We’ve been talking to hiring managers at some of the big manufacturers in the commercial heating, ventilation and air conditioning markets to find out what they’re currently looking for in an HVAC sales engineer or sales manager.
Here are our insider tips to help you stand out at interview when you’re applying to work for top employers in the HVAC sector.
Tell them the impact you’ll make
Companies want to know how you’ll make a difference right from the start. Many will ask you to describe what your first quarter will look like and they’ll expect to hear how you would invest your time. Some of the things to mention include product training, learning company procedures, setting up meetings to introduce yourself to customers and arranging one to ones with key people in the organisation to make sure you understand how you can be most effective within the team.
Think outside the box
The above is pretty standard stuff that the interviewer will expect to hear. To make sure you really stand out, take things a step further and differentiate yourself by talking about your unique skills and abilities. Bring it to life by using examples of how you influenced a customer and what outcome this had. Perhaps you spent time with them to value engineer a job and moved the customer from a conservative to a high spender.
Do some name dropping
Set some time aside to research the customers in your prospective employer’s patch, particularly larger ones. Drop some names into the conversation to show that you understand the market – and the potential. Nothing gives a hiring manager more confidence than a candidate who knows the key players. Better still, if you can mention one or two that are within a short distance of where you’re based, you’re sure to stick in their minds for all the right reasons.
Think creatively about relationship building
Some sales engineers use events such as CPDs (continuous professional development sessions) as an opportunity to build relationships with potential clients. By offering free, educational training sessions to consultants on some of the latest technical developments, they can provide something useful and giving them a reason to keep in touch with you. If you have done things like this in a previous role, mention it at interview – and if you haven’t, let the interviewer know that you understand the value of this kind of relationship building and share some ideas.
Talk about results
Every interview will include a question about strengths and weaknesses, although it could be presented in lots of different ways (how would your friends/family/colleagues describe you is one popular way to ask it). A smart interviewee who is applying for a sales role uses this as an opportunity to talk about how they achieve results. Talk about the results you’ve produced for past employers and how your strengths led to these achievements. Talk about how you intend to use these qualities to replicate success in your new role, should you be successful. In terms of weaknesses, this is a great opportunity to talk about how you are still keen to improve your approach for even better results. Emphasise the approach you'll take to replicate your success in your new role and what you can do to produce better results for the company. This will help the interviewer see you as part of the business’s future.
For tailored support to develop your career in commercial heating, ventilation and air conditioning sales, get in touch with one of our team.