26 Sales Interview Questions and How to Answer Like a Boss

I’ve labored with hundreds of gross sales candidates looking for new careers in gross sales, and people in search of profession progress with a brand new function.

Whereas a number of questions appear to be timeless favorites of hiring managers, I’ve additionally seen fairly a number of adjustments and tendencies.

The gross sales interview questions on this article are those you’ll most definitely face in 2022, primarily based on what I’ve noticed gross sales managers asking within the final two years.

And the solutions I counsel have helped reps safe the most effective job gives.

Use this information to arrange your self when interviewing for a gross sales place, and also you’re a shoo-in to get the job.

Listed here are the sections you’ll discover, for simple navigation:

Associated Discussions:

What are the High Gross sales Interview Questions you’ve heard?

Greatest interview questions?

High 5 Gross sales Job Interview Inquiries to Know

1. What have you learnt about our firm thus far?

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

They wish to know you took time to know the corporate and the function earlier than the interview. In the event that they see that you simply’re unprepared for the interview, they’ll assume you’ll be unprepared for gross sales calls as effectively. Not a very good look.

Doing this analysis is a key a part of being an excellent gross sales rep, however they wish to hear that you’re fascinated about what they particularly do. Everyone desires to work with enthusiastic folks.

Easy methods to reply:

Consider this as one among your first (and greatest) alternatives to promote your self, so do your homework!

Take a look at their web site, and ask your self who they’re promoting to (what title, what kind of firm) and what issues they’re fixing for that particular person.

If it’s a public firm, lookup their S-1 submitting so you possibly can see how they convey about themselves to buyers.

Join with future colleagues and managers on LinkedIn, ask them about what it’s wish to work there, and have a look at their social media exercise to collect insights about what the job is like day-to-day.

Learn critiques on websites like Capterra, G2, Yelp, or Google.

Most significantly: think about your “why”—the factor that motivates you to be who you’re. Discover the place it overlaps with the mission of the corporate and level out the similarities. Allow them to know particularly what it’s about their firm that’s thrilling to you.

Instance reply:

“I’ve been following among the gross sales leaders at your org on LinkedIn and I’ve seen a constant message throughout the board: it’s in regards to the folks.

It’s in regards to the clients, companions, teammates, and the broader neighborhood. It’s exemplified in the way in which your management recognises these folks publicly.

Your mission to vary the way in which firms interact with clients all through their lifecycle actually resonates with me, too. I wish to assist the gross sales neighborhood rise and undertake the most effective expertise just like the one you provide, whereas contributing to a higher social mission.

From every thing I can see, your organization gives an excellent surroundings to do this sort of work.”

2. Why [insert industry] gross sales?

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

They wish to know that you simply perceive what you’d be promoting, and that you are interested in it. A disinterested SDR can kill a chilly name (not in a great way), and an AE who doesn’t have an curiosity of their resolution has little probability of closing a deal.

They’re additionally making an attempt to ensure they gained’t rent anyone who will do shady issues simply to shut a deal.

This query is the hiring supervisor providing you an opportunity to spotlight your ardour and present you’re a reliable particular person.

Easy methods to reply:

Know the qualities particular to that trade and converse to why they curiosity you. For instance, tech is understood to be fast-paced with a lot of development alternatives, whereas pharmaceutical gross sales is extra relationship-driven.

Ensure you know your “why” earlier than going into any interview. Did you’ve a lemonade stand as a child? Was a member of the family in gross sales? Did a category, internship, or membership pique your curiosity?

Don’t be afraid to say you’re financially motivated to be in a gross sales function. This is without doubt one of the solely careers the place your onerous work actually pays off.

Instance reply:

“I’ve at all times been a really aggressive particular person and love a very good problem. Even early on, in my education days, I might compete in all educational applications (like speech and debate). I cherished the method of researching, making ready, and the joys of competing for the #1 spot.

I consider I’ll thrive in a fast-paced tech gross sales function and be motivated to hit my numbers and finally expand fee checks.”

Whereas this instance options a solution for a aggressive particular person, it may be tailored for thus many various expertise. Assume: Creativity, making an influence, partnership and camaraderie with a crew, rising in enterprise acumen, and extra.

3. Inform me a few time you succeeded or had been pleased with your self

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

They wish to perceive your drive to succeed, and listen to about one among your biggest accomplishments.

Plus, if if you get the job, your supervisor might want to know the right way to inspire you.

