Promoting a stylish restaurant or lousy night club to passers-by, approaching pedestrians with a new offer from a mobile operator, or inviting shoppers to try a piece of a delicious Swiss chocolate.

Promoters are responsible for such marketing and sales efforts, and for many other promotional activities. This typically seasonal or part-time job offers flexibility, and you can improve your sales and communication skills significantly while promoting all kinds of interesting offers.

But how can you get this job in an interview? What will the hiring managers inquire about, and what qualities will they seek in a good candidate for the position?  We will try to find the answers in this article. Enjoy.


Many job titles, always the same skills

Event, sports, club, product, initiative–these are just some names for a role of a promoter. But whether you promote a new brand of cayenne pepper, or a jazz festival, or a dance party in a night club, you will always need the same skills and abilities. Interviewers try to assess mostly the following with their questions:

  • the level of your communication skills
  • whether you have courage and know how to approach a stranger
  • your sales skills, ability to spot the potential customers and deliver the most appropriate short pitch to gain their attention
  • charisma, natural attractiveness (isn’t the same as good looks, but looking good will also help you get the job)
  • resilience and persistence
  • whether you are fit physically and mentally (spending long hours standing, smiling and approaching people is not an easy task)

Let’s have a look at the questions they will ask you to assess your level of these skills and abilities.


Tell me something about yourself

Listening to you for a few minutes, they can already get quite a good grasp of your communication skills. Try to talk about things that are at least somehow relevant for them–your experience with similar jobs, your life situation that makes you seek this sort of a job opportunity (for example you study and need a part time income, or you look for a summer job), and so on.

The most important thing is to speak with enthusiasm, keep eye contact, gesticulate modestly, and articulate clearly. They observe all these things. If your words are hard to understand, or you use a street language, or perhaps look to the ground (or to the table) while answering their questions, they won’t hire you for the job.


How do you imagine a typical day in this job of an event promoter (club promoter, product promoter)?

Another deal breaker. If you show unrealistic expectations, they will not hire you. Read the job description carefully (if they provide any), and think realistically about the job.

The key is to present proactive approach to your work. They do not want to hire promoter who will only say hello and smile and never approach any passers-by.

Say that you expect to approach people, sometimes even in an obtrusive manner (this is true especially when you promote a night club or a restaurant in a tourist area), that you expect to spend a lot of time on your feet, starting talks with people. You can also say that you know that the vast majority of prospects will reject your offer, but it won’t discourage you.

promoter in suit approaches customer on a street

Imagine that I pass by this stand (club, restaurant, venue). Try to talk me into going to the shop (concert, disco, restaurant, etc).

There is no better way of testing your sales skills and courage than a role play. They may ask you to do all sorts of things–sell them a pen, your mobile phone, convince them to eat at the place, or do exactly the thing you will do as a promoter.

This is a scary question for many job seekers, but you should understand that they do not expect to hear a perfect sales pitch from you.

They just want to see that you have guts (if you refuse the role play, they will not hire you), and that you understand the very basics of each good sales talk–positive body language, enthusiasm for the product, understanding of the needs of the customers, asking questions to uncover sales opportunities, etc.

Try your best, tell them about the key features of the product/service, or about the benefits they will gain by going to a place your recommend (or buying a product you promote), and play your role. This will almost always suffice to convince them to give you a chance.

* May also interest you: Event Manager interview questions.


How do you feel about working in the night (on Sundays, for twelve hours in a row, etc)?

One of the drawbacks of a typical promoter job are working hours.

Sometimes you may stand twelve hours in a scorching sun, waiting for passersby who are not coming. Another time you will approach drunkards in the middle of the night, trying to convince them to go to your club, because the most beautiful women are supposedly dancing there on the floor (though in reality there are almost no girls in the club).

Remember that when they ask you about your ability to work in the night, or on Sunday, it almost always means that it will be expected from you in the job.

Ensure them that you do not mind standing outside for long hours (of course when you have breaks for food and drinks and toilet, etc), and that you can keep your focus and energy on a long shift.


How do you deal with rejection, criticism?

You won’t hear YES very often as a promoter. Unless you are an extremely attractive woman, most passersby will ignore you completely. They won’t even give you a look.

And even from those who stop to hear your offer, most will eventually refuse. Now, there’s nothing wrong about it. Promoting any product or service is a game of numbers, and high success rate won’t be expected from you.

What will be expected, however, is persistence and ability to deal with rejection. Ensure the interviewers that you do not mind if someone rejects your offer, or even shouts at you. You understand that such behavior belongs to this job, and it won’t have any negative impact on you.

You will simply continue trying, hearing one no after another, unless you finally get the coveted YES. And then you will repeat the process all over again… And if you want more information on this one, check 7 sample answers to it right here: How do you handle rejection?

Special Tip: Download all questions in a simple one page long PDF, and practice your interview answers anytime later:

What languages do you speak?

You will get this question in almost all promoter interviews in tourist destinations. Surely it is easier to convince a French couple to dine in your seafood restaurant once you approach them in French language (most French people do not speak any other language anyway).

I suggest you to mention all languages you speak, even at a very basic level. Basic is typically enough to learn a few phrases in any given language, and, speaking honestly, most passersby will ask you the same questions and you will use the same answers. You do not have to be fluent in a language to manage such a conversation…

When you do not speak any languages you can at least say that you understand the importance language skills play in this work, and plan to learn the necessary phrases in all major languages in a given tourist area.

people are all smiles at the end of a job interview

Other questions you may get in your interview for a promoter position

  • Why do you want to work as a promoter for us, and not for another restaurant (club, venue, event, company)?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • How long do you want to have this job?
  • What do you know about our product/service? Why should people find it interesting?
  • Tell us about a successful sales experience.
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • What motivates you the most in this kind of work?
  • Imagine that we meet on the street. Give me a one minute long sales pitch, trying to awaken my interest to visit this shop/restaurant.
  • Do you have any questions?


Conclusion and next steps

Interview for a job of a promoter belongs to easier interviews. Companies often struggle to find new promoters, since most young people aren’t particularly strong in sales, or in face to face communication.

Spending ten hours a day looking at a display of a smart phone writing messages full of emoticons won’t make a good salesman from anyone…

For this reason, their expectations aren’t particularly high. If you prepare for the questions from our article, and have the right body language in an interview, you should make it, and get a job. I wish you good luck!

Matthew Chulaw
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