Your Entry-Level Business Development Executive Interview Will be Tough, But These Tips Will Help You Ace It!
Congratulations! If you’re reading this article then you must be preparing for an entry-level business development executive interview, and I’m going to help you ace it.
Business development is a competitive career choice. Your interview is probably going to be quite tough, as sales is very soft skills focused. This means that knowing how to sell isn’t quite enough, you need to have potential and passion.
Your interviewers are probably going to give you a good grilling, but don’t worry. If you prepare for the following, you’re basically sorted!
But first, some basic interview research is essential.
1 – Competency Questions
Your interview is going to have lots of these. Competency questions are where you’re asked to describe a situation, usually one that has some kind of conflict and resolution.
Questions like this let your communication skills shine in an interview, so I would definitely prepare some answers!
You might get asked:
- Tell me about a time you sold something.
- Tell me about a time you sold something to an uninterested client.
- How have you handled conflict in your previous role?
The best way to answer questions like these is to use a storytelling method. This is where you set the scene and introduce the problem, then you move to the conflict and finally onto the resolution.
This way of answering competency questions is so strong. These questions can be tricky, but sticking to a formula will keep your story from meandering off into a digression. You’ll keep it simple while painting yourself as the hero of the story. Score!
2 – Prepare a Pitch
Now, business development is basically just sales (ish). This means you’ll be doing a lot of talking to people who might not want to talk to you. You’re only going to have a few seconds to grab their attention.
To test your sales skills under time pressure, your interviewers might ask you to pitch a product, service or even yourself to them.
So please prep an elevator pitch! This is about more than your words, it’s about your tone, body language and personality.
I’d say try to stay true to yourself. No one wants to hire the super pushy salesperson, but everyone wants to talk to the genuine, caring professional.
Saying that, it’s also really about your words. Check out this article and be sure to practice pitching before your interview.
3 – Brush Up on the Basics
To get that entry-level business development executive job, you need a good understanding of the basics. If you don’t you’re never going to ace your interview.
I would seriously recommend taking a quick free course. This one will teach you how to ace your interview and help you brush up on your knowledge. This stuff is invaluable!
4 – Send a Follow-Up Email
If you’re going to be a great business development exec, you’ve got to know how to communicate! You need to be a great relationship builder, someone that follows-up leads and keeps multiple plates spinning at once.
This can be hard to demonstrate in an interview, but the day after the interview is the perfect time to show off.
Send a friendly follow-up email to remind your interviewers that you exist. As a general rule, always try to bring up something you discussed in the interview. If that’s difficult, try to say something memorable.
I saw one the other day that said:
“Thank you for taking the time to interview me yesterday. I loved meeting you and can really see myself working with you in the office, even though it’s on the 14th floor and I’m scared of heights! …”
This is so much more memorable than a dry “thank you I’m looking forward to hearing back” email. So please try not to be boring! Your sales should never be boring.
5 – Connect on LinkedIn
If you’re not using LinkedIn… where have you been?
This is another powerful way to stay in touch and remind your interviewers that you’re perfect for the job. This obviously requires some pre-planning though.
You’ll need a great LinkedIn profile, the right connections and to have already shown interest in the company. We have a guide about building a good, employable LinkedIn account for just that.
And if you get rejected, send them a message saying how much you enjoyed the interview and that you’re going to apply to other jobs in the company.
Stay fresh in their minds!
6 – Have a Backup
I’m sure you’ll ace your entry-level business development executive interview, but…
Like I said, things can go south even if you do everything right. That’s why it’s always important to have a backup plan.
If you’re looking for more entry-level business development executive jobs, DigitalGrads is the place to go. Sign up and get to applying!