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20+ Common Sales Interview Questions

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The questions asked for the job of Sales cover a lot of angles and that too for good reasons because the roles of a sales professional are multifaceted. Having a successful career in the field of sales demands several well-developed skills such as a growth mindset, good communication, ambition, fluency in the language, good problem-solving skills, etc. All of the skills cannot be addressed by only a few questions, hence, there can be no definitive guide for the same but what can be provided is a set of sales interview questions that might be asked by the employer. So, in the below-mentioned article are 20+ Common sales interview questions that you need to know how to answer so as to ace your sales interview.

Also Read: How to Answer Common Interview Questions?

“What Do You Know About the Company?”

Via this sales interview question, the interviewer wants to measure your preparedness as well as seriousness for the respective job. They are interested in knowing whether you are enthusiastic about working for the company and not just the idea of working simply.  By asking this question, they are trying to understand whether you will contribute to being an asset to the company or not. 

How to address:- 

Before the day of the interview, be sure to check the company’s official website or any other presence such as social media, etc. This will help you gain a background of the company and have a brief overview of the company regarding what the company is about, what services or products it offers, etc. Also, read about the company’s founder and CEO and their perspective. This will give you an added advantage.

Sample answer:-

“I am very familiar with the company’s so-and-so background. Mr./Ms. XYZ’s perspective really stands out and is amazingly impressive. I can clearly see the value the company provides with its services which makes it stand out from the competitors.”

“Give me an over of your till date career.”

By asking this question, the interviewer is showing his/her interest in knowing your journey. They are curious to know the situations you have faced, the hardships you have overcome, and most importantly the skills you have gained during the same. This helps them to read your ability to communicate properly and professionally as well. 

How to address:-

Start with a brief introduction about your background education and then gradually progress towards your career. Mention the positions that you have worked on and from them what perspective you gained. Frame each job in the sense of striving for something greater.

Sample answer:-

“I got into the field of sales at ABC company, which provided me with the foundation that was essential for me to develop my respective skills. After that, I found the opportunity with EFG company where I was able to build on my foundation and hence, excel in…”

Also Read:- STAR method for interview- Techniques and Examples

“Tell me a bit more about yourself.”

The employer via this sales interview question wants to see how well you can communicate appropriately while being professional and at the same time, the employer is also trying to understand you on a personal level. 

How to address:-

While answering this question, you can really highlight yourself as an individual in terms of communication skills, hobbies, personality, etc. Incorporate the majority of elements of both your professional as well as personal lives but be brief about each one of them and don’t get too hung up on any one skill or hobby in particular. Also, at every time, keep in mind to be professional. 

Sample answer:-

“Well, I am an extremely passionate person and have  A, B, and C, hobbies which I really enjoy. I have done them for years. And professionally, I have been in sales for Z years as my passion extends to this as well which eventually led to your company where all my interests align…”

Also Read: How to Answer, ‘How Did You Hear About This Position?’

“What are your short-to-mid-term career goals?”

This sales interview question is crucial in letting the employer know that you are a motivated worker with effective goal-setting being one of your skills. It also helps the employer to see whether you have the potential to fulfill your day-to-day responsibilities or not and hence stay on the course throughout the period.

How to Address:-

When talking to the hiring manager, make sure to briefly describe your goals with valid reasons as to why you want to achieve them. Include your motivations for the same. 

Sample answer:-

“I want to outperform myself in A motivations, hence my short-term goal is B. Achieving this goal will help me to improve my performance in this respect and will eventually up-skill me so that I could achieve my long-term goal which is D.”

“What do you consider your most significant sales achievement?”

The interviewer is allowing you to make a meaningful impression here. They want to understand that you have been able to apply your said skills effectively and achieved legitimate goals. 

How to address:-

In this case, answering specifically will win you the situation. While stating your crowning statement, don’t forget about the adversities and obstacles that hurdled your way and how you overcame them displaying your skills and eventually achieving what stated in the very beginning. 

Sample answer:-

“I have been searching for new domains to explore and hence been putting myself out there and attending more events, building connections with people all around, and as a result of the same, I landed a six-figure sale to the corporation on a lead that I sourced myself.”

“How do you generate, develop, and close sales opportunities?”

In order to become a salesperson you need to understand that you need to have a legitimate sales acumen. The employer here via this sales interview question wants to understand whether you have the requisite skills to deliver the performance required. 

How to address:-

Follow the process of how actual sales will be made. Start with planning, preparation, target setting, engaging, discovering the needs, providing solutions, resolving the issues, and hence gaining agreement. Layout the essentials of each step. 

Sample answer:-

“I began generating sales opportunities by Y through calculated preparation and client targeting. I develop opportunities by listening to the needs of the customer and providing the most appropriate solution. I close a sales opportunity by gaining the customer’s trust in both the service and myself until we reach positive terms on an agreement. 

Also Read:- How to crack an Interview?

“Tell me about a time that you failed to achieve goals you set. What went wrong and how could the outcome have been different?”

Every successful individual learns from their mistakes. Via this question, the employer wants to understand how you deal with failure and their shortcomings. The employer wants to see how you tackle adversity and eventually overcome it and learn from it so as to avoid it from happening again. 

How to address:-

First of all, don’t try and display perfection. Don’t be like you have not made any mistakes or haven’t failed at any given point. Own to your mistake. Clearly put forth your situation, describing the problem and then how you eventually overcame it and the learning you took from the same. 

