Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Best Interview Questions For Sales Position

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Sales Interview Questions To Ask Managers

Top 6 Sales Interview Questions and Answers for SaaS Sales, Software Sales & Tech Sales

16. Give me an example of when you needed to provide difficult, but honest, feedback to a friend or colleague?

Inevitably, your sales managers will need to have hard discussions with team members, many of whom they may genuinely like as people. Do they have the fortitude to say what is difficult, and can they do so in a way that is both clear and fair?

17. Describe how you handled a sales rep that was failing to meet quota. What steps did you take, and what was the result?

While the previous question deals more with their abilities to provide feedback, this one asks for concrete details around how a manager has handled underperformance. Did your candidate identify the underlying issue and take clear action to resolve it?

18. Share a time when a rep came to you with a sales challenge or problem. How did you manage it? What did the conversation look like?

Coaching is one of the most important skills of a sales manager. One common problem, however, is that many managers arent equipped to coach effectively. This question gives the interviewer greater insight not only into a candidates problem-solving skills, but also their ability to coach and mentor reps.

19. Why dont you want to make more money as an individual contributor?

20. How will you earn the respect of your team?

Finding The Perfect Fit Is All About Asking The Right Sales Interview Questions And Knowing What To Look For In The Answers

A one-of-a kind business with an unbeatable product canât succeed on its ownâthatâs where sales reps come in. Salespeople do more than draw in customers they also represent your business. So, while you need reps who can meet their quota, the right sales interview questions will highlight candidates who go above and beyond in sales interactions.

After sifting through resumes and cover letters, learning a candidateâs personality from just a 30-minute interview may feel like a tall order. To help you pick the best candidate, weâve put together a list of the best sales interview questions.

Under each question, weâve also included a list of green, red, and yellow flags to watch for. Green flags indicate a great answer, yellow flags warrant a follow-up question or clarification, and red flags may point to an unfit candidate. Read on to see how your candidates should stack up.

  • Asks in-depth questions about your team
  • Wants to understand you and your company better
  • Has a few standard questions
  • Doesnât have any

Question #: What Role Do Content And Social Media Play In Your Sales Process

Electronic and mobile commerce are expanding rapidly.

A salesperson who shies away from either is losing before they begin. A good salesperson will be able to illustrate a sales process that includes online and offline tactics for creating and growing customer relationships, educating the prospect, and closing the sale.

At the same time, they should express knowledge of and respect for any of your companys policies regarding social media and content use.

Recommended Reading: What Are Some Typical Interview Questions

Putting It All Together

Again, sales interviews are some of the toughest in the job market, but they dont have to be impossible. Just make sure you do your research on the company ahead of time, target your answers to the position youre applying for, and review sales interview questions in advance. That way, youll be ready to shine.

Nowgo get em!

And as alwaysgood luck!

Whats The Most Difficult Feedback Youve Received And How Did It Change You

Top 5 Sales Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

It doesnt matter whether the candidate tells a personal or work-related story here.

Whats relevant is how the candidate responded to difficult feedback.

The answer could go in a thousand directions, and theres no right one.

The point is to understand how the candidate responds to criticism. This is another question that shows you if they are coachable.

Read Also: Pre Interview Questions For Employers

Have You Always Been Able To Meet Your Sales Targets

Past trends can help predict the future, and your answer will give interviewers an insight into how you will perform at the company, in terms of meeting deadlines and sales quota. Be honest, but highlight the positives more.

Sample Answer:

At XYZ Company, I was regarded as one of the top salespeople for the past five quarters. However, before this, I did have a rough quarter where I struggled to meet my goals. I was discouraged but I took it as a step toward success, where I could rethink my sales approach. So, I worked on the aspects that were holding me back, and it was great to see the tweaks pay off positively in the following quarters.

Is Sales A Good Career

Sales can be a great career for several reasons. You can find sales positions in many industries, including retail, real estate, food service, technology, health care, and more. Many sales positions offer flexible hours, professional development opportunities, career advancement, and the potential for high earnings. The skills you learn in sales may apply to other roles or career paths, such as marketing, product development, or entrepreneurship.â

Read Also: What Are Good Job Interview Questions

Talk About A Time You Had To Put Aside Your Ego And Do Something That Didnt Directly Benefit You But A Co

Talk about a time you had to put aside your ego, and do something that didnt directly benefit you, but a co-worker or your company? Most salespeople are great at selling themselves and communicating their successes. Its more difficult for them to put that aside when necessary, but those are the kinds of people you want on your team.