Easy methods to reply:

Questions that begin with “inform me a few time” point out that your reply to this query ought to use the STAR framework:

S = Scenario. Briefly describe the state of affairs you had been in.
T = Job. What had been you tasked with doing in that state of affairs? What was the objective?
A = Motion. Inform the interviewer what you particularly did, step-by-step.

R = Outcome. What was the end result?

Keep in mind that you’re interviewing for a gross sales function, so hold your response centered on one thing related to gross sales. Share a time if you had been persistent and it paid off, if you labored onerous to knock a objective out of the park, if you completed a major achievement, and so on.

When you have knowledge to again you up, that’s gold!

4. How have you ever stayed motivated in a distant world?

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

Many, if not most, gross sales groups are at present hybrid or absolutely distant. And what we’re listening to is that almost all will proceed to function a minimum of in a hybrid surroundings for the foreseeable future.

The powerful fact is that working distant in a gross sales function is difficult. You lose the power from being along with friends, you lose overhearing what’s engaged on another person’s name, you lose the celebration from the crew when somebody lastly picks up. So interviewers wish to know both that you simply thrive in that surroundings, you’ve discovered a solution to make it be just right for you, or you’ve a plan for it.

Easy methods to reply:

Take into consideration what instruments you utilize to attach with folks: Zoom or one other video software program, Slack or one other chat software program?

Take into consideration the rituals that allow you to really feel linked to your teammates: common joyful hour or espresso chat? Rotating catch-up soons? Coworking with friends in your space?

Take into consideration what motivates you: recognition? Attaining targets? Monetary incentives?

Instance reply:

“Earlier than I bounce into my work day, it’s essential that I deal with myself first. As a substitute of rolling away from bed and opening my laptop computer, I give myself ample time to prepare for the day, do one thing I get pleasure from (studying, journaling, strolling), and set intentions for the day.

I prioritize refreshing myself in the course of the day as effectively in order that after I’m working, I’m really centered and bringing my greatest self to work.”

5. What do you suppose can be your greatest problem in your first three months as an SDR (Gross sales Growth Consultant) or AE (Account Government)?

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

This can be a probability to point out that you recognize that gross sales roles are demanding. We frequently hear gross sales leaders hesitant to rent those that haven’t labored in a gross sales surroundings earlier than, and after we press them, they are saying it’s as a result of profitable gross sales folks know what to anticipate from the job.

Easy methods to reply:

  • Acknowledge you recognize this can be a troublesome function
  • Point out your traits that allow you to stay constructive and bounce again
  • Speak about why it’s value it so that you can succeed on this function

Instance reply:

“I believe the SDR function will educate me the right way to bounce again from rejection. I’ll must get used to listening to “no” continuously.

I think about myself a really optimistic particular person and I don’t take criticisms to coronary heart, so whereas this can be a problem, it gained’t be not possible to beat. I’m not a quitter, and I at all times see challenges via to the top, so I’ll deal with this as a studying alternative that can solely make me higher and extra resilient sooner or later!”

Widespread Interview Questions for Any Gross sales Consultant Function

6. Why are you in search of a brand new function?

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

They’re in search of a constructive, forward-thinking perspective. They wish to see that you’ve a development mindset and can sort out the brand new function with power and enthusiasm.

Easy methods to reply:

Don’t speak about why your present state of affairs sucks. The truth is, present gratitude for what you realized from it.

Stay centered on the long run alternative forward of you.

Instance reply:

“The previous yr with my present employer has taught me a lot. Whereas I’m so grateful to have had the chance, I’m prepared for the subsequent large journey—crammed with new learnings and areas for development.

Particularly, I’m in search of a task the place I can be taught [XYZ new skills], and work with a crew to perform [ABC goal].”

7. The place are you in your search?

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

They wish to know the way shortly your course of wants to maneuver and the way significantly you take the job search.

Easy methods to reply:

Simply be sincere. In case you are interviewing with different firms, when you aren’t, when you obtained a verbal provide, when you haven’t accomplished interviews but — simply be sincere.

8. Pitch our firm to me

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

They wish to know that you simply did your homework on their firm, and so they wish to assess your communication expertise. Are you able to discuss in regards to the enterprise in a means that is sensible, highlights the worth, and avoids buzzwords?

Easy methods to reply:

Have a clear, concise pitch assertion able to go.

Instance reply:

Do this format:

{Identify of firm} helps {insert purchaser} remedy their {insert key problem the product solves} by {describe the answer}.

Associated Dialogue: Easy methods to succeed at a task play interview as an AE?

9. Stroll me via your resume/background

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

They need a simple recitation of your related expertise to allow them to begin to assess match. They usually additionally wish to see when you can hit essential and related factors of a narrative in a short while.

