The BMW interview.


It’s the day of the interview and I’m suited, booted, and sat in a carpark just up the road from the showroom. My fear of being late see’s me here a good half hour before kick off and I’m fighting my nerves and trying not to sweat. It’s not a hot day but the air con fans me with gentle waves of cooling air from the dash vents as I go through my CV one more time to make sure I can remember all the features and benefits of the product I’m pitching for sale. Me.

The sweep secondhand of my expensive Swiss watch (not a day for a Swatch today) rotates oh so slowly round the dial. 29 minutes…

Eventually my watch reads five minutes to go and I slot The Polite Hatchback into gear and ease gently down the road toward BMW, swinging onto the forecourt and slotting into a space alongside a new black 6 Series coupe. This is it then, deep breaths.

I climb out, plip the central locking and stride toward the entrance. Positive, head high, confident. Looking good. On the outside anyway. In the showroom I’m greeted by a very slim but otherwise very attractive blonde at reception. I give my name and the person I’ve come to see and she gestures me toward a small comfortable customer waiting area in the centre. I sit on a black leather couch and in a futile attempt at nonchalance pick up a 7 Series brochure. My eyes are scanning the words but nothings going in. Pictures are pretty though. Five minutes later I’m approached by a friendly looking chap who turns out to be the sales manager I’d spoken with on the phone. He greets me warmly and escorts me upstairs to the boardroom to meet The Boss. This is it then, showtime.

The boardroom is a quiet, gently lit, modern room, pastel shades and sparingly furnished with just a centrally placed large light oak table, perhaps a dozen or so chairs around it and a matching light oak sideboard against one wall. The Dealer Principle greets me, an older chap, laid back in manner but keen eyes, I get the sense this guy doesn’t miss much. We all take a seat, me facing them both around the corner of the table and the questions start.

How long have I been in sales? What sort of customer am I used to dealing with? What successes have I had? What sort of customer volumes am I used to dealing with? What happened to my last job? How long have I been looking? Why BMW? How do I think I’d cope with the change of product from what I’ve been used to? Some slightly more obscure questions, how would they know if I were happy? How would they know if I were unhappy? What was I intending to do if I couldn’t land the sort of job I wanted? I parried question after question as well as I could, duck and weave, keep smiling, keep talking, keep positive, engage engage. I felt I was doing ok, keeping my head above water. The sales manager was clearly on side, the dealer principle equally clearly had big issues about my lack of motor trade experience and I did my best to focus on positive responses to his concerns, I’m a blank canvas, no previous bad habits to unlearn, clean sheet start, keen and able to adopt and adapt to their processes.

It was an intense experience and overran by 15 minutes which was either good (they wanted to keep talking to me so were clearly interested) or bad (they couldn’t convince themselves I was up to it) But as suddenly as it began it was over and it was smiles and handshakes and “we’ll be in touch”es and I was out.

The sales manager escorted me back downstairs. I wanted to ask how he thought I’d done but figured that would be unprofessional so a last firm handshake, smile and eye contact and I was out, collapsing back into the Polite Hatchbak, loosening my tie and getting the hell out of there, quitting whilst I was (hopefully) ahead.

Fingers crossed.


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2 Responses to “The BMW interview.”

  1. clare Says:

    Fingers crossed for you too. Just a Q. Is the blog in the present yet?

  2. charliecroker Says:

    Not quite…

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