Basic Sales Rep Interview Questions
Master these sales interview questions first, then move on to the expert questions for extra interview points!
1. Based on your understanding, how would you describe our business?
Many hiring managers want to know you did your homework. Or, at the least, you put the company name through Google. It demonstrates that you value preparation and are interested in what they do.
To prepare for your sales interview, look at their website, LinkedIn and other socials to get a better idea of their goals, mission, statement and culture.
If the sales manager doesnt ask, you can always raise the question to score extra points. Doing so will demonstrate your consideration -especially if you ask for specifics.
How To Answer
is a -owned business that recently . Im familiar with your companys innovative solutions like . I see the value it provides your target market of and how it has done so against .
Overall, when researching your company, your vision caught my attention. I like how you approach your customers and the long-term goals you try to achieve with your activities. Hopefully, I will get an opportunity to help you achieve these goals.
2. Name two things about this position that attracted you?
When interviewers ask this question, they gauge your enthusiasm about the company and the role up for grabs. Mostly, they want to know that youre a good fit, so if you cant clearly answer the question, they might pass on you in favour of someone more engaged.
How To Answer
How To Answer
General Sales Interview Questions
General questions are often the most frequently asked during an interview and usually include questions that aim to reveal the general work style and attitude of a candidate. General questions could include likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, motivations and business philosophies. Examples of general questions may include:
Why did you choose to work in sales?
Tell me what you know about our company.
How do you handle rejection?
How do you establish trust?
Teach me something.
What are your strengths in the workplace?
What are your weaknesses in the workplace?
How do you overcome challenges?
What is your favorite part about working in sales?
Interview Questions To Screen For Culture Fit In Sales
Sales is about tactics and strategy, but its also about personality and drive. New recruits shouldnt just fit into your culture they should elevate it, making others around them even better. And while salespeople are famously competitive against each other, they also contribute to a spirit of camaraderie.
These questions reveal a candidates personality and their passion for your company.
Question #4: What are the 3 things that are most important to you in a job?
Question #5: Whats the most interesting thing about you thats not on your resume?
Question #6: What would make you choose our company over others?
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Situational Sales Interview Questions
18. At what point do you stop pursuing a prospect?
Although you do not want your salesperson to be so pushy that potential clients are totally turned off from making the purchase you do want a salesperson who will be persistent. Some sales experts suggest making up to six attempts before throwing in the towel.
19. Have you ever decided a prospect was not a good fit and turned them away?
It is never a good idea to hire a salesperson who thinks a product or service works for everyone. Knowing when the customer is not a good fit for your companys product or service, and turning them away is a key quality in a salesperson.
Consider it a red flag if the candidates response is, No, I never turn prospects away.
20. How do you feel about meeting with clients face-to-face?
This may not be relevant to your company, but in the case it is, you want your sales reps to be comfortable doing this.
21. How do you forge on during a hard day?
There really is not a wrong answer to this question.
Rather, this question helps you to get to know the candidate and whether they are someone who needs a bit of time to recover from a hard call, or whether they are able to get over it immediately and move on.
22. How have you turned around a streak of bad calls?
Every good salesperson goes through periods of struggle.
If your candidate claims they have never experienced this, that is a huge red flag.
23. Describe a time when a prospect made things difficult for you, and how you won them over.
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.
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Interview Questions To Screen For Adaptability In Sales
Sales professionals need to think on their feet: that means adapting to the unexpected, whether its a prospects changing needs, a radically new sales process, or all the features of your brand new offering.
These questions reveal how well the candidate can roll with the punches, improvise on the spot, and pivot like a champ.
Question #1: Tell me about a time when you were asked to do something you had never done before. How did you react? What did you learn?
Question #2: Can you describe a situation in which you embraced a new system, process, technology, or idea at work, even though the change was a major departure from the old way of doing things?
Question #3: Recall a time when you were assigned a task that you considered outside your job description? How did you handle the situation? What was the outcome?