Easy methods to reply:

Maintain it to 90 seconds.

Spend time on the weather of your expertise which might be most related: A membership at college? Athlete? Door to door gross sales? Lemonade stand? Waitress?

They don’t must know every thing about every function; they’ll simply wish to hear the talents that you simply realized that can allow you to excel in gross sales.

Instance reply:

“In my most up-to-date job expertise, I managed the entrance desk with a busy multi-line cellphone system. Whereas being liable for a number of duties, like greeting company on arrival and receiving and sorting mail to 100+ workers, I realized the right way to comfortably deal with communications (in particular person and on the cellphone) and stability that work my different duties. Earlier than that, I interned at a public relations firm and obtained some nice publicity to how companies place themselves available in the market.

It was essential to maintain a constructive perspective even when the exterior surroundings was hectic and make sure that the shopper and their wants had been at all times high precedence. I consider each of those experiences are related and set me up for fulfillment within the fast-paced function of a customer-facing gross sales rep.”

10. How quickly can you begin?

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

They may wish to get a way of how severe you’re in regards to the function, however this query may also be about easy logistics. They know once they want anyone – they wish to know if you’re out there, to allow them to plan correctly.

Easy methods to reply:

Commonplace time in the US to provide your present employer is 2 weeks discover. Different nations have completely different norms, although. Within the UK, as an illustration, I’ve heard of individuals giving 2-3 months discover.

Regardless, do not forget that the way you deal with your present employer is indicative of the way you’ll deal with them.

When you have one more reason that will prohibit you from 2 weeks, be sincere and clear. They’ll look ahead to the suitable particular person!

Instance reply:

“I’d like to provide my present employer two weeks’ discover, so I don’t depart my crew within the lurch. I’m certain you possibly can perceive. I’m out there to start out instantly after that.”


“I’d like to provide my present employer two weeks’ discover, so I don’t depart my crew in a bind. It’s additionally essential to me that I begin this new function with a transparent thoughts, a lot of power, and freed from distractions in my private life, so I’d wish to ask for every week in-between roles.

If that’s not possible, I might be versatile. I’m desirous to get began.”

11. What’s most essential to you in your subsequent firm?

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

They wish to make certain you’re a nice match. As a lot as you wish to present you’re a good match for them, they wish to make certain they’re a very good match for you.

They may even be making an attempt to get a way of your thought course of as you seek for a brand new function. Did you apply since you had been simply “throwing spaghetti on the wall”, or did you see one thing about their firm that particularly drew you in?

Easy methods to reply:

Once more, be sincere. Give you two to 4 issues which might be really essential to you in a working surroundings. They don’t essentially have to be stuff you already know in regards to the firm to which you’re making use of.

Perhaps they reference office tradition, instruments which might be out there, administration types, entry to sources, and so on.

Instance Reply:

“It’s essential to me that I’m a part of a company that aligns round a shared mission, and that it reveals in my interactions with colleagues in different departments. I’m additionally wanting ahead to being a part of a crew the place all people holds excessive requirements for themselves and people they work with.”

12. Inform me a few time you failed

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

They’re in search of the flexibility to replicate, assess, and plan.

They’re in search of somebody who’s humble and has self-awareness.

Easy methods to reply:

Select an precise failure. Typically somebody will select one thing that’s not a failure as a result of they suppose it makes them look higher—cue eye roll.

Speak about what you realized from it and particular actions you’re taking to make sure it doesn’t occur once more.

Instance reply:

“As soon as, after I was working with a shopper on an essential challenge, I advised them I’d be completed in 3 weeks occasions. However in actuality, it took me 4 weeks to complete.

In hindsight, I knew that I ought to have underpromised in order that I may overdeliver. After that have, I might handle expectations appropriately from the onset of a brand new shopper challenge and at all times set a time that’s greater than how lengthy I do know it is going to take.

Most of all, I keep in frequent communication with the shopper in order that they know the place we’re at with the challenge. Typically issues come up and I’m not in a position to meet expectations, however speaking early and infrequently has helped me keep away from points.”

13. Inform me a few time working with one other was difficult.

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

They wish to make certain they’re bringing somebody onto the crew who is aware of the right way to resolve battle productively. Drama slows a gross sales crew down.

Easy methods to reply:

Share not solely the problem, but additionally the way you got here up with an answer and what you realized from it.

Watch out to not throw anybody below the bus—that’s not a very good look.

