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Business Development Manager interview questions and answers

Business Development Managers (BDM) are integral to any organization as they generate new business. Interviewing for this role requires a focus on the candidate’s ability to create and implement strategies, manage customer relationships, and contribute to the company’s growth.

Nikoletta Bika
Nikoletta Bika

Nikoletta holds an MSc in HR management and has written extensively about all things HR and recruiting.

This Business Development Manager interview questions profile brings together a snapshot of what to look for in candidates with a balanced sample of suitable interview questions.
business development manager interview questions

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10 good Business Development Manager interview questions

  1. Imagine I’m a prospective client. Sell me this object/Close a deal with me in 3 minutes.
  2. What would you do if a prospect was constantly devising excuses to avoid you?
  3. What would you do if you couldn’t use your car for a week?
  4. You find out that one of your customers is trying out a product of the competition. How do you approach the issue?
  5. Envisage you are part of a team when there are conflicting opinions about a deal. What would you do?
  6. From what you know of our company, what partnerships do you think would be beneficial?
  7. If you had to sell this product, what are two questions you’d ask to understand the needs of a prospective buyer?
  8. If I asked you to evaluate [this] new market, how would you go about it?
  9. How do you negotiate with an aggressive prospect?
  10. Are you familiar with our products? How would you sell this?

1. Imagine I’m a prospective client. Sell me this object/Close a deal with me in 3 minutes.

This question assesses a candidate’s sales skills, their ability to think on their feet, and their ability to persuade and close a deal effectively.

Sample answer:

“I would start by understanding your needs and preferences. Then, I would highlight the key features of the object that align with your needs, explain how it provides value, and address any objections or concerns you may have. Finally, I would propose a mutually beneficial deal and seek your agreement.”

2. What would you do if a prospect was constantly devising excuses to avoid you?

This question evaluates a candidate’s persistence, problem-solving skills, and their ability to handle rejection or difficult prospects.

Sample answer:

“I would try to understand the reasons behind their avoidance, whether it’s a lack of interest, bad timing, or other concerns. I would address their concerns directly, provide additional value or incentives, or propose a different approach or solution that might be more appealing to them.”

3. What would you do if you couldn’t use your car for a week?

This question assesses a candidate’s adaptability and their ability to handle unexpected challenges.

Sample answer:

“I would explore alternative modes of transportation, such as public transit, biking, or carpooling. If necessary, I could also arrange for remote meetings or reschedule in-person meetings. I believe in being flexible and resourceful in overcoming challenges.”

4. You find out that one of your customers is trying out a product of the competition. How do you approach the issue?

This question explores a candidate’s customer retention strategies and their ability to handle competition.

Sample answer:

“I would approach the customer directly and ask for their feedback about our product. I would listen to their concerns or reasons for trying out the competitor’s product and address them effectively. I would also highlight our product’s unique features or advantages and propose additional value or solutions to meet their needs.”

5. Envisage you are part of a team when there are conflicting opinions about a deal. What would you do?

This question assesses a candidate’s team collaboration skills and their ability to handle conflicts or disagreements.

Sample answer:

“I would facilitate a discussion where each team member can express their opinions and concerns. I would encourage open communication and mutual respect. I would also propose a solution or compromise that takes into account the different opinions and best serves the company’s interests.”

6. From what you know of our company, what partnerships do you think would be beneficial?

This question evaluates a candidate’s understanding of your company and industry, and their ability to identify strategic partnerships.

Sample answer:

“Based on your company’s focus on sustainability, I believe partnerships with green technology or renewable energy companies could be beneficial. These partnerships could enhance your sustainability efforts, provide mutual benefits, and strengthen your company’s reputation as a leader in sustainability.”

7. If you had to sell this product, what are two questions you’d ask to understand the needs of a prospective buyer?

This question explores a candidate’s sales strategies and their ability to understand customer needs.

Sample answer:

“I would ask, ‘What are the key features or benefits you’re looking for in this type of product?’ and ‘What challenges or problems are you hoping this product will solve for you?’ These questions can help me understand the buyer’s needs and tailor my sales approach accordingly.”