Bob Clary, Director of Marketing, DevelopIntelligence

Tell Me About Your Current Team

TOP 21 SALES Interview Questions and ANSWERS! | (How to PASS a Sales Job Interview!)

Interviewers ask this because:

They want to know you are a team player and work well with others. A high-performing salesperson isnt worth having on the team if theyre a jerk, or negative.

How to answer:

Quickly share the structure of the team. What roles are there? Who does what?

You can also share some team rituals that are important to you whether it is the weekly team meeting where you aligned on goals for the week, or the fact that someone was always ready to help out on one of your deals.

Recommended Reading: How To Pass A Customer Service Interview

What Do You Know About Our Company So Far

Interviewers ask this because:

They want to know you took time to understand the company and the role before the interview. If they see that youre unprepared for the interview, theyll assume youll be unprepared for sales calls as well. Not a good look.

Doing this research is a key part of being a great sales rep, but they want to hear that you are interested in what they specifically do. Everybody wants to work with enthusiastic people.

How to answer:

Think of this as one of your first opportunities to sell yourself, so do your homework!

Look at their website, and ask yourself who they are selling to and what problems they are solving for that person.

If its a public company, look up their S-1 filing so you can see how they communicate about themselves to investors.

Connect with future colleagues and managers on LinkedIn, ask them about what its like to work there, and look at their social media activity to gather insights about what the job is like day-to-day.

Read reviews on sites like Capterra, G2, Yelp, or Google.

Most importantly: consider your whythe thing that motivates you to be who you are. Notice where it overlaps with the mission of the company and point out the similarities. Let them know specifically what it is about their company that is exciting to you.

Example answer:

Ive been following some of the sales leaders at your org on LinkedIn and Ive seen a consistent message across the board: its about the people.

Tell Me About An Objection You Had Trouble Overcoming Over The Phone How Did You Finally Move The Deal Forward

What to look for:

Every salesperson has at least one objection that plagues them. Did the candidate listen to the prospect’s concerns? Did they validate them? Did they help them reach a different conclusion?

The answer to this question will tell you a lot about how your candidate solves problems and thinks strategically.

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Sell Our Product To Me

Interviewers ask this question to witness your sales potential in action, how you perform under pressure, and your method of presenting the product to a potential customer.

How to answer:

  • Research the companyâs target customer, their pain points, goals, and experiences with the products. You can find out a good bit by reviewing the companyâs social media accounts, reading followersâ comments on posts and any online customer reviews.

  • Review your notes from researching and experiencing the companyâs products, especially their benefits and outcomes.

  • Reflect on your past sales successes and prepare to walk your interviewer through a sales conversation.

Other forms this question might take:

  • âHow would you sell this product to one of our customers?â

  • âSell me this product.â

What Are You Not Interested In Doing Professionally

10 Sales Associate Interview Questions And Answers

Interviewers rarely ask this question, but its good to know their ultimate career aspiration.

Instead, they stick to positive questions, like Whats your favorite part of your job?

But this small reframe can elicit some very telling answers, like which tasks will be tough to motivate your candidate through.

And thats worth knowing.

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How Do You Keep Up With Sales Trends In

Interviewers ask this question to understand how you operate in sales beyond mastering the sales processes and meeting your goals. Keeping up with trends, including new technologies and the latest research on consumer behavior, can greatly contribute to your career development.

How to answer:

  • Make a list of sales educational resources you subscribe to, trade journals you read, classes or trainings youâve taken, and sales influencers you follow.

  • Reflect on what youâve learned from the above. If possible, take a moment to investigate sales trends in your industry that you might not be aware of, and familiarize yourself with the resource where you learned about these trends.

  • Prepare to share your learnings with interviewers and your ideas for how you can apply these learnings to the job youâre applying for.

Other forms this question might take:

  • âWhat do you do to learn more about sales?â

  • âWhat do you do to stay current with the latest sales techniques?â

For more ideas on telling stories to captivate your sales interviewers, hear from Mandy Bynum, CEO and Founder of a consulting firm, who has interviewed over 2,000 candidates for entry-level sales roles:

What Training Method Is Most Effective For New Reps

It would be nice if a sales manager could do ride alongs and listen in on each and every call a new rep makes, but this model is impractical at scale.

Make sure the candidate acknowledges the importance of a repeatable training process that doesn’t center around an informal passing down of knowledge.

Also Check: How To Prepare For A Virtual Interview

What’s The Best Way To Establish A Relationship With A Prospect

What to look for:

Get insight into how they approach and maintain prospect relationships. If their answer is that they mainly communicate over email or via the occasional voicemail, that might be a red flag. If they tell you they collect lead intelligence and build strong rapport over the phone, that’s a good sign.

