpSpring. He’s always been very competitive and has a love for sports and games. He enjoys solving problems and coaching team members to do the same!

josiah@thesellingfactory.com

Sue-Ming Frauenhofer

Marketing Manager

Sue-Ming received both her B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Management from The University of Florida. As a student, she led a psychology research lab on goal achievement and life satisfaction and took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, marketing, and recruiting, eventually leading to her current role as Marketing Manager. Through her creative and methodical vision, she engages both students and entrepreneurs to help them find their version of success.

sueming@thesellingfactory.com

Adam Grossman

Chief Development Officer

Adam is an ordained rabbi, who has founded multiple ventures focused on workforce development. Hired as CEO by a failing non-profit, in over 5 years, his ingenuity saved the organization, which led Slingshotfund.org to recognize it as one of North America’s most innovative Jewish non-profits. His expertise to identify, cultivate, and on-board talent ensures our student teams meet our partners’ needs.

adam@thesellingfactory.com

Brad Gamble

Chief Executive Officer

After graduating from UF in 1999 with a B.S.B.A, Brad Gamble has dedicated himself to sales management, branding, coaching, and building companies. He served as the VP of Sales & Marketing for Infinite Energy until 2014, when he founded The Selling Factory. He has dedicated himself to teaching critical skills to tomorrow’s leaders, and helping companies achieve sales success and revenue growth.

brad@thesellingfactory.com