Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience. How do you overcome those nerves and get the confidence you need to crush those interviews?

I remember about two years ago, I was working with a recruiter that gave me some helpful advice to calm my nerves, and now it is my go-to when asked how to tackle pre-interview jitters:

Always remember the person on the other end of the phone
or sitting across the table wants to hire you and you are there to
prove them right. If they didn't want to hire you, the conversation
wouldn't be happening.

Changing my mindset from proving them wrong to proving them right, made me more confident in all interviews moving forward.

To gather some additional perspectives, I asked some hiring managers on our HubSpot Sales team, “What is a piece of advice you would give candidates to help boost their confidence in interviews?

Here’s what they had to say:

Tom Murdock, Director of Global Business Development, on interview preparation with your recruiter and yourself:

andrew-neel-cckf4TsHAuw-unsplash-1Ask the recruiter what each person will cover during the interview. When you get an answer, ask, "Can you elaborate a bit on that?"

Once you understand that, know your audience. Spend at least one hour preparing for each person that you're meeting during your interviews.

Research their background, the companies they worked for and their business models - and, of course, the topics they are covering. Understand how the company helps their customers be successful and how the role fits into that equation. In my organization, I want to see that you've done as much as you can from the outside looking in to comprehend the team's value to our customers.

Lastly, be able to succinctly explain the following:

  • Why do you want to be in sales, regardless of company? (I'd prefer to hear both why sales is good for you personally and why you think you'd be good at it/helpful to customers.)
  • Why is HubSpot's (or a company’s) sales team the right place for you specifically?
  • Why will you be additive to our team and culture?
Bonus tip: come with thoughtful, personalized questions
that you can't find on a blog about interviewing.

Emma Greenman (Sales Manager - Business Development Representative Team) on being authentic about your experiences:


Be prepared, be curious, and be authentic.

Interviewers can tell when you are sharing a well rehearsed answer of a failure that's actually a success and you think will make you look good in an interview.

I'd rather hear about something real that will help me understand who you are, what makes you tick and how you will operate when things get hard.

Charles Fiorino (Sales Manager - Business Development Representative Team) on preparing specific examples and being a compelling storyteller:

7K0A5154-1Be prepared with specific examples and to tell a compelling story. Everyone says they have a strong work ethic, that they are coachable, that they are driven, goal-oriented etc.

Prove it with specific examples (personally, professionally or academically) and have stories that set you apart and demonstrate the qualities you think make you a great fit.

If you have compelling stories prepared, you'll feel more confident and prepared to answer any question that you may get asked in an interview. You'll also stand out in a sea of candidates that surprisingly don't come with specific examples or are caught off guard when asked for examples.

Erica McLaughlin (Sales Manager - Inbound Success Coach Team) on remembering that you’re also evaluating the interviewers:

charles-deluvio-rRWiVQzLm7k-unsplashMy advice would be to remember as a candidate you are evaluating the interviewer too. Sometimes when we focus so much on making the hiring manager like us, we forget to ask ourselves if we would like working for them.

Whenever I go into an interview, I ask myself, “Would I like
working with this person every day? Do I believe I can learn from them?
Will they invest in me and my future career growth?”

It's not just about getting an offer, it's about getting the right offer at a company where you are surrounded by folks that will invest in you and help you grow. You are an equal part of evaluating that fit.

Jaymie Sullivan (Sales Manager - Inbound Success Coach Team) on asking interviewers for feedback and hesitations:

jon-tyson-hhq1Lxtuwd8-unsplashMy advice would be to ask for feedback or if there are any hesitations with your candidacy at the end of an interview.

Fun fact: in my final interview at HubSpot a few years back, I
asked that question and the interviewer told me they didn't think
I showcased sales desire.

I was able to then explain why I did want sales, and the interviewer told me I changed their mind! I always wonder what would have happened if I didn't ask that question.


Originally published Mar 18, 2020 10:52:48 AM, updated March 20 2020