in Careers Advice, Interviews

Interview Question 38 – Did you increase sales or profits in your last job?

Advice

This is a difficult question if you have not worked in a senior managerial post or sales and profits did not increase in your last job. This is also difficult if you are applying at a time of recession rather than at a time of boom because sales and profits do not necessarily increase in a time of recession. It may be as much of an achievement to maintain constant levels or to only see profits diminish by half as opposed to more than half. One thing is very clear with this question is that you do need to make sure that you provide evidence when answering. If you did not do a job that would necessarily increase sales or profits it is highly likely this question would not be asked anyway.

Examples of Answers

“Yes. I started my last position in 2006 at which time sales levels were £2.5 million with a profit margin of 40%. Through implementation of a savings plan as well as aggressively expanding our marketing programme, we managed to increase sales by 25% and expand the profit margin to 60%”.

Or:

“I started my last post in the middle of the recession in 2008 with the short term plan to stabilise sale levels and to ensure the long term survival of the company. I managed to maintain the existing level of sales through replacing regular clients who had gone out of business with a new stream of work that in the medium to long term will hopefully increase the profitability of the company”.

Or:

“My role in my present firm does not enable me to have much say on sales and profit levels as I am undertaking more on a process role as opposed to a development role. This is something I wish to change as I am very keen to get more involved on the management side”.

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 17 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at www.legalcareercoaching.co.uk. You can contact Jonathan at cv@ten-percent.co.uk