Interview Questions To Screen For Instincts Motivations And Hunger
John Danos company has hired over 50 salespeople in the last few years, and hes developed a great nose for finding sales talent. I do that by looking for five traits: confidence, diligence, honesty, thoughtfulness, and a positive attitude, Dano writes in a recent post. Here are the three questions he likes to ask sales candidates.
These questions reveal a candidates instincts, motivations, and hunger.
Question #10: Can you tell me about a sale you recently made that you believed followed the perfect process?
Question #11: Can you describe a time that you volunteered to expand your knowledge at work, as opposed to being directed to do so?
Question #12: What would motivate you to make a move from your current role?
John Dano likes to spend about 10 minutes on each of those three questions, but feel free to mix and match from this list and linger where you see fit. Just like sales, recruiting often comes down to intuition and instinct and these 12 interview questions should help you see who has the most sales potential.
If you need more inspiration, check out our interview guide for sales professionals. The guide includes top questions for testing core sales knowledge, behavior, and soft skillsso whatever traits you value most in a salesperson, youll find questions to help you spot them.
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Give Me An Example Of A Time When You Were Forced To Comply With A Policy You Didnt Agree With How Did You Handle It
There is no right answer to this sales interview question, but leaders know where they stand. They know what they like and what they dislike.
The difference is that hotheads fight over everything, are impulsive, and leave a lot of damage in their wake.
Leaders know how to tactfully navigate these situations.
The policy your candidate disliked and their reaction to it should both be informative.
If You Started Your Own Business Tomorrow What Would It Be
Many salespeople get into the profession because they are enthusiastic entrepreneurs by nature. By asking potential talents about a fictional business, you will learn more about their future goals and motivators. You will also get a taste of how they pitch business ideas.
Eva Wislow, Career Coach and HR executive at Careers Booster
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Describe A Time When You Had A Difficult Prospect And How You Handled That Situation To Win The Sale
What to look for:
The answer to this question shows how they approach difficult prospects and whether they can put aside their pride to move a deal forward for the greater good of the company. Listen for a clear explanation of the situation, the steps they took to fix it, and the results of their actions.
Question #: What Is Your Long
A good sales representative will be able to voice more than quarterly or yearly sales goals theyll have a plan and the passion and drive to accomplish it.
Theyll also be interested in opportunities for advancement and have a solid understanding of your companys structure, and a clear path they hope to follow in order to grow in-house, unless you are looking for a seasonal hire. If thats the case, make sure that both you and the applicant are aware that the position is temporary.
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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.
How Do You Decide When To Accept ‘no’ As An Answer When Trying To Make A Sale
If your interviewer asks this question, they want to judge how you approach the sales process, how tenacious you are, and if you know when to cut your losses and stop.
Of course, you need to show you are dedicated to making the sale, but outdated pushy or aggressive sales tactics do not reflect well on the company and are not considered best practice in the current field of sales.
However, you do need to demonstrate that you understand that a customer doesnt always say ‘yes’ at the first encounter and some persistence is necessary if approached in the right way.
I know that it can take several touchpoints before a customer is ready to buy from a company, so I am gently persistent in my efforts. I dont believe in the ‘hard sell’ as I dont think customers respond well to that approach. Instead, I try to be as helpful as I can be, checking in with the prospect regularly and offering advice or information to help them make a decision. I am good at sensing if someone is moving towards buying and, if thats the case, Ill continue respectfully contacting them. If I dont feel the sale is moving forward despite my best efforts, I will always leave the customer with a positive feeling of our encounter rather than risk irritating them or appearing pushy.
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Questions To Ask The Interviewer
Remember, an interview is a two-way street. It’s advantageous to ask the interviewer questions during the interview. Plus, you don’t want to get caught flat-footed when the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” Here are some ideas for questions you can ask at this moment:
- What qualities does a successful salesperson at your company possess?
- What direction do you see this company taking in the next five years?
- What is the quota for this position?
- What percentage of employees meet their quotas?
- What percentage of employees exceed their quotas?
