Every week at Praxis, participants and alumni gather for Praxis Wednesdays, weekly group sessions designed to hone intellectual ability and build practical skills applicable to the professional world. These sessions cover everything from academic subjects — philosophy, history, and economics — to technical skills participants can use in their careers — such as writing, marketing, sales, communication, organization, and general business proficiency. Many weeks we’re joined by guest speakers, and other weeks we engage in open dialogue and debate.
Over the winter, we had the pleasure of welcoming as a speaker Johnny Roccia, experienced sales trainer and manager. Johnny spoke to one of the most important applications of sales: selling yourself — specifically, in an interview.
“You are not walking in somewhere begging and hoping that they will give you a job. No one is giving you anything. You’re going in and selling them on the value you provide in exchange for whatever value you want them to provide for you.” — Johnny Roccia
About the Call: One of the most important sales you’ll ever make is when you sell yourself to an employer. We call this ‘the interview,’ but make no mistake – it’s a sales call! There’s no one perfect way to nail your interview, but there are lots of common pitfalls to avoid as well as some great techniques to put yourself at the front of the pack. On this call, Johnny covered the ways you can apply the lessons of Sales Psychology to your interview techniques, and take control of this vital skill.
About the Guest: John Roccia has forged a very successful career in sales, sales training, recruitment and business development – and all with no degree, breaking ceiling after ceiling without one. With his first company, John did everything – door to door, B2B, lead generation, client management, etc., and always with zero training. As he says: “It was the wild west; we made it up and used what worked, trial and error.” Later on he got gigs training teams of salespeople, before returning to direct sales. He’s currently the Business Development Manager for Hanger Clinic (Keystone Region), the world’s largest provider of prosthetics and orthotics.
Johnny Covered the four Ps of good interviewing:
- Philosophy — the mindset for success
- Prep — people make or break themselves in the interview process in their prep
- Practice — practicing is imperative (and Johnny shared some great games to help you tighten up your response time)
- Pitch — how to sell yourself
“Sometimes your interview prep starts months or years before you’re looking for that job. Collect pieces of paper. If you get an accolade at work, see if you can get somebody to send that to you in an email — get it down.” – Johnny Roccia