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"I wanted to say a huge thank you to Simon Bonner who has just helped me secure my new role. He was one of the most professional recruiters I have ever worked with"

Julia Marcinkiewicz

Can You Sell Yourself at an Interview

Interviews can be tough and knowing what to say and what not to say is vital for any interviewee wanting to secure that job. Sure, you probably make sure the interviewer hears all about your skills and experience and of course your expertise...but as a Sales professional do you use your sales skills and make it simple for them? Do you outline exactly why they should hire you or just tell them what you’ve done or can do? The key to successful interviews is to outline clearly your features and benefits!

In order to fully convey what your features and benefits are you need to make sure you fully understand what exactly a feature and a benefit is- this may sound much like I’m teaching you to suck eggs but it’s surprising how many sales professionals forget these points when faced with an  interview situation! For the purposes of interview technique a feature can be described as a “unique, inherent quality.” A benefit is a pleasure or satisfaction someone gets from a given feature.  A benefit is something that aids or promotes well-being. A benefit can be thought of as the result of the feature. In other words it is because of this feature that you are getting the benefits. (Oscar Adler, 2008)

People do not naturally translate features into benefits when a person speaks to them. Very rarely do they ask themselves “what will this product do for me”? Most likely they will be thinking: “so what”? The interviewer will be only listening for the benefits of hiring you. They only care that they make the right hiring decision. If you answer questions with features but fail to relate the benefits, you are not selling yourself to the interviewer. You must learn to accompany every answer with an appropriate benefit- don’t assume they’ve worked out your benefits for themselves.

Examples of how you might apply the ‘features and benefits’ in your interview might include:

Feature: I am a confident, outgoing character with excellent presentation and negotiating skills.

Benefit: This means that when I meet with prospects I can confidently demonstrate the benefits of a product and more often than not, lead the sale to a close

Feature: I possess a Masters degree in business administration

Benefit: This allows me to manage various aspects of my role more effectively and understand how actions taken within my position affect the business as a whole

A common mistake that people make is that they always ask themselves “what should I say” instead of “what will the interviewer be thinking.” It is vital that you stop for a moment and really consider what is relevant for the interviewer and what is just ‘filling time’.  Of course an interviewer wants to know about your education, skills and experience but ensure you give them something a bit more convincing than what they are already looking at on your CV.

Ensure you practice ways in which you can link features and benefits so that you are thoroughly prepared when the time comes. In being able to convey both features and benefits confidently you will be able to control the interview and not be ‘thrown off course’ by a difficult question....just remember, when it comes down to it, all the interviewer wants to know is ...

“what can you do for me?!”

Date published: 1st March 2024

A photo of Simon Bonner, Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment

About the author

Simon Bonner

With over 25 years in B2B sales and recruitment, Simon is an English Graduate from UEA and specialises in recruiting commercial and FMCG sales positions. Simon joined the sales recruitment industry in 1998 before progressing into field sales and returning to recruitment in 2015. As an Associate Director, Simon is well placed to understand the needs of clients and candidates' needs, having spent ten years selling electronic security and managing National Accounts within OEM manufacturers and distribution channels. An avid Luton Town football fan, Simon dotes on his two daughters and enjoys keeping fit, socialising, food and wine.

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HR Manager, The Data Privacy Group Ltd

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HR Assistant, Fischer Connectors Ltd

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Director, Waste Managed Ltd

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George above and beyond to make sure I had everything I need to secure my new role. Outstanding Professional.

A. Kirkland, Candidate

I can honestly say that the time and expertise you gave me was way beyond any other recruitment consultant I dealt with. You are a rarity in your industry.

S. Akers, Candidate

When talking with Simon you felt relaxed cared to help you find a position that suited your needs

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I had a very good experience with Aaron Wallis. The company itself is offering great content for all things related to the hiring process. I definitely recommend.

J. Ostermeier, Candidate

Sophie contacted me about a role explained the details clearly and made sure I was ready for the interview. She kept in touch every step of the way till I started the job. Thank you Sophie for a great experience.

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The most professional recruitment agency I've ever worked with. Robert Scott was extremely proactive and send me a detailed briefing before each interview, ensuring I was well prepared.

D. Bermant, Candidate

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M. Owusu, Candidate

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E. Fry, Candidate

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R. Houston, Candidate

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A great recruitment company to work with. Excellent experience with Aaron Wallis through the entire recruitment process. The team was really professional and extremely helpful. Darren was a pleasure to work with. He was friendly, supportive and gave me great advice. Thank you very much!

A. Bauchet, Candidate

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N. Leney, Candidate

Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dewrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard to secure my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.

R. Sealy, Candidate

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L. Colagrossi, Candidate

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S. Bartlett, Candidate

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Aaron Wallis (and in particular Rob Scott) have been fantastic throughout the recruitment process, and even a few months down the line, still continues to care. Rob clearly cares about each individual and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which shows in the work he does. Each candidate is not just a number, and the support received from Aaron Wallis has helped me get a career which I truly enjoy.

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I would highly recommend Aaron Wallis Recruitment, Darren was extremely helpful and provided me with plenty of advice and support throughout the whole process.

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M. Wyer, Candidate

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K. Peacock, Candidate

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C. Hoy, Candidate

Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf which sets them apart from many of their competitors who in my experience are willing to throw anything at you. We discussed my history, my preferences and my wishes - one opportunity was introduced. It was perfect. I start at the end of June.

R. Buckley, Candidate

Wanted to say a huge thank you to Simon Bonner who has just helped me secure my new role. He was one of the most professional recruiters I have ever worked with.

J. Marcinkiewicz, Candidate

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K. Craggs, Candidate

Darren at Aaron Wallis was really encouraging and helpful. He was very responsive and regularly made phone calls to explain the job opportunities available, and guided me through the application process.

A. Brown, Candidate

Sophie helped me secure a new role I have been searching for. She took her time to explain clear and concisely all I needed to succeed at the interview stage. Thanks again Sophie!

O. Oladejo, Candidate

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C. Beaugie, Candidate

Excellent experience. Knowledgeable staff and really went the extra mile. Found my ideal position and I couldn't be happier. Special shout out to Sam and George: who made the process smooth and easy for me. Highly recommend.

K. Pearce, Candidate

Very good advice and support was given during the course of the interviewing process. Potential job seekers would be well advised to use this company whilst looking for their new career.

R. Speakman, Candidate

Managed to get me placed within a week! Really friendly and easy to deal with. Always available for a call and my biggest challenge was I was in work at the time I was looking for my next opportunity (which is stressful) but Sam made that easy.

P. Fitzsimons, Candidate

Wanted to say a huge thank you to Simon Bonner who has just helped me secure my new role. He was one of the most professional recruiters I have ever worked with he was supportive really quick at replying and really put me at ease.

J. Marcinkiewicz, Candidate

Excellent service, very professional and friendly, would and have, recommended Aaron Wallis.

E. Heley, Candidate

Rob was really helpful when I was putting together a presentation for the second stage interview. Overall their communication was great and kept me updated of any progress

J. McGrattan, Candidate

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L. Knowles, Candidate

I had the absolute pleasure of working with George Humphries on finding a placement best suitable for me.

A. Van Der Mescht, Candidate

I had a great experience. Helped me every step of the way to get my new job. Sophie was very polite, kind and helpful!

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Perfect from start to finish. Simon deserves a shout out. Best recruiter there is. If you need a job, this guy will get you one. He's like the super man of recruiters. Top man, can't recommend him enough.

M. Crisp, Candidate