Is It More Critical To Provide Quick And Efficient Service Or Take Extra Time Serving Customers
The interviewer tests your critical and strategic thinking by presenting an operational question with two options. First, they want to try how you would manage conflicting objectives and determine your priorities. One of the best ways to answer this question is to make it situational and acknowledge the importance of both options.
Example:âExtensive customer service helps a client feel you have adequately addressed their needs. However, we need to deliver it quickly and efficiently to attend to other customers as well. Therefore, I can present various options to clients and leave them to decide as I get to know the needs of the next customer.
Tough Sales Interview Questions & How To Handle Them
Want to land a great sales job? Then you need to do well during your job interview. Here are 7 Tough Sales Interview Questions & How to Handle Them
While some questions are more difficult to answer than others, is there really an easy sales job interview question? If youve received the call for a phone interview or an in person interview, the odds are you are somewhat nervous about the questions you will be asked and how you should answer them. After all, you dont want to make a mistake or answer a question in a way that could hurt your chances, right?
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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How Much Time Do You Spend Farming Vs Hunting
This question will give you a sense of a candidates goals. Ideally, youll want someone who understands that it’s important to strike a balance between farming and hunting leads.
Look for answers that show the candidate understands that balance and doesnt dismiss either the farming or hunting part of the role.
Examples Of Best Answers
Here are sample sales interview answers about strengths and weaknesses.
My greatest strength is my organizational ability. I like to plan out the sales cycle to the letter and follow it through. My greatest weakness is related to my greatest strength because when my plan needs to change, I can be a little bit inflexible.
Why It Works: This does a nice job of pointing out an important strength while noting its flipside weakness . If the role does not require a lot of flexibility and it prioritizes consistency and follow-through, this is a strong answer.
My greatest strength is my competitiveness, which is why I also excelled as an athlete in high school and college. Nothing invigorates me like a race to the finish I love the challenge of trying to consistently earn an annual ranking in a companys Presidents Circle. Ive learned, though, that no one becomes a top achiever without the help of the rest of the team. My weakness is that Ive sometimes judged other team members when weve fallen short of a goal, so now I try to focus on motivating and supporting my team rather than just expecting them to follow my lead.
Why It Works: Note that this response talks about working to improve a weakness. That’s a good strategy when you have to point out a flaw. This answer also makes it clear that this strength is part of the candidate’s core personality.
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What Do You Know About Our Products Or Services
It is important to research the company as part of your preparations. Employers want to gauge your level of interest in their products and company. In your answer, you can mention some of their top-selling products. You can also include a point of view as a customer if you use their products or services.
Example:âI’m familiar with your detergent soaps, and I actually use them for my laundry. They’re especially effective for stains. However, I also know about your new upcoming bathing soap product. I’ve only tried the lavender soap, and I think you can add an unscented version for both soaps to boost sales.â
Interview Questions To Ask Every Sales Candidate
Content Marketing Manager at LinkedIn
65% of hiring managers in sales agree that a lack of soft skills among candidates limits their companys productivity. Of course, soft skills are notoriously difficult to screen forand theyre also central to the act of selling. A great salesperson is emotionally intelligent, quick on their feet, and eager to improve.
But you cant just ask candidates if they have those soft skills: theyll all say yes, obviously. Unless you can get a hold of Wonder Womans Lasso of Truth, direct questions will be a dead end.
Thats why many turn to behavioral interview questions . While they shouldnt be your only tool and there are other ways to screen for soft skills, they can still be super useful: , behavioral questions are the single most effective way to assess a candidate’s soft skills.
For those hiring in sales, the most important behavioral qualities are:
- Culture fit
- Potential for growth
Read on for the three best interview questions to assess each soft skill in candidates according to sales managers plus a few bonus questions from a seasoned sales recruiter.
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Are You Most Comfortable Selling To Specific Prospects If So Why
Beware of this question, but never assume that it has an entirely negative connotation. Its a common mistake for salespeople to get complacent and only focus on easy sells with customers.
But a company will want to know that you recognize the habit and that youre willing to step outside of your comfort zone to break it.
