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How To Interview For A Sales Job

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Can You Tell Me More About Your Sales Experience

SALES INTERVIEW Questions And Answers (How To PASS Your Sales interview!)

This is where your interviewer is trying to weed out those who talk the talk from those who walk the walk. Theyre looking for proof that you can actually do what your resume says you can do, and your attitude about it.

How to answer:

Keep it positive but realistic. Site what you have specifically done to get sales, such as, turn a no into a yes, and why you made the choices you did regarding the companies you worked for. If you dont have formal sales experience, be up-front about that. Talk about why youre excited to begin a career in sales, and give examples of what youve learned about the sales profession already.

Sales Job Interview Answers

Acing a sales interview can be a slam-dunk if you take the time to carefully prepare. Interviewing for a sales position is similar to meeting with a new client. But, rather than promoting a service or merchandise, the objective is to market your skills and experience as the product a company needs. Be prepared for a challenging interview. You may be asked open-ended questions about your sales background, given what if scenarios and be asked to demonstrate how you would pitch a product.

What Makes A Good Sales Assistant

With this question, the interviewer is really asking what makes YOU good at sales? It is always useful to create a list of the hard and soft skills you have that enabled you to develop your specific sales style. Examples include soft and hard selling, product pitching, managing client relationships, and cold calling. Heres a sample answer:

I believe that the best sales assistants are ambitious, and are not afraid of rejection. In fact, great salespeople hear the word no and see it as a challenge. It is also important to be detail-orientated because the more you know about what youre selling, the more information you have at hand to help you persuade a possible client that they NEED the product.

Also Check: How To Nail An Interview

How To Find A Great Fit For Your Sales Team

Here are some of the best ways to make sure your candidate has humility, hunger and smarts, and would quickly and easily get used to their new team.

Ensure youre not interviewing in silos. An ideal interviewing situation should consist of is multiple separate interviews, where different interviewers get to debrief before a final chat with the candidate. Another option is doing a panel interview. Both of these allow the interviewers to discuss personality traits theyve noticed and analyze various answers and behaviors from the candidate.

Interview in a relaxed team setting. For candidates that make it to a later stage of the interview process, you can place them in a working environment with peers, superiors and subordinates on a problem-solving task. Those with good interpersonal and collaborative skills will thrive in this environment and build a relationship with others quickly.

Ask sales interview questions that show their personality, not just their skills. Their sales skills might get them far in a sales process, but make sure to test how they interact with others. Some of the behavioral questions you can ask are:

  • Can you be a good team player and disagree with your manager?
  • How do you approach a situation if you dont agree with how your team wants to solve a certain problem?
  • What would you do if your sales results for the month are higher than anyone elses, and you notice the team morale is down?

How To Avoid A No From The Ceo

Sales Interview Questions and Best Answers

If youve made it to the end of the interview process and have a final call with the CEO, youre obviously doing something right. However, its here where lots of interviewees fall victim to self-sabotage.

A surprising number of people believe the CEO call is simply a formality, and that the job is in the bag, but the process is far from finished.

As a CEO, I take these conversations with potential employees seriously. Theyre not just casual banter. Youre still interviewing.

Here are some things I look for when Im on that final call:

Passion and interest in my company Im looking for excitement about the position and other indications that you want to join the team for the right reasons.

Intelligent and thoughtful questions I appreciate when a potential employee has researched our company, read our content, and translated that into smart questions. And dont be afraid to challenge me!

Proactively asking about your standing in the hiring process It cant hurt to ask how many other final calls Ive had for the role. Any good salesperson is aware of their competitive landscape.

An ability to close me Youre a salesperson. Do what you do best and show me what youve got. That is how to ace a sales interview!

What about what not to do?

Well, theres a lot, but in general, avoid being too long-winded, too negative about your current or previous role, and expressing disinterest in the brand youre interviewing with.

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What To Look For In Sales Candidates

Unlike other professions, salespeople may come from various academic and professional backgrounds. Its also important that they have certain soft skills that are often intangible, such as negotiation and communication abilities. Therefore its challenging to evaluate salespeople based solely on their resume and typical qualifications. You need to meet with candidates, learn about their professional interests and strengths and see how theyd react in realistic sales scenarios. Thats why sales interview questions can help you discover candidates true potential.

Are You Available To Work On Holidays

Businesses that need sales associates may need additional staff on overtime hours or during the holidays. Some companies also need sales associates with a flexible schedule. The employer needs to know your availability to be able to create a reliable and effective work schedule.

Example:“I’m available to work from Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. but can pick up extra shifts on the weekends during busy periods.”

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How Would You Integrate Teamwork To Respond To A Customer’s Question

Sales associates need to be knowledgeable about their products and services. However, sometimes you don’t have an answer to a customer’s questions. Employers want associates who provide their customers with facts to help them make an informed decision. Demonstrate your ability to follow up with helpful information.