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
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Why Do You Want To Work In Sales
The biggest mistake you can make when answering this question is to simply say, Because I like it, or worse, Because the money is good. This doesn’t really tell the interviewer anything they couldn’t have obviously guessedand it certainly doesn’t help to set you apart from other candidates.
Successfully answer this tough question by focusing on your sales history. Think back to when your passion first began. Was it because of a summer job? Or maybe it started as early as childhood. Briefly illustrate this passion with real-life examples and include a success story, if possible. Then tie it in to why you still want to work in sales. Employers will take note of this longstanding drive and remember your answer because of your personal story.
Question #: How Do You Handle Customer Objections
Customer objections are really requests for more information about a product or service and how it can benefit them. Good salespeople know this and use objections to create a better sale. When a hiring manager asks this question, you are giving the applicant an opportunity to tell you about the techniques they use and how they keep the customers interest, empathize with them, and make sales without badgering the customer or giving up too soon.
How Do You Achieve Work
Sales is a very demanding industry that requires executives to work long hours. With this question, the interviewer is trying to gauge if your personal life will affect your productivity at the workplace. Furthermore, they also want to test your commitment to work. So, while answering, keep in mind the mission and vision of the company, and collate your reply with it.
Sales Interview Questions To Ask Reps
1. Tell me about a time in your sales career where you needed to start a territory from scratch. What did you do the first 30 days? What would you have done differently?
Im a firm believer in asking behavioral questions versus what would you do? type of questions, says Brainsharks Chief Readiness Officer, Jim Ninivaggi. I think asking what would you do in your first 30 days? is a nonsense question. Ask What did you do in your first 30 days at your current organization?
2. Give me an example of a time where you had to choose between what was morally right and the easy way out. What did you decide?
Research shows that buyers already have a hard time trusting salespeople. Candidates need to demonstrate their ability to make an ethical choice even when its difficult.
3. How would you engage me with your current companys offering?
You want an excellent sense of a candidates selling skills and approach when theyre at full productivity. This question gives you a glimpse into reps sales readiness and how they think on their feet.
4. Why did you choose to work in sales over another customer-facing role?
5. Describe a time where you received difficult feedback. How did you change as a result?
Nobody knows everything, and everyone has weaknesses. Because theres so much value in effectively coaching sales reps, you should determine whether a sales candidate is coachable, and that he or she has shown willingness to accept feedback and use it to improve.
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Putting It All Together
Now, you should have some great questions to ask in a sales interview at the ready. Make sure to keep a few in mind every time you interview. That way, you can figure out if the job is the right fit while also showcasing yourself as an enthusiastic candidate, creating a win-win for everyone involved.
Which Do You Think Is More Important: Sales Goals Or Customer Satisfaction
This is somewhat of a trick question because both are vital to closing deals and maintaining the brands reputation. Associates that consistently miss sales goals arent contributing to business growth, while low customer satisfaction scores result in fewer qualified leads.
Weak Candidate Answer:
- Candidates who agree one is significantly more important than the other without highlighting the values of each may not be a balanced fit for the company.
- Answers indicating that both are important without further insight or application to personal experiences arent incorrect, but dont showcase the individuals expertise.
Strong Candidate Answer:
I dont really believe one is better than the other instead, theyre collaborative. Maintaining a positive relationship with a prospect may not earn you a sale today, but you never know what their budget will look like next year or if theyll recommend you to their network. Good relationships are good for business.
On the other hand, you do need to maintain your sales pace for the business to stay afloat and continue to innovate solutions that meet the needs of your clients. When you connect with prospects, they share their needs, which informs your business and the cycle continues.
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The Best 56 Questions For Interviewing Sales Candidates
The key to hiring a strong sales rep, who will be with your company long-term and will excel at sales, is to start with an effective sales interview process.
Knowing specific sales interview questions and the types of responses to look for will help you identify the salespeople with the most potential to succeed in your company.
Check out our lists of the best sales interview questions you should be asking your candidates.