Sample answer:-

“At the beginning of my career, I was unable to meet the quota for deals in the Z industry. I took a step back to get to the root of the problem and found that I was targeting the wrong demographic in terms of age and occupation. I learned that I needed to conduct much deeper research with the data and have kept that way of thinking at the forefront of my strategy today.”

Also Read: How to Answer, ‘Walk me Through Your Resume?’

“Consider a time when you haven’t gotten along with someone on your team. What would that person say about you?”

The field of sales is a high-stress field and the employer wants to know that you have self-awareness and the ability to work with other people as a team. If you can’t collaborate with others in a team project, then you are doomed to detract from your sales success.

How to address:-

Honestly answer this question by giving a specific example with a clear resolution at the end. Employers want candidates who have an ownership mindset and are not too prideful to resolve a conflict.

Sample answer:-

“In my last role, working with a BDR had a very different communication style than my own led to early clashes because of him being an internal processor and me being an external thought processor. Ultimately, we took some time together, and worked out ways as to how we could work together as a team.”

“Why are you interested in this company? What are you interested in this role?”

This question is meant to gauge the extent of enthusiasm on your part in joining the company because the employer knows that an enthusiastic employee is an engaged one. Hence is more likely to go that extra mile for the company.

How to address:-

Make a list of things that you like about the company such as the work culture, the company’s vision,  etc. And tell the interviewer the reason for the same.

Sample answer:-

“I have always been curious and fascinated by this industry and how the company has made such innovative and viable solutions for the customers. It would be my honour to learn more about the types of solutions the company has to offer and hence contribute to adding value to the company and growing together.”

This question helps the interviewer understand how passionate you are about the role in sales. Keeping up with industry trends shows sincere interest, motivation, and professional development.

How to address:-

You need to mention the ways that you opt to keep up with the latest industry trends. These can include industry books, listening to sales podcasts, following and subscribing to related blog channels, etc.

Sample answer:-

“I stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends in many ways. Engaging in conversations over Linkedin, reading my favorite business publications, etc.”

Also Read: Top 25 Behavioral Interview Questions

“Tell me about the toughest sale you’ve ever made.”

Through this question, the interviewer wants to hear from you the major accomplishments of your by demonstrating critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, etc. They are interested in seeing your passion here.

How to address:-

Talk about something you are extremely proud of. Every salesperson has that one specific sale that took a significant time to close. Talk about how much time you devoted to the sale and how you justified that time. Include the strategy that you implemented that closed the deal without wasting your or your company’s time.

Sample answer:-

“There was this one time when I pitched my business to a gentleman at a networking event, Although I wasn’t there originally but couldn’t help but overhear his issues with Z’s business. ……….After several deliberate hours, exchange of business cards, and holding multiple meetings over the span of many months, I landed the largest deal of my career with a major company in my A years of work.”

“Why are you interested in sales?”

Through this sales interview question, the employer wants to know how personal of a stake you have in what you do, so that you approach your career with sincere interest and passion. They are also allowing you to show what kind of energy you will be bringing to the position. 

How to address:-

Address it sincerely. State your reason for choosing a role in sales. That reason should extend well beyond “I wanted to make money”. Talk about your personality and the skill set that aligns with it. 

Sample answer:-

“The field of sales appealed to me because it is a field where hard work and problem-solving pay off. I personally enjoy the challenge of making a deal and feeling accomplished when the said deal gets closed.”

Also Read: How to Sell a Pen in an Interview?

List of Common Sales Interview Questions

The above-mentioned answers are the ones that you need to keep in mind in order to ace the common sales interview question in the interview. There are certain other common sales interview questions that might be asked by the employer. The answer to those too can easily be a combination of the above-mentioned ones. Some of those questions are mentioned below:-

  1. “Have you ever had to break up with a client or prospect?  How did you approach that?”
  2. “Do you consider yourself a team player?”
  3. “In what ways do you build rapport with customers?”
  4. “What do you do when sales are down?”
  5. “When you lose a deal, how do you follow up with that prospect?”
  6. “What do you know about our company and our product?”,
  7. “What’s your proudest sales accomplishment?”
  8. “Why did you choose a career in sales?”
  9. “How do you motivate yourself?”
  10. “How do you stay knowledgeable about your target audience? ( Emerging trends, news, etc.)”

FAQs

How do you talk in a sales interview?

Your tone should be polite and you need to do thorough research on the company beforehand so as to be prepared for any questions regarding the company that might come your way. Professionalism needs to be maintained throughout the interview even while answering casual questions such as “tell me about yourself.”

Why should I hire you?

By stating this question the employer wants to know about your passion in the respective field. The employer also wants to know your skills and what value you will be adding to the company. Whether you will be a good fit for the role or not and whether you will be an asset to the company or not. All these are hidden aspects of the same question, so answer accordingly. 

What kind of questions are asked in a sales interview?

“Have you ever had to break up with a client or prospect?  How did you approach that?”
 “Do you consider yourself a team player?”
 “In what ways do you build rapport with customers?”
 “What do you do when sales are down?”
 “When you lose a deal, how do you follow up with that prospect?”
 “What do you know about our company and our product?”
 “What’s your proudest sales accomplishment?”
 “Why did you choose a career in sales?”
 “How do you motivate yourself?”

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