Candidate tips: applying and interviewing for a new dealership role

Share this post

Whether you want to be a sales consultant, technician, parts interpreter or sales manager, securing that dream role you’ve always wanted isn’t easy. First, you’ll need to get through the application and interview process and come out on top as the best candidate.

Not exactly sure how to do that? We’ve got you covered with these top tips for candidates when applying and interviewing for a new dealership role.

Applying for roles

Whether you’re just starting out in your career or you’ve been with the same employer for an extended period and are looking to take the next step in your career, the first thing you’ll need to do is start applying for roles.

Candidate tips: applying and interviewing for a new dealership role
But how do you stand out in a competitive job market and secure your ideal role? It all starts with your application.

Whether you’re applying to an agricultural, truck, or earthmoving equipment dealership, your application is your first opportunity to capture the attention of a prospective employer and entice them to want to find out more about you. It’s crucial you get it right—after all if you fail to make a good impression, it’s a sure bet that you won’t be getting a call back for an interview.

While there can be a few nuances in the application process depending on the dealership and role you’re applying for, there are a few rules that ring true when applying for almost any position.

  1. Always read the job ad
    While it may seem like a no-brainer, it’s not uncommon for employers to include something in their job applications that will test whether a candidate has bothered to read through all the details. Failing to pick up on something like this is a very quick way to get yourself crossed off the list.

  2. Research the company 
    Like any form of communication, it helps to know who your audience is. Investing some time to understand a bit about the business, their mission, and what they’re trying to achieve will help you tailor your application to the individual dealership.

  3. Think about whether it’s the right job for you
    Preparing job applications can be time-consuming, so don’t waste your time preparing application after application for jobs that don’t really interest you or that you’re unlikely to be a good fit for. Before applying, really think about whether you have the right skills and experience for the role and whether it fits in with your long-term career goals.

  4. Limit your number of applications
    Limiting your applications only to those jobs you’re genuinely interested in will make it easier to keep tabs on each job you’ve applied for. When you do get a call back, you’ll know exactly which role it’s for, allowing you to make the best possible impression.

  5. Always write a tailored cover letter
    A cover letter which is customised to the individual role and dealership will demonstrate that you’ve really understood what the employer is looking for, as well as helping you instil in your own mind what the role is about.

  6. Put yourself out there
    If the job you’re looking for isn’t advertised, don’t be afraid to get out there and start knocking on doors and introducing yourself to different dealerships. Plenty of dealerships are more likely to give you a chance when they’ve met you face-to-face, and you never know what fantastic opportunity you might stumble upon!

Preparing for an interview

Once you’ve passed the application test and have been invited to attend an interview, you’ll need to do some preparation to ensure you’re equipped with everything you need to make yourself stand out from the crowd.

  1. Research the company
    It’s crucial that you understand what the company is all about and what they might be looking for in a candidate. Visit their website to get a feel for the brand and dealership and check out their social media channels to find out what they’ve been doing of late. If they’ve done something interesting like donating trucks to deliver water for drought-stricken farmers, take note of it and keep it in the back of your mind as something that you can talk about in your interview. It’s also valuable to know the names of the dealer principal and some of the senior management team.
  2. Rehearse some responses
    While you may generally be confident speaking to people, it’s amazing what nerves can do to you during an interview.A great way to prepare for an interview is to practice answering some commonly asked interview questions in front of family members or friends. You’ll find it will make you more comfortable talking about and selling yourself. They may even be able to offer you a few helpful pointers too!Some people even find it helps to film themselves answering a few interview questions, as they can review what they said, what their posture was like, and what their voice or tone was like.
  3. Know your strengths and weaknesses
    Almost every interview includes some type of question about your strengths or weaknesses, so make sure you have an answer in mind that you can quickly reel off.While you may think something like ‘working too hard’ is a good weakness to use in an interview, you’re better off providing a genuine answer about an actual weakness. This will demonstrate a level of self-awareness and honesty, and an acknowledgement that you’re not perfect and that you know there are areas you can improve on.
  4. Dress appropriately
    While interview dress code can vary significantly between dealerships, it’s generally better to overdress than underdress—if you’re not sure how to dress, put on a suit.If you arrive at your first interview in a polo shirt and pants to find the entire interview panel is dressed in suits, it’s likely to make you feel uncomfortable and impact your performance. While you can generally afford to dress down a little for a second interview if the panel was dressed more casually at your initial interview, it’s best not to take that gamble when making a first impression. If you get the opportunity, it’s always a good idea to ask what the dress code is when you’re invited to attend the interview to remove any guesswork.
  5. Check the travel times
    Before your interview, use a tool like Google Maps to estimate what the likely travel time will be like around the time of your interview to ensure you leave early enough.You should generally aim to arrive 10-15 minutes early. You can even aim to be there well in advance of the interview to spend some time in a café preparing and doing some more research about the dealership to ensure everything is fresh.If you arrive at the scheduled interview time, that’s considered late. It’s also best not to arrive too early as they may not be ready or could still be finishing off other interviews. In some cases, delays are unavoidable. If you get caught in traffic or are running late, make sure you give them a call and let them know.

Nailing the interview

Now you’ve done all the interview prep you can do, it’s time to nail the interview itself! There are a few things you can do to make sure you put your best foot forward and give yourself the best chance of securing the role.


  1. Make lots of eye contact and speak to the whole panel 
    It’s important to acknowledge everyone in the room with eye contact and ensure you direct your responses to every member of the panel rather than only to the person that asked the question. This will demonstrate a level of confidence, openness, and respect, while showing that you can talk to all types of people.
  2. Have an explanation for any ‘hiccups’ in your work history
    If you’ve had a bad experience with a previous employer, it’s important to be able to provide a brief explanation of the core issues and any key learnings that came out of that experience. Always be respectful of your previous employer and try to keep your explanation short and concise.
  3. Have a few questions up your sleeve
    During your interview, you should be given the opportunity to ask some questions about the dealership or role, so it helps to have some thoughtful questions ready to go. Try to choose questions that demonstrate that you’ve understood what the role and dealership is about as that will also give the employer a chance to sell the position and company to you as well.
  4. Take an extra copy of your resume to the interview
    While you may not need it, having a copy of your resume on hand to give to the interviewers is a quick way to win some extra points if they forgot to bring one along or didn’t have the time to print one out.
  5. Ask what the next steps will be
    At the end of the interview, ask what the next steps will be.This will give you an idea of when you can expect to hear back from them, but will also give you an idea of when it might be appropriate to follow up if you haven’t heard back. While it’s best to give them some time to wind up the interview process before contacting them, if they haven’t responded within the time frame they indicated at the interview, it might be worth making a quick phone call.
  6. Send a thank you email after the interview 
    It’s always a good idea to email the hiring manager on the evening of the interview to thank them for their time and show them you’re interested in the role as well as let them know they can contact you if they need anything else from you.
Teamrecruit is Australia’s most established recruitment agency specialising in truck, earthmoving and agricultural machinery dealerships in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Find out more about Teamrecruit and how we support employers and candidates in the dealership industry.

Read more news

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.