So you’ve got an interview for a sales job at a startup coming up. You’ve read up about what to say, what to wear, and even what not to do. But there’s still one more thing you can do to prep to make this the best interview ever: get a hearty dose of inspiration and motivation from the perfect TED talk.
Below, we’ve rounded up four talks that will round out your sales job interview preparation. They’ll help you feel more confident, boost your enthusiasm, shake off the nerves, and even figure out whether your potential new boss is the right one for you.
Simon Sinek: “Why good leaders make you feel safe”
At your interview, you’ll likely be meeting with your future boss. And while you’re going to be auditioning for the gig, let’s face it: your interview is also a chance for you to figure out if you really want this job and this person to be your sales leader.
In this inspiring talk, Sinek, author of Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, beautifully describes the qualities of good leaders. “When we feel safe inside the organization, we will naturally combine our talents and our strengths and work tirelessly to face the dangers outside and seize the opportunities,” he says. His talk will prep you to identify what type of leader your boss might be and if you want to be a part of his or her sales team.
Amy Cuddy: “Your body language shapes who you are”
Real talk: your interviewer is going to be looking at how you carry yourself—and this is especially true for a sales job, where poise and communication are so crucial. Social psychologist and Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy breaks down, in her much-loved TED Talk, exactly how your body language can shape your level of confidence and your presentation skills.
“Our bodies change our minds and our minds can change our behavior, and our behavior can change our outcomes,” Cuddy explains. Her research shows that by striking a quick, powerful pose, you can actually make yourself feel and act more confident—a miracle trick you can use before your interview and on the job before big pitch meetings.
Shawn Achor: “The happy secret to better work”
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: enthusiasm and positivity is key to being a successful sales pro. In this funny speech, Achor, positive psychology advocate and author of books like The Happiness Advantage, The Orange Frog, and Before Happiness, describes what it takes to rise above the average (an important thing when you’re a salesperson on a competitive team).
The answer? It’s all about positivity. Higher enthusiasm means “your intelligence rises, your creativity rises, your energy levels rise,” Achor says. “In fact, we’ve found that every single business outcome improves. Your brain at positive is 31 percent more productive than your brain at negative, neutral or stressed. You’re 37 percent better at sales.” So watch Achor’s talk and try his tips for boosting your positivity before your sales job interview—it might make a big difference.
Kare Anderson: “Be an opportunity maker”
Nervous about the big interview? Kare Anderson, columnist for Forbes and Huffington Post, gets it. “I grew up diagnosed as phobically shy,” she opens her apt TED talk. But to overcome that fear, she says, you have to find a way to make an opportunity out of every situation you find yourself in—like the interview you’re about to have, for instance.
“This is an opportunity,” Anderson says, and “opportunity-makers get involved in different worlds than their worlds … and they communicate to connect around sweet spots of shared interest.” So don’t think of your interview as an intimidating thing—think of it as an opportunity to launch your sales career and let the nerves melt away.
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