A good answer:
- Describes an ideal buyer for the product or service over an easy sell
- References your sales process and how you qualify prospects
- Ties into the research youve done about the companys customers
Whats A Time You Failed Miserably At Something And How Did You Recover
Interviewers use this question to assess your capacity to recognize your weaknesses and assume responsibility for shortcomings or missteps. Your answer to this question will shed light on your self-awareness, risk tolerance, and coping skills.
When discussing a past failure, contextualize the situation and explain the problem you were tasked with solving. Briefly recount your approach to solving the problem, and note what went wrong and why. Discuss the results of your approach, and own your mistakes. Above all, highlight what you learned from the experience.
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What Are Your Strengths And Weaknesses
Why is this a good question to ask?
The hiring manager wants to ensure that the candidate knows their strengths and weaknesses and has taken some time to reflect on them.
If the salesperson cant think of any weaknesses, they either dont think very much of themselves or havent been in sales long enough to realize that everyone has room for improvement.
Or, potentially worse, they have never received, or dont know how to listen to and learn from, constructive feedback.
Self awareness is an important attribute that is often overlooked.
More Sales Interview Questions
See more common questions you may get during a sales interview, along with recommended strategies for how to respond.
- How would your supervisor describe you? – Best Answers
- What are your strengths and weaknesses? – Best Answers
- What do you find most rewarding about being in sales? – Best Answers
- Why are you the best person for the job? – Best Answers
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Interviewers Will Ask You Questions About What Youre Doing To Learn About Sales Business And The World More Generally
For top-performing salespeople, the expectation is that everyone is constantly learning more about sales and business. Tell your interviewers about what content youre consuming, training courses youve taken, etc.
Its quite common for interviewers to ask about the last three books you read. Your answers dont need to be business-related, but you shouldnt struggle to identify three books.
What Do You Do If Youre Behind On Your Sales Goals
Hiring managers ask this question to measure your ability and willingness to reassess and readjust your sales strategy. Start by identifying why your sales goals were missed. Analyze your KPIs to pinpoint when and where things went awry. To pinpoint weak areas in your sales process, refer back to your sales plan and adjust tactics that were not successful.
Conversely, you should also set aside time to take stock of previous deals youve closed. Evaluate a recent successful sale and take stock of how many calls were necessary to book a meeting, how many meetings were required before heading to the proposal, and how many proposals were delivered before closing. This will help you break your sales goals down into actionable, quantifiable steps.
To right the ship, hone in on prospects that are continuing to progress and analyze whats making those leads successful. To speedily generate new opportunities, engage again with former prospects via thought leadership content and personalized follow-ups. Nurturing those prospects may win you referrals and help narrow the gap between you and your goals. Stay focused on your current opportunity pipeline and make note of deals that might close by years end.
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How Do You Think Our Company Could Be More Successful
Another part of a sales job is giving constructive criticism without coming off as too negative. We like to teach our graduates the value of staying positive at all times in an interview.
An employer wants to know what you think the company could do better: they can tell if youll bring a fresh perspective to the team.
A good answer:
- Speaks to your research on the companys structure, values and market
- Focuses on the solution to rather than the cause of the problem
- Talks about the part youll play in the solution
Sample Questions To Ask During Your Sales Interview
To learn more about the position, the company and its clients, here are some common questions to ask during your sales interview:
In what areas is your company growing or looking to grow?
How does your company overcome challenges?
What sales quotas do you expect from this position?
How do team leaders support sales staff?
What are some challenges your current sales team faces?
What traits should your top salesperson possess?
How would you describe the companys core values?
What is your commission structure?
How does your company generate leads?
What percentage of your current leads are converted?
How do you keep the sales personnel motivated?
To whom will I be reporting?
When do you stop pursuing a client?
What do you enjoy about working with this company?
How does your company set itself apart from competitors?
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Technical Sales Interview Questions And Answers
These typical sales interview questions and answers explore your knowledge of sales techniques and your understanding of sales methods.
They are frequently asked during the sales job interview but candidates are often unprepared and unable to answer fluently and confidently.
Stand out from the crowd with impressive interview answers.
What Are You Looking For In A Sales Manager And Why
When we teach our students interviewing skills, we also prepare them for leadership qualities. Ideally, your sales manager will be the one to recognize your contributions, so its OK to show what you expect from your superiors.