Example:“If I encounter a question I can’t answer, I respond honestly to the client and reassure them that I’ll make an inquiry and get back to them. If they are there with me, I’ll ask a colleague or my manager to help. We can help the client together, or I can request them to leave their contact information so I can get back to them with an answer.”

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Typical Questions Asked In A Sales Interview

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

Ace your sales interview with these helpful strategies for responding to interview questions, along with examples of common sales interview questions and sample answers. Review them to help frame your responses based on your own qualifications, skills, product knowledge, achievements, and sales experiences. In addition, review a list of questions to ask your interviewer.

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What’s Your Greatest Weakness

This question is a great opportunity to take a negative and turn it into a positive. It’s among the most common interview questions and for that reason, it’s also known for evoking some of the most cliché responses. Saying something like, My biggest weakness is that I never give up on closing a sale, won’t come across genuine or honest.

To answer this question, think of a true weaknessyou get stressed out easily, or your habit of multitasking can lead to distraction. Then, give specific examples as to how you’re making an effort to strengthen these weaknesses. This will show the interviewer that you’re honestand when you recognize a weakness, you know how to take action to fix it.

Above All Be Prepared And Be Yourself

Be unapologetically you in an interview. If you’re not the loudest voice on the sales floor — don’t pretend to be. If you have a weakness, be honest about it. And if you’re especially kick-ass at closing or demos, be honest about that too.

Imposter syndrome is one of the worst traits to carry into an interview. So, just like you’d be comfortable letting a bad-fit prospect go, enter every interview with the confidence to let this job go if it’s not the right fit for you.

While it is impossible to anticipate every sales job interview question that could be asked, these examples should prepare you for the most important ones and any derivatives that come from them.

Above all, be prepared and be yourself. Your best interviews and outcomes are ahead of you.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Originally published Dec 3, 2020 2:15:00 PM, updated December 04 2020


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Consider How To Convey Them In A Concrete Measurable Way

One way to communicate your achievements is by attaching numbers to them. By using concrete details, you’re up-leveling the quality of your communication, backing up your assertions with “proof,” appealing to the logic of the interviewer, and challenging them to imagine themselves in the numbers.

Here’s how:

Instead of saying, “ I have experience in cold calling,” you’d say, “At my last company, I’d make X cold calls per hour and successfully convert around X% of them into warm leads.

Instead of saying, “I’m skilled at fundraising,” you’d say, “I fundraised X dollars last year for the .

Demoing Your Current/previous Companys Product

5 Steps To Nail Your Sales Job Interview

If the company asks you to present a demo of your current product, theyre likely expecting to see you at the top of your game.

Be sure your deck is up-to-date before going into the interview and demo, and if youre using a teleconference platform like Zoom or WebEx, make sure you double check your links before your demo.

Dont leave anything to chance.

Also Check: How To Write A Follow Up Email To An Interview

How Do You Balance Work And Life

People ask this interview question for all kinds of reasons. Some want to assess your dedication to work, while others want to hear that youre not the kind of person who only lives to work.

Use your knowledge of your interviewers values and the work culture to tailor your answer a bit, without making up a story about yourself that isnt true.

Example answers:

I am pretty good at balancing work and life. I am able to leave the day behind me and shift gears to spend time with friends and family.

Im terrible at balancing work and life. Work gets the best of me. I am always thinking of the next step in moving the needle in sales.

Im great at balancing work and life. The funny thing is, when Im not working, I still find that I meet people that serendipitously lead to sales opportunities.

Tips To Dress Fashionably For Sales Interviews

Have a big job interview coming up? Want to look your best? Here are 5 Tips to Dress Fashionably for Sales Interviews

Making a good first impression is important. One of the first things an interviewer will notice about you when you meet is how you present yourself. Do you look well put together? Do you exude confidence? Do you look like someone who could fill the sales role?

What you wear matters. If you want to make a great impression, you need to dress the part. Its not necessarily about a specific pair of pants or how you style your hair, its about your overall appearance. Since sales roles vary, looking the part can vary based on the position you are interviewing for.

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Insider Tips For Acing A Sales Job Interview

Congratulations, youve just heard back about an interview for that sales job youre after! If you tell a friend, chances are youll hear some age-old advice. It might be, Youre great, just go in there and be yourself or Give a firm handshake. That’s good advice and Im 100% on board, but lets be honest, it’s a little bit generic.

The fact is that landing a sales job requires you to impress your interviewer in a very specific way, including by showing your personality and proving your ability to deliver reliable results. You also might be up against intense competition. To truly master your sales interview, you need to use techniques specifically aimed at standing out among other candidates and landing a sales role.

