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How to Answer Sales Interview Questions

When hiring a sales representative, the company’s goal is to find someone with the right sales skills and attitude who will be a good fit for their product or service. They are looking for a balance of these qualities and proof that you're a star in your field. They’re also looking for red flags.

Content Team
Content Team

Workable's content team brings its HR & employment expertise to Resources.

Employers’ potential questions during the interview can tell them a lot about who you are. Your answers can show them your qualifications and expertise, but they can also reveal more about your personality and how you interact with others. In sales, these qualities are just as important as your experience, if not more so.

Below are some of the questions you may be asked in an interview when the hiring manager is scoping out the talent for their sales team and why they ask these sales-related interview questions.

Q: Walk me through a successful sales process. What is your role?

A sales process question is a great way to test an applicant’s knowledge. If you cannot name the stages of the process or estimate the approximate duration, it shows that you lack the experience they require.

How to prepare for this question: They are looking for an answer that clearly shows what actions you’ve taken to guide your prospect through the entire sales cycle. It’s important to have the details ready.

Q: What information do you need before communicating with a client?

To be successful in sales, you need to understand how your prospects learn, what they are interested in, and what communication style they prefer. By adapting your strategy to meet these needs, you can increase your chances of success. The interviewer wants to know how you prepare for a sales call, rather than going into every situation with the same approach.

How to prepare for this question: Give an example of customer research you recently did for a customer and how you went about it. For example, read recent news articles about their company and industry and analyze the competition. Explain how an essential piece of knowledge you had helped you when communicating with the customer.

Q: Describe a situation where you failed to reach a sales goal.

This is a simple but important question that is very likely to be asked in a sales interview. Interviewers want to know what happened and what you learned from the experience. They want to know that you are growth-oriented and don’t flounder in the face of challenges.

How to prepare for this question: When deciding which example of failure to address, think carefully about the outcome of the failure and whether it will improve your chances of getting the job. Consider all the factors involved in the story you want to tell because some losses are better kept to yourself. Choose an anecdote that highlights some of your most important qualities relevant to the job you are applying for.

Q: What do you find most rewarding about working in sales?

A hiring manager wants to make sure you are motivated by more than just a paycheck. While it’s understandable that everyone needs to make a living, you should also give other reasons why you want the job. This will show that you are passionate and genuinely interested in the work you would be doing.

How to prepare for this question: There are many reasons to choose a career in sales. Some people enjoy finding new customers and solving problems for them. Others enjoy the personal relationships they can build with their clients. Some even enjoy the thrill of sales itself. Whatever your reason, give an example of how this determines your success in sales.

Q: What’s your attitude towards cold calling?

Most hiring managers are interested in whether or not you have experience with cold calling, especially if the sales position they’re hiring for involves a lot of cold calling as a primary job responsibility.

How to prepare for this question: You can either prepare an answer that explains you’re comfortable with it and then mention your relevant skills and experience (if any), or you can share how you plan to improve in this area. Either way, being honest and upfront about your abilities is the best way to go.

How to prepare for a sales job interview?

The questions asked in a sales job interview may differ depending on the level of responsibility. For example, between an entry-level sales position and a sales account manager. They also vary depending on the industry. We have already covered some common sales interview questions you’ll often be asked in sales job interviews, but you can find more sales interview questions here to help you prepare.

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