Whilst having an interview for a sales job, you aim to sell yourself to the hiring authority. Sales interviews are amongst the most difficult and demanding ones because you're judged on more than your response to questions.
Generally, all your responses should be linked to your achievements in the sales field. Ultimately, you have to establish your value so that the company understands how you can help them. The most important thing in a sales interview is to prove how you can improve sales.
7 Most Common Sales Interview Questions and Answers
Q: What skills are most important for sales?
Sales are not for everyone. The right attitude and certain abilities are required towards this position. During the interview, your sales skills will be judged along with your ability to close a deal.
A good answer to this question might be along the lines, “the most important skills are the ability to recognize verbal and non-verbal clues, and adapt strategies to impress the potential buyer.”
Q: What aspects of selling do you dislike?
The negative traits are always tricky. Be careful as this is a position you are applying for, so you don’t want to be overly critical.
An effective answer to this question is, “walking away from a particular sale, knowing that the prospect would have benefited from our solution”.
This answer shows your understanding of the concept of letting go, walking away from an undesirable situation. After all, sales is about knowing when to push and when to back down.
Q: According to you, what are some key skills required in...?
One of the most common questions in a sales interview is how you view particular skills, aspects or sales techniques. Questions could be related to a multitude of aspects and situations.
The best responses to such questions focus on responding to the buyer's concerns. Try to respond according to how the product will benefit the customer.
Q: How are you good at making cold calls?
During an interview, any question relating to discomfort should be answered with a resounding negative. You should not be uncomfortable about any aspect of the potential job; otherwise the position is not for you.
Q: How do you handle rejection?
If you aren’t better at dealing with rejections, then sales isn’t the fi6eld for you. You have to downplay how much rejection affects you. Keep in mind that do not be dishonest though.
The best answer is to emphasize on how you move on from such situations and how you deal with rejection like, “I choose to focus on the next prospect.” Try to focus your answer on such points.
Q: What drives you to work in sales?
It would be a fatal mistake to answer like “Because I like it”, or “Because it pays good money”. These answers would do nothing to differentiate you apart from other candidates.
This is a question where your sales history will come into play. Start with when your passion for sales first began and expand with examples. Tie this in with your wanting to work in sales and link it to your personal drive. This is sure to make employers take note.
Q: What is your motivation to sell?
This question gives you the perfect chance to highlight your positive attributes as a sales representative. Be mindful of giving clear and concise responses on an actual basis. This is a question relating to your personality, so dig deep before answering. You have to know if you are motivated by intrinsic or extrinsic factors.
Additional Sales Interview Questions You Might Face
Sell me this apple/ pen, etc.
Does any aspect of the selling process make you uncomfortable?
How do you feel about making phone calls?
Do you have difficulty selling to a particular type of customer?
Give us some examples from your sales experience.
What is the most difficult call you have ever made?
What was the sales cycle like in your previous job?
Did you meet your sales objectives? If yes then how often?
Describe briefly a moment where you changed your sales approach.
How do you handling negotiations?
How do you judge whether it's time to let a potential client go?
Tips and Cautions
It is important that you have ample practice answering the anticipated sales interview questions. Practise will help you tackle these questions with relative ease, diplomacy and tact. The best method is practicing aloud in front of the mirror.
Be sure to have specific questions for the potential employers. These questions should be linked to the job description at hand. It is best to have these questions written down, so you don’t make a mistake during the interview. The questions could cover a diverse range of topics, but be sure to avoid discussing remuneration and benefits at the initial interview stage.
You should mold and modify your responses to echo the company’s mission, products, goals and services. Spend some time and research the company online: visit the company website. By engaging in this research, you will develop clarity about the company’s vision and mission.
Also, you do have to be mindful of the following factors:
As a salesperson, you sell yourself before you sell any product.
People tend to hire on gut feeling, looking to justify the decision later.
Confidence is your main selling point; people admire conviction more than persuasion.
Sales are about understanding the human element, as it is people that will make the final decision.
Note: The decision about whether to hire you or not will be made within the initial 5-10 minutes of the interview. The remaining time is often spent justifying the rationale behind that decision. The first impression is thus what will determine your fate, so be sure to prepare well.