The “Brag Book” aka the Interview Portfolio
A Brag Book, or Interview Portfolio, is one of the most important elements of the sales interview.
In addition, it’s the only element you have complete control over. You decide the contents, and you decide how to present it within the interview. Therefore, much of your interview success lies within your hands…literally…in the form of the brag book you carry into your sales interview.
What goes into a Brag Book?
Begin with your resume; what achievements/accomplishments are stated? For every achievement listed in your resume, provide tangible evidence in any of the following ways:
- College transcripts (make sure GPA is a 3.0 or better).
- Notes from supervisors documenting achievements, or congratulatory letters.
- Annual (glowing) performance reviews from managers.
- Detailed sales reports – highlight your sales success in yellow.
- Photos of awards (plaques) or copies of certificates/awards.
- Letters of recommendation from previous supervisors or professors.
- Photos of yourself on college/professional sports teams.
- Copies of paycheck stubs that prove exceptional commission earnings.
- Your current business card, complete with title.
- Certificates of achievement for courses passed.
- Thank you emails or commendations from colleagues or clients.
Now assemble all the documents, in addition to your resume and reference page (co-workers, supervisor’s names/titles/contact info), and organize in a logical manner. Next, go to your local copy store to have it spiral bound together (wire spiral) with a professional-looking cover. You may also wish to utilize tabs for the different sections, in order to quickly access during the interview.
How do you use your Brag Book?
Your pharmaceutical sales brag book, or interview portfolio, is best utilized in the same manner a sales rep would present to a physician or another type of client. In other words, only the most important information (achievements) will be highlighted.
Avoid hypnotizing/boring the hiring manager by going over it page by page. ~YAWN!
Instead, utilize it in response to an interview question. If the manager asks you about your sales aptitude, provide a great example of your sales aptitude, utilizing the STAR format (See our interview Resources Page!) and back it up by pointing to the appropriate, tangible achievement in your sales brag book. Also, practice using your sales brag book in response to interview questions. Make sure you know the contents inside and out, so that you may effortlessly find the appropriate section within the interview.
However, please note that your sales interview portfolio / brag book is not meant to be the end-all to interview questions. It must be preceded with a well thought-out answer to create maximum impact.