Consider me your friendly neighborhood sales expert. Ive secured six sales roles, worked in sales recruiting for a Fortune 500 company, headhunted sales talent across the country, and provided career coaching for sales associates and C-suite executives alike. Ive seen the sales hiring process from every possible angle, and its given me unique expertise on how to master sales interviews. Here are my five top tips to help you ace yours.

Behavioral Interview Questions For Sales Managers

Sales Interview Tips – Sell Yourself In a Job Interview

Behavioral questions want to know how the potential candidate will react to situations on the job. These sales manager interview questions usually ask the interviewee to describe a situation and his or her actions within it. Per Top Echelon, a recruiting software company, there is no right answer and will depend on the candidates experiences.

Some examples of behavioral sales manager interview questions and answers include:

When your team didnt achieve sales quota, how did you ensure they reach their next quotas?

Missing sales quota is a standard area sales managers have to address with their teams. Interviewers are looking for leadership behavior when they ask this question. They want to hear about what happened and the candidates reaction to it. The response is, in many ways, the critical part of the answer.For sales manager candidates that have led teams before, sharing how they reacted to this real-world situation is critical. For those candidates without sales management experience, adapting the question to a time when they missed sales quota can provide the same insight. The important thing with this answer, as with all behavior questions, is to provide a real-world example.

Can you describe a time when you had to let a salesperson go?

What is your process for making decisions?

How do you prepare for presentations?

How have you used analytical skills in the past to solve a problem?

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Talk Very Specifically About How You Execute Your Sales Role From Start To Finish

When it comes to discussing your sales performance — go hard on the numbers. Have them ready and explain how you achieved them. Did you exceed your quota three quarters in a row last year? By how much? And how did you do it?

If you can’t explain how or why you succeeded in your role, it doesn’t really matter what you achieved.

Sales Interview Questions And Answers

  • “What do you know about our company?”
  • “Tell me a bit more about yourself.”
  • “Give me an overview of your career to date.”
  • “What are your short- to mid-term career goals?”
  • “How do you generate, develop, and close sales opportunities?”
  • “What do you consider your most significant sales achievement to date?”
  • “Tell me about a time that you failed to achieve goals you set. What went wrong and how could the outcome have been different?”
  • “Why are you interested in this company? Why are you interested in this role?”
  • “Consider a time when you haven’t gotten along with someone on your team. What would that person say about you?”
  • “How do you keep up with the latest industry trends in sales?”
  • “Tell me about the toughest sale you’ve ever made.”
  • “Have you ever had to break up with a client or prospect? How did you approach that?”
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    Sales Pitch Examples For Your Interview: Learn How To Pitch Yourself

    At some point, the interviewer will probably ask: So, tell me about yourself.

    This is probably one of the most common interview questions. In a sales interview, though, this isnt just a friendly opener. Its an opportunity to give a pitch that sells yourself.

    So, how can you develop a sales pitch that proves youre the right hire for the position? Here are three sales pitch examples for an interview that will sell yourself as a sales professional:

    Tell Me A Bit More About Yourself

    4 Things You Need to Know When Interviewing for a Tech ...

    Why Theyre Asking

    This question helps your prospective employer get a read on your ability to communicate and appropriately balance personal and professional information. It doubles as a chance to get a feel for both who you are as a person and an opportunity to see how well you can comfortably build rapport without being overly casual.

    How to Answer

    As I said, this question is supposed to incorporate elements of both your personal and professional lives so make sure you touch on each without getting too hung up on one in particular. Start with an interesting personal tidbit. Then, talk about why you are pursuing a sales career in general, and finish by discussing why youre interested in this particular company.

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    Write A Customized Detailed Thank

    Here is the word-for-word email I sent my future hiring manager:

    Hey Anum,

    Thank you again for talking with me Tuesday night, I really appreciate the advice and all your help. It was great to learn more about the Sidekick team and your experience at HubSpot.

    Working with such a scrappy, fast-paced team within a company I truly admire would be an incredible learning experience, and I would love the opportunity to prove I’m a great fit for the role.

    Attached is a how-to slide deck on SEO that I created for our at 451 Marketing. I’ve also attached my resume and a one-pager to illustrate why I want to work for HubSpot and how I align with the culture.

    Below are highlights of publications I’ve contributed to:


    I knew I wanted my post-interview follow up email to convey these elements:

  • Context and personality: I started jotting down notes after the interview to ensure that I could include some personal connection or common interest that would help Anum remember me among a pool of hundreds or even thousands of candidates.
  • Determination: I tried focusing on these main themes to demonstrate how badly I wanted the job:
  • Specific characteristics of the team that stood out to me
  • Elements of the position that appealed to me most
  • Values that I share with the company
  • For example, I emphasized the scrappy, fast-paced” nature of the team as an aspect that particularly excited me about this role.
  • Hustle: Finally, I needed to hustle. This brings me to the final step.
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