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Sales Associate interview questions and answers

Use these Sales Associate interview questions as a guide to discover the right qualifications for sales executives in candidates.

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sales associate interview questions

Sales Associate Interview Questions

Sales associate are the driving force of sales in retail environments. Look for outgoing, enthusiastic and communicative individuals. Experience in sales or customer service is desirable but not required since on-the-job training works well on those with passion for sales. Education beyond a high school diploma isn’t typically required but it largely depends on the setting.

What does a sales associate do?

The Sales Associate’s responsibilities include working closely with customers to determine their needs, answer their questions about our products and recommend the right solutions.

During the interview, you can ask a candidate to demonstrate how they’d sell one of the company’s products to you. This will help you assess three things: the candidate’s ability to think under pressure, their interest in your products and their sales skills. Use the following questions as a guide to discover other qualities such as customer service orientation, problem-solving and patience.

It’s also a good idea to add questions specific to your type of merchandise such as “what is your favorite computer brand and why?”. The answers to these questions will help you see whether they understand and like the products from the consumer’s point of view. The best candidates will stand out by asking more questions about your products, objectives and their opportunities to learn and develop.

Operational and Situational questions

  • What would you do if a client asked you a question about a product you didn’t know the answer to?
  • Imagine a customer is upset because there is a shortage of a product they want to buy. How would you handle it?
  • Have you used any retail software before?
  • If a customer destroyed a piece of merchandise, what would you do?
  • What would you do to let customers know of temporary discounts?
  • How would you handle it if you saw a customer stealing an item?
  • Imagine a customer told you they’re looking for a gift. Can you walk me through the process of closing a sale?

Role-specific questions

  • Are you familiar with our products? Which one would you most enjoy selling and why?
  • Do you know how to operate a cash register?
  • How would you greet each customer when they enter the store?
  • What steps would you take to close the store?
  • How do you stay calm and motivated when there are too many customers in the store?

Behavioral questions

  • Tell me about a time you managed to provide excellent customer service
  • Have you ever had a conflict with a coworker? How did you resolve it?
  • Describe a time you had to deal with a difficult or angry customer. How did you diffuse the tension? What solution did you provide?

For more general sales interviews, see our sales interview questions.

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