Always be prepared. Successful candidates for sales roles are those who have fluid business conversations with the recruiter” says Ceri Jenkins: EMEA recruiter at ForgeRock, 

Ceri is talking with Lynn Wade: The IT Career Coach, about how to Ace a first phone  interview.

“Recruiters spend a lot of time screening, so stand out by being prepared, and you’ll be  half way there. Sales is all about  leverage, so spend  your time talking about who you know, what you know, and how that will benefit the employer.”

Ceri has  4 Top Tips to stand out from the IT sales crowd:

Competition in business


1. Know Your Numbers!

2. Nail Your Research!

3. Be Focussed and Open!

4. Know what defines you




With over 8 years in software recruiting across EMEA Ceri has some simple advise: ‘ The Golden Rule for CV’s is keeping to 2 pages, and the same principles apply for the screening interview – keep to the facts, be concise and be memorable.”

Use these Top Tips to help you pass the sales phone screen:


Tip 1: Know Your Numbers!

” It’s the first question that gets asked. Candidates who say they’ll have to ‘look it up and get back to you’ don’t give a good impression. If you are in sales you really should have this to hand and ready to roll.

  • Targets and achievement
  • Size of deal by value and number of users
  • Client names of public deals


Tip 2: Nail Your Research!

The recruiter will definitely warm to you if they don’t have to do the 10 minute basics overview about the hiring company.

Any serious salesperson will also be able to demonstrate that they have researched the product, market, partners and competitors. Show that you have thought through how you will work within this ecosystem.


Tip 3: Be Focussed and Open

The recruiter will forget too much detail, so keep it at a high level so that your points are memorable.

  • Get straight to the point and avoid using sales clichés
  • Be upfront about any negatives, such as missing targets. Everyone is allowed one blip on their CV


Tip 4: Prepare to answer the ‘One Thing that Defines You’ questions

  • What is your proudest accomplishment?
  • What was your best deal?
  • Tell me about the biggest deal that you lost’?


Ceri Jenkins is EMEA recruiter for ForgeRock: open source identity management for the cloud.

contact Ceri at  Find out more at

Lynn Wade: The IT Career Coach has  hired and managed some of the best in the business! Lynn helps people be the best they can be, and get the rewards and recognition they value. Email