How 8 Recently Hired NYC Salespeople Landed Their Roles

When it comes to acing an interview at these fast-growing tech companies, the key is to be genuine.
Written by Michael Hines
October 13, 2021Updated: October 13, 2021

Conventional wisdom says candidates basically twist themselves into a pretzel if necessary to land a job. While some companies still abide by this theory and look for people who neatly fit their definition of what a salesperson, engineer or marketer is supposed to be, not all do. We know this because we recently spoke with eight salespeople in New York who all joined their companies in the past six to nine months.

While their roles, experience and journeys vary, everyone has a genuine interest in their company, their industry, in helping customers solve problems, or all of the above. This genuineness helped Wes Gibson, a sales development representative at Catalyst, make the transition from craft beer to tech.

“Little did I know, 10 years of craft beer sales experience meant next to nothing to most employers in this space,” said Gibson.

That experience meant something to Catalyst, though, and during his interview, Gibson was able to demonstrate how his storytelling abilities and passion for problem-solving would make him an asset to the company’s sales team.

“I think the most joy I get from sales, in general, is being able to help someone solve a problem or overcome a challenge in their own way,” Gibson said. “For Catalyst, that is really what we’re doing for companies.”

Continue reading to learn more about what brought these eight salespeople to their companies and how they used their skill and experience to stand out from the pack.

 

Monique Biady
Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships

What they do: Checkout.com is a payments platform created for global brands that offers coverage for over 150 currencies, payment insights and reporting, fraud protection and more.

 

What attracted you to apply for a role at Checkout.com in the first place?

I’ve always found payments fascinating. The space is rapidly evolving, and the pandemic has accelerated a societal shift to online payments. There’s an incredible amount of opportunity and Checkout.com is firmly a leader in this space, with still a huge amount of untapped potential within the United States. Coming from Revolut, I wanted to stay in a hyper-growth, global company with large ambitions, which Checkout.com absolutely offers. I’ve always enjoyed the pace and velocity that comes with that caliber of company with a steady flow of complex problems to solve. When I saw that the role was focused on growing Checkout.com’s reach within the fintech ecosystem, that’s what really sealed the deal. 

I love exploring strategic solutions with the most interesting emerging fintechs and finding opportunities to open up global commercial opportunities at scale. The culture was another huge push to join. It’s a very respectful environment, filled with highly intelligent people who love to collaborate and have big aspirations for the company.


Which skill or experience do you think helped distinguish you during your job search?

I think my previous experience within niche fields — from working on aviation finance in banking to student loan capital markets — gave the team confidence I could get up to speed quickly with our technologies. I also think the extensive work I’ve done in fast-paced fintech environments, as well as my experience helping businesses launch into new markets, set me up for success. I’ve been a part of some pretty intense training grounds, which were brilliant springboards for this next step. 

The ways the interviews were structured helped bring out how my experience would help in the role, as we discussed a lot of real examples and were able to build connections between them and the work I do today. We covered a lot, from working on technical products and complex negotiations to managing growth and product partnerships. I was also one of the first 10 or so team members to join the New York office, and it feels good to be one of the first on the ground on the East Coast. I joined my previous company at a similar stage and it is energizing to be building something from the ground up.

 

What do you enjoy most about selling Checkout.com’s product or service, and what do you find most challenging?

In a category like payments where you are so critical to the lifeblood of the customer, you need to build long-lasting relationships. We’re building value for Checkout.com, our strategic partners and merchants simultaneously. This is not a zero-sum game. I love the freedom we have at Checkout.com and my team is open to trying anything, which allows for a lot of creativity in how we try to solve problems. I’m also incredibly passionate about fintech, so I take great pleasure in chatting with founders and builders who are solving innumerable problems. I’m also really enjoying doing this in-person with some of our partners again after so long. 

There’s sometimes an initial challenge if a prospective partner hasn’t heard much about our services, but they’re always open to hearing more once they find out about the strength of our product globally. I love surprising people when I explain what sets us apart from our competitors and why we are such experts in serving bespoke fintech needs. Payments and fintech are evolving rapidly so there’s always more to learn. The pace certainly keeps things interesting.

