Sep 10, 2019 in Interview

Marketing Career Interviews

In the modern day, hiring skilled personnel is becoming a challenge showing that people live in an imperfect world. Most people are shining examples of the imperfections of a human. In spite of this universally accepted belief, employers continue to look for perfection in hiring employees. Usually, when a position is advertised in a company, qualified candidates are invited to submit their resumes for consideration, after which they are invited to an interview. A job interview is typically the first interaction between the employer and the potential job candidate.

Most of the candidates are considered because the resumes they submit are appealing to the recruiters. Nevertheless, just because a candidate can write a comprehensive resume does not mean that they can perform just as well. It is the job of the recruiter, therefore, to determine whether or not the shortlisted candidates would fit in the positions advertised in a company. As such, they are forced to spend many hours on dealing with different candidates to select only the most competent. In this paper, the summary of the discussions with two salespeople, a retail salesperson, and a field salesperson will be presented.

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Interview One: Retail Salesperson

Candidate: Matthias


Description of the Position and Primary Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of the Retail Salesperson Position

The position of a retail salesperson in the company is created with the intention of getting the right person responsible for selling products, merchandise, and services. The candidate selected for this position will plan and perform all sales activities in the assigned areas. He or she will be expected to meet and exceed customer’s expectations while managing the quality of products and services delivery.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

The selected person will be expected to deliver various duties and assume specific responsibilities. These include:

  • Generating and qualifying needs
  • Sourcing and providing client referrals
  • Preparing sales action plans and strategies
  • Scheduling all sales activities
  • Developing and maintaining a customer database
  • Acquiring and preserving all sales and promotional materials
  • Making presentations for current and potential clients on the company’s products
  • Planning and conducting direct marketing activities
  • Negotiating with clients
  • Developing sales proposals
  • Preparing and presenting sales contracts
  • Conducting training on the company’s products
  • Maintaining all records on sales activities
  • Preparing and maintaining sales reports
  • Responding to all inquiries and concerns raised by customers
  • Ensuring that all the needs and preferences of customers are met or exceeded
  • Developing good relationships with the current and potential clients
  • Monitoring and reporting on sales, and following up with the management
  • Conducting market researches and surveys
  • Participating in sales events
  • Monitoring the activities of competitors and prevailing market conditions

Typical Day at Work for the Retail Salesperson

The retail salesperson will work for regular hours from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. in the sales office. However, the salesperson may be required to work for longer hours in the evenings, weekends, and holidays, especially in the periods of high demands or urgent tasks.

Value for the Customers besides the Product They Sell

Besides selling the products to the clients, the salesperson will be expected to provide customers with the appropriate assistance where necessary. For instance, the salesperson may be required to advise the customers on the right products by providing information on the products. Besides, the salesperson is expected to build customers’ confidence by offering opinions and suggestions from a professional perspective.

Challenges Faced In the Job

The salesperson may face various hurdles. The first one is the challenge of making product promotions to be in line with the customers’ needs. Customers’ needs change from time to time, and so does the need to realign promotion efforts. Here, the salesperson will be required to be keen on developing high-velocity training and support programs that allow his or her team to speed up promotions on new products and services. The second is the challenge of shorter campaign periods. In the recent days, retail training programs that were expected to run for an entire period are now running for weeks or even days. The salesperson has a task to find appropriate ways of developing more support materials for more campaigns at lower costs. One more is the challenge of keeping product campaigns fresh and efficient. It is likely that more promotions will be used to promote fewer products. Here, the salesperson is challenged to develop faster moving promotions that last weeks or even months.

Positive Aspects of the Job

The job has various benefits, which would motivate the employee to take up the job with a positive attitude. These include appealing income package and benefits, flexibility, better access to learning opportunities and challenges, high level of accomplishment, and an advantage of benefiting from entrepreneurial skills.

Opinion on the Job

The opportunity is a lucrative one as the candidate would work in a fast-moving and rewarding career. The candidate is likely to have a uniquely different experience, which comes with an array of benefits, such as good pay, flexibility, and higher level of achievement. I have experience in sales, and would like to have a similar position.

Interview Two: Field Salesperson

Candidate: Judith


Description of the Position and Primary Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of the Field Salesperson Position

The selected candidate will handle planning and executing sales and marketing campaigns with the aim of developing new prospects and enhancing a bigger market share and better client retention.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

The selected person will be expected to deliver various duties and assume specific responsibilities. These include:

  • Designing promotional campaigns with the aim of creating product awareness among the customers, and subsequently increasing sales and profits
  • Planning, organizing, and executing all sales programs
  • Tracking the company’s sales and market performance
  • Gathering and reporting customer intelligence to sales teams
  • Developing relevant sales plans
  • Managing vendor contracts
  • Initiating and maintaining communication between the inside and outside of the company, and sales teams
  • Managing sales budgets
  • Participating in selling products
  • Updating the company on market trends, competition, and new products
  • Developing and training on the product line and the value chain

Typical Day at Work for the Field Salesperson

The field salesperson will work for regular hours from 8.00am to 5.00pm. Most of this time will be spent on traveling. The field salesperson may be required to work for longer hours in the evenings, weekends, and holidays when a need arises.

Value for the Customers besides the Product They Sell

The field salesperson will be required to be valuable to the customers in various ways besides selling the company’s product. These include helping customers understand their needs better through training and subsequently acting on their needs promptly. The employee would provide all necessary information to impact customer’s decision-making positively. He or she is also expected to define what a product constitutes and what its value is with the aim of building their confidence. Overall, the salesperson should help in assessing and providing suggestions to the customers’ needs.

Challenges Faced In the Job

Working as a field salesperson is challenging because of the presence of various hurdles. These include but not limited to various competitors, budgetary cuts on promotional efforts, little customer interests due to ignorance, and lost deals because of delays. Other challenges include coping with longer working hours and with uncooperative clients, dealing with lower priced competition, and longer decision time frames.

Positive Aspects of the Job

The positive aspects of the job of a field sales representative include attractive remuneration, perks, benefits, challenges to become better, and better growth potential. Besides, the employee has the advantage of using a company’s car, laptop, and mobile phone. They may get commissions for extra sales, and have the power to influence their income levels.

Opinion on the Job

The job of the field sales representative is appealing as one spends a great deal of time traveling rather than staying in the office. The position has the important aspect of being an interface with the customer. A person in this post has better opportunities to learn and grow. What I dislike about the job is that an employee is on call 24/7. Issues may arise anytime, and the sales representatives are required to react to their day or night. Still, I would like to try myself in this position.

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