How to Prepare for Your Sales Team Interview
At Appian, we want each candidate to feel fully confident during their interview experience. Even if you’re the most seasoned interviewer and have lots of Sales experience, it can still be intimidating to turn the tables and sell yourself.
With this in mind, we do our best to make sure each candidate is fully prepared every step of the way. Our recruitment team aims to provide frequent communication throughout the process to answer questions and address concerns, as well as equip you with the resources you need so that you can bring your best self to your interview.
In this blog, we’re sharing an inside look into our Sales team interview process, as well as tips for how to do well. We chatted with Kelsey Moore, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition — Sales, to get her insights.
Let’s see what she had to say!
Meet Kelsey Moore, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition — Sales .
Joined the Appian team in 2015
The interview process.
After you’ve hit apply, a member of our Talent Acquisition team will review your application. If they like what they see, then the next step is to move through our interview process! The majority of the time, this includes three steps.
Step 1: Phone screen with a recruiter. We start by setting up a call with a recruiter so we can learn more about you, and you can ask questions about us!
Step 2: Video interview with the hiring manager. Be prepared to talk more about the work you’ve done in the past, how you’ve made an impact, and come prepared with thoughtful questions.
Step 3: Final round of interviews. This typically involves virtually meeting with four to five people including an Appian executive. Your interview will also include a work assignment, like a presentation. Your recruiter and coordinator will be in touch with all of the details!
Overall, the process from initial call to offer can take two to four weeks depending on your availability.
Appian Note: With safety top of mind, all interviewing and onboarding will be done virtually until further notice.
How to nail your Sales team interview.
You’ve likely heard this advice before, but it can't be stressed enough — do your research on the company, culture, and product! We publish tons of resources that you can reference ahead of your interview, including:
- Social channels like Youtube, Facebook, Instagram
- Customer use cases
- Analyst reports
- Annual reports
- AppianLife blog to read employee stories
Your recruiting coordinator will confirm who you’re meeting with and their job titles so you can look them up ahead of time, and prepare customized questions for each interviewer. Here are a few topics you might consider asking about:
- Deep dive into sales territory and the potential opportunity there.
- Challenges in the business and role.
- Impact and culture.
One question you’ll likely be asked during your interview is “why Appian and why now?” This is your opportunity to make an elevator pitch to your future teammates and executives as to why you’re the right fit for Appian and why Appian is the right fit for you, so come prepared.
And finally, don’t hesitate to ask your recruiter for feedback before your final interview!
Putting your skills to the test.
As mentioned earlier, there can be role-specific work assignments as part of the interview. For example, candidates interviewing for an Account Executive role will be asked to prepare a 15 minute presentation. While your recruiter will give you more info leading up to your interview, here are a few best practices:
- The presentation deck should be no more than five slides.
- Start your presentation by setting an agenda, giving context as to what you’re presenting, the scenario, etc.
- Stay within the allotted time. This shows your time management skills and ability to keep the meeting on track.
Other sales roles may require writing assignments, like email samples for customer communications. Again, your recruiter will provide details ahead of time on how you should prepare and they’ll be your go-to person for questions.
What it takes: What we look for in our future Sales team members.
Beyond some of the “technical” knowledge and experience required for the job, there are a few transferable skills and traits we look for in our future Sales team members:
- Strong communication. You need to be able to articulate complex business problems and provide clear solutions
- Energy and personality. When you call a customer with energy and enthusiasm, it means that you believe in your product and are excited about what you have to offer your customer
- Be yourself. At the end of the day, you want the people you work with to like you for you (and vice versa!), and you need to know if this role and company will be the right fit for you.
The Sales team culture and why now is the right time to join our team.
We have a culture of high engagement here. Our team prioritizes collaboration over competition which has created an environment where people respect each other's perspectives, and the best ideas win.
Your role here has purpose and meaning. Appian is driving modern and innovative digital transformation — our customers actually really like us and you can see the impact of your work. Hearing those customers' stories is one thing that makes this work really meaningful, and something we hear often from our Sales team members.
Now is the best time to join our team. We’re growing, and there’s no signs of slowing down! Since I joined Appian in 2015 (pre-IPO), growth has been steady and we’re investing heavily in Sales. There are many opportunities to grow your career here, and there’s never been a more exciting time to join our team than right now.
But don’t just take my word for it, check out our blog Top three reasons to join the Appian Sales team to hear from three different Sales team members on their experience.
If you’re interested in joining the Appian Sales team, take a look at our Sales careers page with current open positions.