Instance reply:

“A colleague and I had been working collectively on a difficult challenge and had frequent differing opinions in regards to the course of it. My colleague would go to others within the group to get their enter on the challenge, and wouldn’t embrace me within the conversations.

At first, I believed my coworker was making an attempt to chop me out of the challenge. After giving it some thought, I made a decision I wanted to speak to my colleague and clarify my considerations as plainly as potential. I found that they weren’t, in truth, making an attempt to exclude me from the challenge, however felt unqualified to be engaged on it and wished to get recommendation from others on the right way to proceed.

I instructed that we go collectively to get recommendation. The recommendation we obtained from others helped us collaborate extra successfully and end the challenge.”

14. During the last a number of years, have you ever been working from residence or from an workplace?

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

They wish to perceive which environments you’ve labored in.

Workplaces are in flux proper now everywhere in the world. Some are again within the workplace, others are absolutely distant. Some provide sure days of the week in workplace, others provide sure groups to be within the workplace. Some require vaccinations, and a few require masks.

Easy methods to reply:

Don’t be afraid to be sincere about your desire, but when being versatile is an choice, be sure that they know that.

If you recognize you’ll solely reach an workplace or working from residence, you will need to speak about it upfront.

15. If working from residence, what have your greatest challenges been?

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

The shift to working from residence has been powerful for everybody, particularly sellers. They wish to know when you might be introduced with a difficult state of affairs and the way you made it work.

Easy methods to reply:

Maintain it constructive. Share actual challenges you overcame (once more utilizing the STAR technique) — and likewise the way you resolved them.

Instance reply:

“After many months of working from residence, it grew to become a problem to really feel as ubeat and motivated as I did after I was within the workplace. One thing that helped me overcome this was creating issues in my day that differentiated do business from home. For instance, I used to have a commute. Now that I don’t, I take a stroll across the neighborhood and take heed to a podcast within the morning to simulate that outdated routine.”

16. What made your greatest supervisor your greatest supervisor?

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

They wish to know in the event that they’ll have the ability to give you a state of affairs the place you possibly can thrive.

Easy methods to reply:

Be particular! Identify one or two particular issues your supervisor did that will help you attain your targets at work. Perhaps they put aside time that will help you develop a brand new talent, continuously gave useful suggestions, or by no means let a win go unrecognized.

Take into consideration what issues most to you and let it shine via in your reply.

17. What would your earlier employer say about your work?

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

Self-awareness is a crucial high quality in gross sales, and understanding how you’re perceived by others issues.

Easy methods to reply:

Maintain it constructive and particular.

For instance, as a substitute of claiming “I’m actually nice,” you could possibly say, “They’d say I’m actually nice at pumping up my crew members.”

Then, inform a narrative with particular examples and hold it related to the gross sales function you’re making use of for.

18. Why ought to we rent you?

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

They wish to hear when you’ve been listening and understanding.

Easy methods to reply:

To begin with, when you don’t really feel crystal clear on their expectations, it’s okay to reply this query with a query of your individual to ensure you are on the identical web page.

When you perceive the expectations of the function, that is one other large alternative to promote your self! Present you’ve been listening by calling out particular gadgets that matter to them, and noting why you specifically have these attributes or experiences.

Take into consideration what makes you distinctive and share it. This can be a nice probability so that you can shine a lightweight in your strengths and the way they align with the wants of the enterprise.

Instance reply:

“I do know that you simply’re in search of a crew participant—somebody who can work effectively with, inspire, and encourage others. I additionally realize it’s essential to your crew’s success that every member has expertise promoting on this trade.

I’ve been often known as a cheerleader on my earlier groups, and I’ve been promoting efficiently on this trade for X years/months.”

Interview Questions for Skilled Sellers

19. Inform me about your present (or most up-to-date) crew

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

They wish to know you’re a crew participant and work effectively with others. A high-performing salesperson isn’t value having on the crew in the event that they’re a jerk, or adverse.

Easy methods to reply:

Shortly share the construction of the crew. What roles are there? Who does what?

You may as well share some crew rituals which might be essential to you — whether or not it’s the weekly crew assembly the place you aligned on targets for the week, or the truth that somebody was at all times prepared to assist out on one among your offers.

20. What expertise are you utilizing to assist your gross sales efforts at present?

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

They wish to see the overlap between the crew’s present tech stack and what you’re accustomed to. It will assist them get a way of onboarding and coaching wanted, as effectively, ought to the interview course of transfer ahead.

Easy methods to reply:

Don’t share each single software program you’ve ever used. Simply give attention to sharing the core gross sales tech that has made the most important influence on the way you do your job.