 

Kayleen Duffy
Enterprise Account Executive

What they do: Braze’s omnichannel customer engagement platform is used by marketers at companies like HBO, Etsy and The Guardian to form more personal and relevant connections with customers.

 

What attracted you to apply for a role at Braze in the first place?

I have been in the space for a few years and was aware of Braze when the company was called Appboy. A few things inspired me to apply. First, Braze’s reputation in the space. Second, the tenure of employees. Third, the client base. Finally, the approach of the recruiting and sales teams in how they reached out to me, which was personal and authentic. 

My entire interview process was world class. I felt as if I was a client being courted by Braze and that excited me as a future seller. I felt heard, taken care of and inspired. Now that I am here, all expectations have been exceeded. The team is better in person, the product is better than I ever thought and the culture is top-notch. 


Which skill or experience do you think helped distinguish you during your job search?

What I appreciate about Braze is their focus on the whole person and the true power of authenticity, which came through even during the interview process. With that said, I focused a lot on what I bring to the table from a deal creativity perspective and from a team and culture perspective. 

My sales approach is solid but was table stakes for Braze. Braze looks for creative, smart and authentic employees. Braze looks for employees who challenge others to be better and truly find creative ways to serve our customers. I highlighted my desire to be creative and to serve our customers in a way that fits my style.

 

What do you enjoy most about selling Braze’s product or service, and what do you find most challenging?

I love our clients and the flexibility of our platform. Every day is a new challenge and adventure. We sell to incredibly sharp and creative thinkers who want to improve their customer’s experience, which ultimately impacts the business. Braze is also a team sell. We have teams with more than 20 years of experience combined that focus on specifics of our business. I get to bring in folks from these teams to truly help me present the value of Braze as a platform and more importantly, a long-term partner. We do not just sell on the technology but our impact as a team to our client’s organizations.

 

Anissa Vasquez
Account Executive

What they do: Sisense’s cloud-based business intelligence platform allows companies to make analytics a native part of applications and workflows, giving even non-technical employees access to data-driven insights.

 

What attracted you to apply for a role at Sisense in the first place?

I loved Sisense’s mission to help companies infuse analytics anywhere. I worked in analytics sales in my last job and know firsthand how important this capability is for data-driven organizations. Furthermore, I saw that they were voted one of the top business intelligence companies for customer support. It was really important to me to work for a company that is customer-obsessed and truly values its customers’ user experience.


Which skill or experience do you think helped distinguish you during your job search?

Going the extra mile is a concept that pays off when distinguishing yourself from other candidates. Knowing this, I did just that in the first interview by designing a whiteboard Sisense background. The first impression is everything, and I took this opportunity to show off that I am willing to go the extra mile. Additionally, I’ve had two years of experience selling to companies in similar industries, so I knew their needs and problems as well as how Sisense could solve them. This gave the hiring team confidence that I had the turn-key knowledge and experience they were looking for. 

While there may have been plenty of other potential candidates with similar backgrounds, I made sure to demonstrate my ability to take control of an engagement and that I was always closing on every step in the interview process. All in all, having a handle on making a good first impression, understanding the industry and being an experienced closer is what I believe got me the job.

 

What do you enjoy most about selling Sisense’s product or service, and what do you find most challenging?

One of the things I find most rewarding in selling Sisense is when I talk with a customer after I’ve sold them the platform and they can point to positive results. Of course, my primary goal as a salesperson is always to land the deal. But really, I’m in it because I believe the platforms I sell can truly improve people’s lives and make companies run more efficiently. 

No doubt, my sales role can be difficult and is highly competitive. Many salespeople are conditioned to make a pitch right away, but rushing to pitch a solution without understanding an organization’s problems or needs won’t get you far. I’ve found that asking insightful, industry-specific questions to determine whether you can help your prospects and how is the toughest part of this gig. Overcoming these challenges really boosts your credibility and trust with buyers because in doing so, you show a genuine interest in their industry and helping them become market leaders.