What Makes You A Good Sales Representative
Your answer will give the recruiter a sense of attributes you think are most important in a salesperson. Your response will reflect what the employer is looking for in a candidate.
Successful salespeople have a certain set of personality traits that enable them to succeed due to the nature of their work. Here are a few qualities of salespeople that you can talk about by giving examples from your own experience:
- Salespeople are competitive. They live and breathe selling.
- They are active listeners. They listen to the problems of the customers and provide them with solutions.
- The best salespeople are resilient and can accept rejection without dispairing.
- They are confident and make prospects feel comfortable.
- Salespeople are empathetic and get inside the prospects skin to understand their needs.
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How Do You Stay Up To Date On Your Target Market
The best sales reps are full of curiosity for their target markets needs and pain points. This question can help the hiring manager gauge the candidate’s levels of curiosity and drive. Are there conferences that are on their radar? A favorite social media account with daily sales tips or news? These are the types of answers to look for.
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7. What Did Your Last Product Do for Your Customers?
Good salespeople wont just talk about product features or their different SaaS plans. Theyll understand how their products served a particular need and solved pain points for different market segments.
The candidate may turn this into a mini sales pitch to show off their skills or simply give you an overview. Either way, this shows how well they understood their companys role in their customers lives, whether B2B or B2C.
8. What Do You Know About Our Company and Our Product?
This is often a make-or-break question. Each of your sales candidates should have done extensive research into your business before the job interview. And if they knew who on your team theyd be interviewing with, they should have combed through any info they could, just like with a sales prospect.
Are they actually familiar with your product or did they send their resume out everywhere and hope for the best? This is also a shining opportunity for them to transition into pitching your product. But if they didnt, follow up with our next prompt.
9. Pitch Me Our Companys Product./Pitch me Your Companys Product.
Roleplaying should always, always be a part of your sales interviewing process. Its a prime chance for you to see each candidate in action and learn how they perform under pressure. But heres the secret to getting the most out of this exercise: Dont share your roleplay identity right away see if they ask for it first.
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Questions You Should Hear From An Interviewee
1. Anything specific regarding your company.
As soon as you hear, I was reading up on your companys history and learned that followed by a question, you know that the candidate did his homework.
That willingness to do in-depth research on a company indicates that a candidate will be motivated to take the extra step to achieve success with your clients as well.
2. What does a typical workday look like here?
This question is not broad level. It gets into the heart of a job. From this, a candidate determines the companys environment, whether it is high stress with abrupt deadlines or if a typical day lies on the other end of the spectrum, with a more natural approach to sales and a team-oriented environment.
A candidate who wants to learn more about the culture is thinking about his own long-term success and level of comfort as a potential team member.
3. What are you looking for in your ideal candidate?
A job description will generally list the hard skills that a candidate must have to be successful at a company. It will not, however, indicate the soft skills such as humility, willingness to work outside of a job description and other traits that work well in a companys unique environment.
A candidate with high Need for Achievement will want to know how he can attain success in the eyes of the company.
4. How do you expect your new hire to impact your company in the next 6 months?
5. What do you like most about working with this company?
Sales Interview Questions And Answers For The Best New Hire
Sales teams are the driving force for a companys growth and revenue. Theres no denying the importance of an excellent salesperson, and these sales interview questions can help you hire the best.
From tried-and-true classics to creative inquiries of the candidates sales knowledge, managers can learn more about a candidates strengths, interests, and experiences in just a 30-minute interview.
New and experienced hiring managers alike can benefit from switching up their interview questions every now and then. So before your next appointment, consider updating your questions to learn more about the person behind the resume.
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If You Could Be A Superhero What Would You Want Your Superpowers To Be
I really like this question because it usually catches the candidate off guard, but not in a way that will stress them out. This is a way to show the candidate that they can give a real human response without any fear of getting the answer wrong. It breaks the tension of an interview, and puts everyone at ease.
Scott Wesper, Hiring Manager, Arch Resources Group