The Common Interview Question SaaS Executives Mess up
There is one question that many Senior SaaS Executives really stumble on. Many answer this question so badly, they even can talk themselves out of the job they are interviewing for. This question is asked right at the beginning of the interview.
Senior SaaS Executives are often brilliant at selling their company, solution or service. However, when it comes to selling themselves, they often fall flat. This is often the case for SaaS Executives who seldom interview and lack practice in the interview environment.
This question often arises in the later stages of the process, often with a CEO or VP level Executive who hasn’t necessarily found the time to more than skim read the candidate’s CV.
Here is the question:-
“Tell me about yourself”
Here are the common responses to this question:
- The candidate will start talking about their career history and background in depth. Their “pitch” may go on and on. We have had candidates talk non-stop for over an hour in an interview about themselves, hardly stopping to take a breath. Describing everything from where they live, their family and hobbies! (WRONG!)
- The candidate stutters, stumbles and finds it exceptionally difficult to articulate a personal and concise description (WRONG!)
- The candidate delivers a polished, short description of their key achievements, what they specialise in, the benefits they bring and why they are interested in the role (CORRECT!)
What is the best way to answer?
Before any interview, thoroughly prepare a 30-60 second, concise short pitch about yourself.
Below is the type of answer we would suggest. This would be in the case of a UK candidate interviewing for a VP Sales job for a Start up:
“My name is Joe Bloggs. I am an MBA qualified SaaS Sales Leader living in London. I speak English, French and German fluently. During my career, I have worked for 4 Enterprise SaaS companies, 3 of whom had successful exits. As a VP Sales, my speciality is helping early stage and high-growth SaaS firms scale across Europe. My biggest focus is driving annual SaaS revenues from zero to in excess of $10m, whilst building pan European Sales, Customer Success and Pre-sales teams of up to 25. The technology areas I have successfully sold include HCM, CRM and eCommerce. My customers are typically the major Telcos and large Internet Retailers. I am here today, as I am open to discuss my next mission and your firm seems very appealing having recently raised $25m in VC and is looking to build a European team. I believe my experience, employee and client network could accelerate your European revenues significantly to help you achieve your company’s goals”.
This type of concise response should result in many questions from the interviewers and a two-way flowing conversation.
Further, this type of content could be included in your CV – the Executive Profile section.
Can you sell yourself in 30 – 60 seconds? Having a great “personal pitch” prepared for a job interview is absolutely crucial. Remember, “telling isn’t selling” and this also applies within an interview situation.
The job market for Senior SaaS roles is only going to become more competitive. Therefore, being able to successfully sell yourself is crucial.
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