8. If I asked you to evaluate [this] new market, how would you go about it?

This question assesses a candidate’s market analysis skills and their ability to identify business opportunities.

Sample answer:

“I would start by researching the market size, growth trends, customer demographics, and key competitors. I would also analyze the market’s needs, preferences, and pain points. This information can help us understand the market potential and develop effective strategies to enter the market.”

9. How do you negotiate with an aggressive prospect?

This question evaluates a candidate’s negotiation skills and their ability to handle difficult prospects.

Sample answer:

“I remain calm and professional, focusing on the facts and the value we can provide. I listen to their concerns, validate their feelings, and propose solutions that address their needs. I also set boundaries and ensure a respectful and constructive negotiation process.”

10. Are you familiar with our products? How would you sell this?

This question assesses a candidate’s knowledge of your products and their sales skills.

Sample answer:

“I have researched your products extensively and understand their key features and benefits. To sell this product, I would first understand the customer’s needs, then highlight how our product meets those needs and provides additional value. I would also address any objections or concerns and propose a mutually beneficial deal.”

Red flags

Watch out for candidates who struggle to provide specific examples of their experiences, seem overly focused on their individual achievements rather than team success, or exhibit poor communication or negotiation skills. These could indicate a lack of effective business development skills.

Why Development Manager interview questions are important?

Business Development Managers (BDM) are found in all industries where they generate new business for a company. Higher education is usually optional except in some fields (e.g. chemical products). Depending on the position, you may look for experienced or entry-level candidates.

Related: How to attract and hire entry-level employees 

BDMs may be focused on product sales, closing business deals or both. There are, though, generic qualities that apply in all cases. People who are good at self-presentation, listen attentively and know how to plan are usually a good fit for these positions. With your business development interview questions, look for signs of high motivation, decision-making and time management skills. For senior roles, you can ask about knowledge of the industry, strategies and how they maintain customer relationships. Include management interview questions. Great entry-level candidates should be brimming with potential which translatesinton persuasion skills and confidence.

A great test is to ask them to sell you an object or close a deal with you. That way you will know if they can demonstrably make a sale as well as think fast under pressure.

Let’s summarize some of the questions and add a few more divided into specific types.



Operational and Situational questions

  • Imagine I’m a prospective client. Sell me this object/Close a deal with me in 3 minutes
  • What would you do if a prospect was constantly devising excuses to avoid you?
  • What would you do if you couldn’t use your car for a week?
  • You find out that one of your customers is trying out a product of the competition. How do you approach the issue?
  • Envisage you are part of a team when there are conflicting opinions about a deal. What would you do?
  • From what you know of our company, what partnerships do you think would be beneficial?
  • If you had to sell this product, what are two questions you’d ask to understand the needs of a prospective buyer
  • If I asked you to evaluate [this] new market, how would you go about it?
  • How do you negotiate with an aggressive prospect?
  • Are you familiar with our products? How would you sell this?

Role-specific questions

  • How has your background prepared you for sales?
  • How do you feel about working to targets? What were your annual quotas in your previous job?
  • Describe the process you would follow for business development
  • What are ways to identify a new market to enter?
  • What are the three most important factors when evaluating a deal?
  • What is your preferred strategy for finding business partners?
  • How would you keep in touch with existing customers?
  • What are after sales techniques you have used in the past?
  • What do you think of current developments in our industry? How could they affect our business development efforts?
  • How do you prioritize your meetings with clients?
  • Are you familiar with CRM software?
  • How do you use technology in your job?

Behavioral questions

  • Describe a time you had to negotiate the price of a sale
  • Have you ever walked out on a deal and why?
  • Have you ever had to sell a product you didn’t believe in?
  • Describe the most difficult client you have encountered
  • What was the most satisfying deal you achieved?
  • Did you ever have problems closing multiple deals?
  • How do you manage to juggle selling, market research and reporting?
  • Have you ever lost an opportunity to do business with an important partner? Why and what did you learn?
  • Have you ever trained junior staff?

Frequently asked questions

Ready to fine-tune this interview kit?
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