- Is there a lot of travel associated with this position?
- How is the commission structured in this position?
- Do many people achieve bonuses for high levels of sales?
- How much flexibility does the salesperson have in negotiating price with the customer?
- What do you see as the most difficult challenges for the sales team at this company?
- How many people are on your sales staff?
- How do you motivate your sales staff?
- What does a typical workday/workweek look like at this company?
Seven Insightful Interview Questions To Ask A Sales Candidate
You would never make a sales call unprepared, so never go into an interview unprepared. A successful sales interview is dependent on asking good interview questions. Hiring managers should be aware that, thanks to the internet and social media, interview question examples are now readily available to everyone. So if you rely on typical interview questions, you are likely to get fully rehearsed responses. Our experienced sales recruitment consultants have come up with some unusual but insightful questions to ask a sales candidate.
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Provide An Example Of A Team Disagreement You Had With Your Team How Do You Deal With Conflict
Having conflicts is not a bad thing not being able to resolve those conflicts is. To properly respond to this question, assure the interviewer that you are a good listener who can accept conflicting viewpoints without being offended. You could also stress the importance of resolving conflicts in a private setting.
Question : If Your Sales Manager Could Describe You In 3 Words What Would They Be
Why ask this question?
Are your salespeople self-aware? Seriously. Do they know their own strengths and weaknesses? Being emotionally intelligent is very important if youre trying to persuade people for a living. For example: if you know you sound off today, youll probably refrain from making many cold calls. Because the mood you have while talking to prospects affects your prospects, too. Think about it, how many meetings can you book with a gloomy pitch? Zilch! Most successful salespeople are reported to have high EI.
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What’s More Important: Achieving Quotas Or Keeping Clients Satisfied
This can seem like a trick question, but a strong candidate will recognize that it is a balancing act between achieving quotas and keeping clients satisfied. Too much importance placed on achieving quotas, and the client relationship will suffer. Conversely, too much value on keeping clients satisfied, and quotas wont be met.
Answers should show you that they are both goal-oriented and customer-centric, with equal importance on both achieving quotas and keeping clients satisfied.
Savvy Interview Questions To Ask Superstar Sales Candidates
Making the most of your interview with superstar sales candidates will help you in building a sales team that will bring you and your company great success.
Since conducting a thorough behavioral interview is such an important part of the hiring process, we have provided 4 more savvy interview questions to ask your superstar sales candidates.
1. What is your idea of an ideal work culture?
As you know, the job of a salesperson often involves spending a great deal of time on the phone and emailing, leaving your sales reps lacking the incorporation of much person-to-person interaction.
This often leads salespeople to feel somewhat disconnected from their colleagues and gives them reason to be displeased with their job.
In order to avoid putting your salespeople in this position, it is important that you strive to create a workplace that brings them some happiness.
And, creating this pleasant company culture is something that stands to benefit you immensely when it comes to interviewing new potential salespeople.
During the sales interview, be sure to ask your candidates what their ideal company culture is like.
If their responses are not already implemented in your company, but you feel they would be beneficial, you may want to start thinking about how you could start implementing them.
Here are some tactics to use in creating an environment for your current and future salespeople to enjoy and thus, thrive in:
2. What style of sales coaching benefits you the most?
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What Was The Transition Like From Your Previous Company
It’s imperative for salespeople to research prospective customers before interacting with them, so practicing this technique before an interview will leave a good impression. Research your interviewer’s previous positions and responsibilities and use them to ask informed questions. This will show that you have come prepared and done your due diligence.
Sales Interview Questions To Ask Sales Candidates
Achieving success in sales or any other field goes beyond just one factor. You need leadership with a vision, a product that addresses essential needs, and a dynamite strategy for bringing it to market for starters. But in order to make any of those things a reality, you also need talent.
These days, sales talent is especially hard to find. A historically tight labor market has taken leverage away from employers, and in most cases, proven sales reps are either happy in their current roles or expensive to hire away. According to SiriusDecisions, just 3% of high-performing sales reps are actively in the job market.
