HubSpot Careers Blog

September 18, 2018 // 9:08 AM

Beyond the Resume: How to Interview for Future Greatness in Sales

Written by

salessydney-3

There are a handful of things that modern society still uses from the 1400’s. The “resume” is one of them. It has morphed and developed over time since Leonardo Da Vinci wrote his professional resume in 1482. While this seems like a no brainer, I’m still asking the question: why? We no longer use feather quill pens and more importantly, people are so much more than a one-sheet piece of paper of their “accomplishments.”

When you stop and think about the mission of the resume, it’s to provide a potential employer your professional work experience as it relates to the role you're applying for. But, how is that possible if you’ve never done the job before, or have fairly little “traditional” experience in that field? Maybe you’re making a career switch, or decided to gain experience in a field that’s different from your degree. There are a lot of things resumes don’t shed light on - like whether you’re someone who will not only contribute to company culture, but add to it and challenge it. Or, if you’re adaptable and coachable.

HubSpot was founded on the notion that the buying and selling process has changed, and therefore the skills we look for when hiring salespeople usually aren’t those traditional, “hard” skills. Gone are the days of bringing in your contacts on a rolodex and spamming prospects with aggressive voicemails. Today’s salespeople are critical thinkers, consultative, and engage in a customer-first mentality.

At HubSpot, our sales professionals come from a variety of different backgrounds - from being a member of the Peace Corps to former Nutritionists. While these may seem like unlikely career paths, bringing these unique journeys together builds an inclusive culture of varied perspectives, experiences and ideas which allow us to better solve for our customers.

That’s why we’re committed to making our interview process more human and evolving it to look beyond the resume. We interview for the qualities we believe great employees embody: humble, empathetic, adaptable, remarkable, transparent (or, HEART, as we like to say in our Culture Code). And, we interview for future greatness.

Here are three things to remember the next time you’re applying for a job you’re passionate about, but might not have on your resume yet:

Sell Your Transferable Skills

The key to interviewing, whether for a new role, or one entirely different, is identifying and leveraging your transferable skills. These are competencies that can be applied in various situations, including interpersonal communication, problem solving, adaptability, planning and organization, analytical abilities, etc. When an employer recognizes your skill set as adaptable, they will see you as valuable in multiple roles, and therefore someone who has a potential future at the company long-term.

Our People Analytics team at HubSpot recently conducted an internal study looking at a variety of competencies and how they directly relate to success in sales. The results showed that two attributes, not skills, were correlated with future success: coachability and humility. Specifically, the employees who regularly seek feedback from any source, translate feedback into action and improvement and demonstrates humility in current level of knowledge and ability were successful in their role. This research has led us to ask specific questions that test for coachability and humility, such as “describe an example when you successfully received coaching to improve your performance?”

The challenge for those interviewing for a role not on their resume is how to showcase these core competencies through examples that are relevant to the potential employer.

Let’s use Dan Love, a former member of the Peace Corps and now Inbound Growth Specialist at HubSpot, as an example. After two years abroad, Dan was ready to return to America and interview for jobs. To start, he made a list of the skills he had developed during his two years abroad and the experiences he had enjoyed most. Through this, he was able to identify the types of roles that would best fit his passion and strengths. During his interview, he was able to provide relevant examples comparing his extensive experience in leading needs assessments in communities in Armenia to the skills needed for the Inbound Growth Specialist role.

Identify and Sell Your Value Alignment

Today’s talent are driven by mission, opportunity and growth. They care about what is going on in the world around them, and how an organization will support their personal and professional goals. Take time to reflect on what is most important to you in your career and what you value in a company. Ask yourself questions such as, what do I hope to achieve in my career and personal life both short and long term? Is a strong mentor and hands on coaching important for my professional growth? How do I want a company to support me in my continued learning? During the interview process, be sure to ask your potential new employer the critical questions needed to identify the alignment between their values and your own.

If you’re feeling extra ambitious, start sharing those values online. Whether it’s writing a Medium post, or sharing your perspectives on social media, giving potential employers insight into how you think and what you value before the interview process is always a plus.

Lean Into Your Differences

When interviewing for a new role without having the “ideal” experience, it may be daunting to admit your differences in experience and perspective. The truth is, your varied experience makes you culturally additive to the organization. Teams with diverse backgrounds and experience are proven to perform better, therefore making interviewing for “culture add” just as important as skills required for a specific role. Provide examples of how you will upskill the team, have previously challenged the status quo, bring a different perspective, and lean into your unique experience instead of shying away from it.

At HubSpot, we value growth. So much so that it’s the key ingredient of our mission “to help millions of organizations grow better” and why we interview for future greatness. But, we also want to grow better together. Our sales leaders have worked hard to build an inclusive culture that celebrates differences and promotes belonging. No matter where you come from, whatever path brought you here, or the belief system you have, if there is a position open at HubSpot that makes your heart skip a beat, we want to hear from you.

If you’re thinking about a career change or pursuing a new role in sales, check out our current open positions to learn more about #SalesAtHubSpot.

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Topics: Sales Culture Sales Jobs Sales Resume Sales Interviewing

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