These are some of the common questions asked in sales interviews. The answers are going to be different for everyone depending on personality and experience. This article will explain what sales employers want to hear, regardless of your work history. These questions are used to evaluate your work ethic, personality, confidence and intellect.
Quick tip: Interview questions should be answered directly. Be straightforward and confident in your dialogue. Answers shouldn’t be too short, but rambling will give the impression you either don’t know what you’re talking about, or that you are avoiding something.
Why do you want to get into sales?
If you have very little sales background, employers are curious why you want to change. Great potential answers can include your financial motivations; wanting to grow as an individual and continually get better; knowing that sales skills are key to success in business and you want to develop your skill set.
What motivates you?
This answer is different for everyone. Answers range from: financial security or abundance, providing for your family, constantly growing as a person by challenging yourself, helping others succeed (customers).
What are some of your long term goals?
Mention your career goals but also your personal goals. Don’t be afraid to be personable in your interview. Companies want to know that you have a personality and are going to be a great colleague.
What is a goal you’ve set and achieved? How did you do it?
Talk about a goal you’ve set, if you had to face any adversity in achieving it, and why you were successful in its achievement.
In your opinion, what traits make a successful sales person?
Some answers are: Strong work ethic, resilience and ability to deal with adversity, confidence, ability to learn quickly, discipline to follow up.
What are 3 strengths you have?
Talk about your strengths.
What do you know about this company?
You should have already done research on the company by this point. Important things to note are the company’s mission, vision and current initiatives. If you don’t know where the company is headed, how do you expect to be a part of it?
What do you know about this industry?
Research the competition, the products and services, and some of the most recent developments or news.
What will make you a good salesperson?
Discuss your strengths, in combination with the traits that make a successful salesperson.
Tell me about your previous work experience.
Be concise. Discuss only your relevant work experience and what you’ve learned from it.
How would your colleagues describe you?
Think about what traits you feel you’ve displayed well in current/previous jobs.
How would your former manager describe you?
What is a weakness you have?
This is not a trick question. Everyone has a weakness and not answering with one is a bad choice. Typically the “I’m a perfectionist” answer is frowned upon. Talk about a past weakness and how you have improved. Some examples: Procrastination and how you have learned to avoid it with planning. Being unorganized and how you have started using systems to avoid it etc.
Sell me this pen.
This one is cheesy but some will definitely ask it. DO NOT FOCUS ON THE FEATURES. The used car salesman will say things like “it’s shiny and has titanium allow etc.” Good salespeople start by asking why. Ask the interviewer, “Why are you interested in a new pen? What will a new pen help you accomplish in your day to day work?” Once they’ve given you an answer you can then tailor the features to it. “That’s great! This pen actually holds more ink than most other pens which will help you continue to work efficiently rather than having to keep refilling it as you mentioned is currently a problem.”
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