Thats why identifying talent has become crucial for B2B sales organizations. Finding the people who best fit your sales job openings whether its an external hire or an internal promotion depends partly on your ideal candidate profile, as well as the soft skills and competencies it should include. But having an effective sales interview process is just as important, if not more so.
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What Distinguishes A Great Performer From A Good Performer In This Role
Aside from demonstrating that you are invested in exceeding expectations, this question also shows the interviewer that you are focused on being an exceptional employee. Truly effective hiring managers will be able to answer this question because they will be aware of the traits employees must cultivate to make a successful team.
Examples Of Extreme Questions To Use In Sales Interviews
Coming up with unique interview questions for your sales interviews is crucial for the best results. Candidates may have multiple interviews to attend, meaning you are likely to obtain better answers if your questions are a little different.
Here are some examples to get you started, as well as why they work.
When is your confidence the highest? When is it the lowest?
The key here is to make sure the candidate can remain flexible and assertive in the face of challenges or the unexpected, especially when cold calling. This question provides insight into whether they can thrive under pressure.
If the candidate says that their confidence is lowest in spontaneous situations or situations that require aggressiveness, follow up to make sure they have adequate experience, comfort and proficiency with cold calling. Sudden changes occur in sales all the time, making it crucial for salespeople to adapt and handle themselves well under pressure.
Additionally, you can ask the interviewee to perform a mock phone call with you or someone else in the office to further vet their capabilities. This process does not have to be very formal, but the exercise will instantly highlight how comfortable they are during such phone calls.
What is the most effective method of getting to know new prospects during a phone call?
If you would rather avoid subjecting candidates to the surprise of directly carrying out a call, this question is a good alternative.
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What Role Can Social Media Play In The Selling Process
In todays world, social media plays a crucial role in the sales process. Customers currently rely on consumer feedback and the availability of product information on the internet. It also aids in segmenting customers and reaching out to potential customers regardless of where they are located. It opens up a larger market and helps to increase sales. Salespeople can utilize social media to add value to prospects by answering open-ended inquiries, replying to comments, and sharing content at all stages of the buying process, from awareness to consideration to purchase. Even after the sale, social media networks are a terrific method to keep in touch with your customer.
What Do You Do To Regroup And Recover When You Have A Bad Day
A trickier question along this line is when asked, Describe an example of a bad day, and how you dealt with it.
This question is about revealing your definition of what a bad day is, and how you deal with stress.
How to answer:
You can always say you dont dwell on the bad days. You determine what you can learn from them and move on.
One sales VP told me that he hired a candidate who said that when she had a tough day she would go for a long, fast ride on her horse, and leave it all behind.
Of course, you could say you go to the gym since most of us dont have a horse!
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Do You Have Any Experience Making Cold Calls
This is an important skill to have in sales. Salespeople who are outgoing and able to start and maintain conversations have a higher chance of closing deals than those who dont.
The interviewer is trying to get an idea of your personality by asking this question. So, answer the question with an example that showcases your research skills. Explain how you took the time to learn about the person you were calling to better understand their needs.
At my previous job, I aimed to make at least one phone call per hour, which helped me to generate one new lead.
Sales Interview: 20 Questions To Ask Candidates
As a hiring manager, you may be responsible for selecting candidates that can contribute to the success of your sales team. During the interview process, it’s important to ask questions that provoke insightful answers to gain a full understanding of a candidate’s potential within your organization. Understanding which questions to ask during interviews is a key part of selecting a candidate that best fits your sales needs. In this article, we discuss different types of sales interview questions with examples of each and provide sample questions with potentially successful answers.
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Question : Have You Learned Anything New Recently
Why this question?
Its a simple question. But a powerful one. The answer is a window into your candidates liveshow they view the world, their priorities, and their personalities. Salespeople are constantly learning new things or investing their time in new activities. It could be anything from sports to creative arts to music or anything under the sun. Whether theyre, in fact, a curious person, this answer will show.