Job Seekers Hub | Do you hold yourself accountable?

Almost every sales manager I talk to rates accountability at the very top of the list when it comes to traits they are looking for in their new hires.

This has only been amplified due to COVID-19 as sales teams are working remotely, away from the watchful eye of managers. Managers wonder, am I hiring someone who will own an issue or problem, or am I hiring someone who shirks responsibility? What activity will we see when no one is looking?

So, how do you hold yourself accountable and display this in an interview?

An easy place for hiring managers to start is by finding out why you left previous roles. A red flag is if the blame consistently shifts to external factors, such as my manager, my territory, etc. Don’t get me wrong, a bad culture and a bad manager are valid reasons to leave a role, but if there is a pattern that emerges for deflecting blame, concerns may be raised. It’s important to take ownership of a mistake or misjudgment if you felt that you left a role prematurely.

It’s vital that you display a sense of ownership for issues you have faced and an acceptance of a world that isn’t perfect. Have an attitude of “I responded and managed these situations, and the situations themselves do not define me”.

Is there motivation to own an issue and take on the challenge, or is there a sense of inculpability?

Accountability goes hand in hand with grit, and, like all traits, they are partly innate and partly developed. For example, interviewers will often ask questions that delve deeper into understanding your personal accountability. Such as, “tell me about the last time you made a mistake” or “tell me about a time you received negative feedback”.

Interviewers are not looking for excuses, justification or deflection. Instead, they want you to explain an example, your reaction, what you learned, and how you now use this information and experience. Of course, no one wants to hear that you have never made a mistake or that you’re perfect. That simply isn’t the case. However, being open and honest about past challenges you have faced and demonstrating a key understanding of your learnings for future progression will see you in an advantageous position.

Accountability for solving problems, personal results, and owning a sales cycle sets you up for success in the modern sales age.



Pulse Recruitment is a specialist tech sales recruitment agency, designed specifically to find high calibre sales talent the right career match within the highly competitive Asia-Pacific market. Find out more by visiting our Get Hired page!


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