 

Lauren Camill
Inside Sales Representative

What they do: Angi’s marketplace connects homeowners and renters looking who need everything from lawn care to home renovations with local and verified contractors.

 

What attracted you to apply for a role at Angi in the first place?

I was referred to Angi by a close friend of mine. Prior to applying, she allowed me to come and shadow her for half of her work day. Seeing the positive impact Angi had on her career and the growth opportunities that were available was inspiring.


Which skill or experience do you think helped distinguish you during your job search?

When I was job searching, I knew I wanted a role that would help me grow and push me to reach short-term goals. I felt that my background in customer service and previous internship in advertising helped prepare me for this sales role with Angi. I had previous experience interning for a small firm that focused on digital advertising sales. That role showed me the hard work and entrepreneurial side of sales that I was not formerly aware of.

 

What do you enjoy most about selling Angi’s product or service, and what do you find most challenging?

It is truly something that has been proven to help enhance and improve people’s livelihoods. Whether you are a service professional or a consumer looking for work to be done, we are able to help! We can help businesses grow and consumers find high-quality service professionals. What I find most challenging is that just like any sales job, it can be tedious. However, when you set short-term goals and start to see results, it pushes you to want to set bigger goals so that you can collect more rewards at the end of the day!

 

Ryan Kirchner
Account Manager

What they do: SmartAsset is a personal finance company that connects users with financial advisors and also offers tools and content that help users calculate their income tax, plan for retirement, find credit cards, and more.

 

What attracted you to apply for a role at SmartAsset in the first place?

What attracted me was the company’s current and future success trajectory and the potential growth opportunities that could help take my career to the next level. After interviewing and meeting with the sales team, I was immediately sold on the culture, product and ultimately SmartAsset’s mission to help people make smart financial decisions. Even with all the tremendous success that SmartAsset has seen since its launch in 2012, it truly amazes me that we are only in the first few miles of a marathon. This is a great company to work for because if you’re dedicated and put in the time and effort, the future career growth opportunities are endless.


Which skill or experience do you think helped distinguish you during your job search?

I had a decent amount of direct industry experience, which I know helped me stand out. But the best quality you can bring to an interview at a culture-driven company like SmartAsset is genuineness. A sales job at SmartAsset requires the ability to successfully manage multiple relationships with financial advisors from across the country, and what distinguished me during my job search was my honesty and authenticity, which aligned well with the company’s mission. The sales team at SmartAsset is very tight, so being a strong, encouraging team player is a must.

 

What do you enjoy most about selling SmartAsset’s product or service, and what do you find most challenging?

SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor platform —  a national marketplace connecting consumers to financial advisors — is fascinating. We get to interact with financial advisors and wealth managers from across America who are very passionate about their businesses. Building long-standing relationships with advisors and helping to grow their book of business is the most rewarding aspect of my job.

Like any sales role, there are always challenges. We are a fast-paced and high-growth team, so you need to constantly balance a full workload and schedule. Time management and organizational skills are incredibly important to staying on track. Overall, we have a great product that has a massive impact on not only the advisors we work with but our company’s bottom line. Those aspects make my job very rewarding at the end of the day.

 

Claudia Ricotta
Account Executive

What they do: Worksome allows companies to hire and manage freelancers and contractors and compliantly manage and pay flexible talent anywhere in the world.

 

What attracted you to apply for a role at Worksome in the first place?

An existing employee and friend of mine posted about the opportunity on social media. She has always spoken very highly about the sales team and company culture, so I immediately wanted to hear more about the available position. After speaking with the management team and learning more about the platform, I was sold.


Which skill or experience do you think helped distinguish you during your job search?

My previous work experience taught me how to navigate different and strong personalities, think quickly on my feet and handle the ups and downs of sales. With these learned advantages, I am able to build and maintain relationships with clients more effectively. I knew this would be a different type of sales opportunity, but in my interview I showed my go-getter attitude and willingness to learn.

 

What do you enjoy most about selling Worksome’s product or service, and what do you find most challenging?