A good answer:
- Outlines the kind of managerial support that works best for you
- Describes the qualities of a good manager youve had in the past
- Shows how you balance working autonomously with taking direction
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What Core Values Do You Think You Need To Succeed
Of all questions in this list, this one is the most tricky to answer quickly. You could use humor, or you could give a more systematic, step-by-step answer.
But remember that the interviewer needs to see whether youll be an asset to the company. If a company has a progressive, loose culture, you dont your answers to be rigid and full of sales clichés.
A good answer:
- Speaks to your integrity, work ethic and character
- Aligns your values with those of the company youre interviewing with
- Explains why those values matter to you as well as the company
Your Interviewers Will Want To Know Details About Your Prospecting Methods
Be prepared to discuss how you prospect, including how you find and research prospects, what methods you use to contact them, and how you approach the initial conversation. If you use a specific prospecting method, explain what system you use and why.Its always helpful to draw on specific examples from your past experiences.
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Where Do You See Your Career Heading In Five To 10 Years
Tip: Highlight your goal and make your answer as clear and detailed as possible. If you’re trying to work in sales after you work in this position, tie in what skills you can learn in this role that you help you meet your career goals.
Example:”I can see myself as a future sales director managing all aspects of a company’s sales department. I believe my communication skills and aptitude to solve complex problems can create a culture of successful sales representatives. I believe this role gives me the framework to build my leadership and technical abilities, which aligns with my career aspirations.”
What’s A New Skill Or Concept You’ve Taught Yourself Lately
This question can help pick up on drive and curiosity. Like question #13, the skill they are learning isnt necessarily important, just the desire to learn. Strong sales candidates will be hungry for new skills and eager to learn better selling strategies.
Answers to this question can also give you a glimpse into candidates hobbies and interests, which is a great way to gauge how they might get along with other team members.
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Describe A Time When You Collaborated With Your Team To Close A Deal
A strong sales team is exactly thata team. This question can help determine whether the candidate is a team player. This is even more important if your organization prioritizes team-based goals. Plus, when a candidate values teamwork, it shows humility since they can recognize that two heads are better than one.
Candidates should be able to easily recall collaborative experiences and speak positively of their former team members.
Approach It Like A Sales Meeting
If youre a good sales person, you should be able to sell yourself. Think about it from the companys point of view if youre not able to sell yourself, how are you going to sell their product? Youll also be representing them in the marketplace so bear this in mind throughout the interview.
You should approach the interview like you would a sales meeting. Thoroughly research the business youre talking to and try to think through every possible scenario. What weaknesses may they identify? What do you offer that the competition do not?
One thing to bear in mind is that you should definitely look to be consultative rather than salesy. More than ever, businesses are looking for sales people who offer solutions to their clients problems. Few now go for an aggressive old-school sales approach.
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Inside Sales Interview Questions
Inside sales professionals will be in a unique position to use their great communication skills to understand the needs and desires of your prospects from within your business premises. Theyll use a range of communication methods to build clear pictures of your prospects.
Here are the main inside sales interview questions youll want to rely upon, when seeking out an inside sales employee:
Inside sales representatives are going to use countless tools, over the course of the average day and therefore, they must have some experience in doing this. Youll also need to know whether or not theyre capable of adapting to your own tech stack.
Every inside sales professional will have a communication channel that they prefer, compared to the others. Ask this question to build a clearer picture of your candidate, and of where you might need to help them in the future.
You can use this question to understand whether or not your candidate has prepared themselves properly. Youll also be able to assess their general sales knowledge and strategic mindset, when it comes to interacting with your prospects.
What Are Your Short
Why They’re Asking
Effective goal-setting is the mark of a clear-thinking, motivated worker. It’s essential in the context of both fulfilling day-to-day responsibilities and staying the course throughout your development within an organization.
An interviewer wants to know that you’ll remain organized, engaged, and ambitious throughout your tenure at their company this question gives them the chance to see that.
How to Answer
Before your interview, talk to a few people who are where you would like to be and ask if your stated goals strike a healthy balance between high-minded and achievable.
Then, when you talk to the hiring manager, briefly describe your goals and hone in on why you want to achieve them your driving motivations and where you think achieving these goals could take you in the next few years.
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