Tell Me About A Time Working With Another Was Challenging

SALES Interview Questions & Answers! (How to PASS a Sales Interview!)

Interviewers ask this because:

They want to be sure they are bringing someone onto the team who knows how to resolve conflict productively. Drama slows a sales team down.

How to answer:

Be careful not to throw anyone under the busthats not a good look.

Example answer:

A colleague and I were working together on a challenging project and had frequent differing opinions about the direction of it. My colleague would go to others in the organization to get their input on the project, and would not include me in the conversations.

At first, I thought my coworker was trying to cut me out of the project. After giving it some thought, I decided I needed to talk to my colleague and explain my concerns as plainly as possible. I discovered that they were not, in fact, trying to exclude me from the project, but felt unqualified to be working on it and wanted to get advice from others on how to proceed.

I suggested that we go together to get advice. The advice we got from others helped us collaborate more effectively and finish the project.

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What Do You Think Motivates Reps The Most

This is a bit of a trick question, but it’s an important one. The best sales managers know that motivation is personal. While money might drive one rep to go the extra mile, another might be inspired by a development opportunity or creative contest.

The candidate who can navigate the trick and get to the right answer in this case, “it depends on the rep” possesses the motivational ability to lead a sales team to success.

How Do You Think Our Company Can Improve Sales

Research the company to identify what aspects of its operations could be expanded. Some businesses may be easier to fix than others, so choose your words carefully and make sure your criticism is constructive. Rather than criticizing the companys efforts, strive to provide more information in the form of facts and data. If you have a strategy in mind that you believe would benefit the firm, make sure you have a plan in place to put it into action.

Read Also: How To Prepare For 2nd Interview

Describe Your Sales Experience For Me

Winning Tip: This is a great time to share work experience as well as earned accolades. Complex numbers work wonders, and you should highlight any specific distinctions youve acquired throughout your career.

If youre starting, be upfront about it, of course. But be sure to build on that by letting them know why youre excited about this position and any experiences outside of work that make you a great sales candidate.


I earned the distinction of top salesperson for five years running at my past position.

I exceeded my quota by 20% in my first year at .

While I dont have any direct experience in sales, I was president of the debate club and the head of fundraising in college. Ive also wanted to work for for years.

Interview Questions To Screen For Growth Potential In Sales

The type of interview questions for the position of a retail sales ...

Sales teams can suffer from notoriously high turnover rates a recent estimate puts it at twice the turnover in the overall labor force in the U.S. Thats why its so important for recruiters and hiring managers in sales to find candidates with growth potential ones who wont burn out after a year or two.

These questions reveal a candidates initiative and potential for leadership.

Question #7: Recall a time from your work experience when your manager or supervisor was unavailable when a problem arose. How did you handle that situation? With whom did you consult?

Question #8: Can you describe a time that you volunteered to expand your knowledge at work, as opposed to being directed to do so?

Question #9: What would motivate you to make a move from your current role?

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Is There Anything You Don’t Like About Sales

Tip: Be candid in your answer and follow up by discussing what you love about sales and what drives your motivation. Positive and negatives exist in each job, but you want to assure the hiring manager that the positives are why you applied for the position.

Example:”Sales can be a high-stress industry, but my drive to provide excellent customer service is why I applied for this position and enjoy this career. I’m goal-oriented so I’m able to handle stressful situations when I know my efforts will deliver results for my customers and for my company.”

Practice The Star Interviewing Method

STAR is an effective way to answer interview questions, and it stands for:

This helps you structure your answer in a way that has a narrative or storytelling component while including only the necessary details and outcomes, the result being more comprehensive and understandable communication.

In short, it allows you to get to the point quicker.

Recommended Reading: Interview Questions For Help Desk Technician

How To Answer Sales Interview Questions

At their core, almost all sales interview questions can be answered using the STAR method. Weve covered the STAR method before, but to quickly recap, STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. That means nearly every answer you give should include sales success stories and achievements from your own past.

You want to make sure you give the hiring manager the situation you were in, the task you were assigned, any challenges you faced, the action you took, and the result of that action. Ideally, you also want to quantify the details, as numbers often speak louder than words in the world of sales.

How To Prepare For A Sales Interview

Top 10 interview questions in sales hiring
  • Research the company and the products it sells.
  • From there, identify who its target buyer likely is.
  • Take stock of your sales achievements.
  • Consider how to convey them in a concrete, measurable way.
  • Be able to talk about yourself like you would a product or buyer.
  • Practice the star interviewing method.
  • Compile a list of open-ended questions for the prospective employer.
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