Worksome is such a well-done platform that it could basically sell itself. It is easy to use and cost-efficient in most cases. I would not have left my previous job if I didn’t believe in the product as much as I do. As for challenges, the only thing I have noticed is that people can be afraid of change. In order to survive, it is essential for companies to evolve in this direction. It is just getting people to understand that the time is now.

 

Sadman Shakib
Account Executive

What they do: Fidel API builds technology that enables companies to more seamlessly create real-time, programmable experiences — like the issuing of digital receipts and loyalty points, for example — whenever people use their cards for purchases.

 

What attracted you to apply for a role at Fidel API in the first place?

My approach to finding jobs in sales has always been to put myself in the shoes of the consumer. When I first heard about Fidel API’s tech, I was instantly sold. Their suite of APIs help developers build engaging and personalized experiences at the moment a transaction occurs on any payment card. I couldn’t believe that no one had thought of such a powerful solution and I wanted to be involved however I could. 

The cherry on top was when I started meeting with everyone at the company. Each person was welcoming, transparent and genuinely enthusiastic about the direction of the company and the impact that they believed I could make by joining.


Which skill or experience do you think helped distinguish you during your job search?

One of my strengths is being able to create and nurture genuine connections with people. That trait has paid dividends for me in my career. Being able to communicate articulately and authentically while still remaining professional and knowledgeable are what I hope set me apart from the group.

 

What do you enjoy most about selling Fidel API’s product or service, and what do you find most challenging?

Fidel API was built around the idea of being “developer and consumer first” and that has been maintained as the company has grown. I love being able to find solutions for our clients that enable them to create unique transaction experiences that allow for greater engagement with their consumers and make the lives of those consumers easier. 

Our tools power real-time event-driven engagements, loyalty and rewards programs, and revolutionizing processes from reimbursements to expense management. Additionally, our APIs are very easy and quick to implement. 

With that said, often our clients are either in the early stages of development or have an existing solution in place. From a strategic standpoint, knowing when in the roadmap to speak with a client can be challenging but also exciting and fulfilling since I get to help them solve problems.

 

Wes Gibson
Sales Development Representative

What they do: Catalyst is a customer success platform designed to give customer success managers a more comprehensive overview of their accounts by integrating with many of the tools CSMs already use, including Salesforce, Slack and Zendesk.

 

What attracted you to apply for a role at Catalyst in the first place?

My journey to Catalyst was a fairly unique experience. I worked for 10 years in the craft beer industry in sales. When I knew my time in that industry had come to an end, I began to look into the tech/software industry. Little did I know, 10 years of craft beer sales experience meant next to nothing to most employers in this space. 

I saw a post on LinkedIn that said my current manager, Ellen, was hiring. I started reading about the company and our co-founders’ story, and I was instantly hooked. It also didn’t hurt that our LinkedIn page had me rolling with laughter from all the memes!


Which skill or experience do you think helped distinguish you during your job search?

One skill that stands out the most is my storytelling ability, and I think this is a key skill for anyone who works in sales. You have to be able to explain your product to a customer in a way that is going to be beneficial for them, either in their role or for their company. A lot of times this involves talking about a use case or success story. Believe it or not, this was something very similar in craft beer. People wanted to hear the origin story of the brewery or the beer and how well it had sold at similar places or with a similar demographic. I had to not only know the product but also be able to “romance the brand.”

 

What do you enjoy most about selling Catalyst Software’s product or service, and what do you find most challenging?

I think the most joy I get from sales, in general, is being able to help someone solve a problem or overcome a challenge in their own way. For Catalyst, that is really what we’re doing for companies. A lot of them need a streamlined way to manage their customers. They may have a process, but it’s inefficient. They may have a health score, but it’s not data-driven. So to be able to offer a solution that solves for a lot, if not all of those problems, is really fulfilling. 

The most challenging part is that the customer success space is growing rapidly. Companies are trying to adapt to a new model that they see working for others, and they don’t always have the right processes in place. So there can be some consulting that takes place before Catalyst becomes the right answer. Fortunately, Catalyst is one of the best companies in that space, and we continue to be a leader in customer success!

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