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Common Sales Job Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

by | Nov 13, 2020 | Career Advice | 0 comments

You aren’t given a lot of time to make a good impression in an interview. Sales job interviews are even more demanding of articulate, confident, and convincing responses from a potential salesperson. If you are going to nail your sales job interview, preparation is key.

Hiring managers are likely to ask you some similar-sounding questions when it comes to your sales job interview, so it’s a good idea to be prepared for these with well-thought answers. Here are some of the most prevalent job interview questions for a sales position along with some tips on how best to address them.

“What do you know about this company?”

You can’t possibly answer this sales interview question without doing your research, and that’s exactly what the hiring manager is looking to find out. Are you the kind of person who will take the time to get to know the company they are interviewing for or are you just winging it? Sales interview questions should be answered with specific examples when possible, so if you really want that sales job, research first. 

Read through as much reliable information as you can beforehand to prepare for their sales interview questions. Make notes and take in key details. If you can repeat these back to the hiring manager in the interview, they will automatically know you have done your due diligence for your sales interview questions.

“Can you tell me a bit more about yourself?”

This is a tough opened-ended question, but one you can easily answer if you do a little bit of prep. This is your chance to really sell yourself and prove that you are cut out for a sales job. If you can’t make yourself sound appealing as a salesperson here, then you are in big trouble for a sales interview. The interviewer will want to know if you are the right fit for their sales team and whether you really have the sales skills and sales experience to excel in a sales career with them. 

Take the time to think about your experience, skill set, hobbies, and desires and package it all up into a concise yet informative speech about yourself. Deliver it confidently and naturally like you would any sales product and you will no doubt impress the interviewer.

“Can you give me a brief overview of your career so far?”

Much like the previous answer, this is all about preparing and being concise with your answer. You want to convey as much information as possible in as few words as you can. Avoid discussing minor or irrelevant parts of your career and focus on the milestones that are relevant to their sales role or to sales jobs in general. 

Make sure to gives examples of what you did along the way and explain what you have learned to develop your own sales style for various sales positions if applicable. Frame everything in a positive light, even if it wasn’t necessarily a good thing at the time. If you left a job, make sure to highlight the reasons that was a good change in your career. At sales interviews, employers want honest questions and answers, but that doesn’t mean you have to tell the interviewer every detail about your sales experiences. Be optimistic yet honest. 

“How do you establish, build, and closeout sales opportunities?”

These sorts of questions are all about examples. Anyone can ramble on about the ideas of sales but unless you can back it up with some proof of why your philosophy works, it has little credibility. Take the time to come up with some key examples that back up anything you want to say and have them ready when giving your answer for real in the interview setting.

You’ll want to address key areas like planning, targeting, communicating, problem-solving, persisting, and closing in your answer. Run through all of these things step-by-step and give a thorough, well-reasoned answer to stand the best chance of impressing the hiring manager during the sales interview. You can also discuss sales goals and how your selling skills, sales strategies, and abilities with cold calls made you a better salesperson. 

“What is your best achievement in sales so far in your career?”

Once again, preparation is absolutely necessary to answer this question effectively. If you’re asked this sales interview question and you take your time humming and ahhing before delivering a sub-par answer, the interviewer will take it as a sign that you are not successful in sales. Job seekers in sales should be able to woo the interviewer to some degree. 

Pick out a great example in your own time and think about all the individual successes you had within that larger success. Discuss each of these during the interview process and the skills you had to employ in order to make those a reality, such as relationship building and overcoming challenges. People tend to remember stories with detail, so add in as much relevant detail as you can. This also makes everything sound a lot more honest and gives you further credibility. 

“Can you explain to me the hardest sale you made?”

Just like the last question, this one is all about details. Highlight all the skills you needed to make that sale happen and paint yourself in a promising light. The more time you take to prepare a question like this, the better you will answer it when it comes to the sales interview.

The Bottom Line

As always, the key to a successful interview is preparation. In sales, it’s no different, so make sure you are as confident as can be by having all the relevant examples and details at hand ready to tell to the sales manager or hiring manager. The more you take the time to look through these common interview questions and come up with fantastic answers, the better your chances of remaining calm and delivering impressive responses on the big day will be. 

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