It’s okay in case your reply is only a few gadgets lengthy, don’t really feel pressured to provide a prolonged reply right here.

21. Are there any current applied sciences you’ve realized or heard about which might be significantly thrilling to you?

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

A pure sense of curiosity is a essential standards for being a robust vendor, and desirous to find out about expertise that helps us enhance reveals that curiosity. It additionally reveals that as purchaser wants and preferences change, you’re prepared to satisfy them the place they’re.

Easy methods to reply:

Share one, what it does, and why it issues to you.

22. What’s your present (or most up-to-date) quota?

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

They wish to know in case you are coming from an analogous or very completely different gross sales surroundings. Our SDRs set 20 conferences a month, however after I interview somebody who units 6 a month (no disgrace, their very best buyer may very well be very completely different from mine), I do know we’d have an even bigger hole to fill.

Easy methods to reply:

Be sincere. Present you perceive the construction by being succinct in your description.

23. What has your attainment regarded like?

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

All gross sales groups are below stress to hit their targets, and meaning they should give attention to bringing on high performers. In the event that they’re bringing on somebody with a lower than stellar report, they wish to know why.

(In truth, there’s some debate about whether or not hiring managers ought to even ask this query, however we’ll depart that for one more day.)

Easy methods to reply:

And be sincere right here, too. It’s straightforward to reality examine!

Share learnings or “a-ha” moments you had from not attaining objective.

And it’s okay to clarify conditions which might be lower than very best, however watch out that you simply don’t sound defensive or such as you’re making excuses. For a few of these stickier questions, you might wish to follow with a buddy first!

No matter you do, don’t blame anybody else. And please be particular about how usually you probably did or didn’t meet quota.

Instance reply:

“In 2021, I hit quota three out of 4 quarters. I missed quota in Q1.

I had sufficient pipeline originally of the quarter, however I used to be relying on closing a deal that finally didn’t come via as a result of my purchaser’s boss stepped in on the final minute with a change of course.

I realized two actually beneficial classes from that miss.

First, I realized to not depend my chickens earlier than they hatch. I additionally realized to enhance my discovery course of, particularly with how I recognized members of the shopping for committee. I could not have been in a position to change that particular person’s thoughts, but when I had seen it coming, I may have given myself time to develop extra pipeline to make up for the hole.”

Associated Dialogue: Easy methods to reply quota attainment query throughout interview?

24. Inform me a few artistic tactic you took just lately to e book a gathering?

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

They wish to see proactivity relating to assembly targets. Sellers who do issues by the e book, the identical means each time, usually lose steam, burn out, or lose effectiveness over time.

Easy methods to reply:

Share a brand new channel you tried, a brand new message you tried, a brand new model of outreach.

And clarify the end result!

Inquiries to Put together for if You’re New to Gross sales

Associated Dialogue: How do you hit the bottom working as an SDR?

25. What’s it about moving into gross sales that pursuits you?

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

They wish to know you recognize what to anticipate, and that you simply’re in it for the lengthy haul. They need somebody who will absolutely decide to the function and take their crew up a degree.

Easy methods to reply:

Be particular and elaborate about why you’re drawn to gross sales.

Don’t be afraid to say monetary alternative — that may be a large purpose many individuals get into gross sales.

Use it as a possibility to showcase your strengths and why you’re a good match to your first gross sales function.

Avoid issues like “I like constructing relationships” and “I really like folks” — these are stated on a regular basis and gained’t make you distinctive.

Instance reply:

“My aunt is in gross sales, and does very effectively for herself. She has been in a position to ship my three cousins to varsity, and reside comfortably. I like the concept of a profession that enables me to reside the life I need and supply for myself.

I additionally like the concept of being in charge of my destiny. I do know that in a gross sales profession the outcomes I produce are immediately associated to the work I put in.”

26. What about your previous expertise would make you good at gross sales?

Interviewers ask this as a result of:

Profession-switchers and school grads usually can deliver contemporary views to the gross sales subject. The truth is, most individuals form of “fall into” gross sales, so that you’re not alone when you’re utilizing previous non-sales expertise to assist get you your first gross sales job.

They usually wish to see when you’ve got related expertise that may switch to gross sales.

Easy methods to reply:

Hear for the interviewer mentioning what makes a very good vendor on their crew, and and present you’re actively listening by displaying how your previous experiences align with these qualities.

Take into consideration courses, golf equipment, or parts of earlier careers that can relate to a gross sales function.

Keep constructive!

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