For a lot of salespeople, selling a product or service is second nature.
But, closing the deal on a job interview sometimes can feel like a tricky task.
Luckily, some of the same skills that make you a successful salesperson can help you to become the perfect job candidate.
When you know what tricky interview questions might be asked, you will be in a position to prepare yourself. Your answers should both highlight your strengths and remain relevant to the needs of the hiring manager.
Usually, you only have around 45 minutes to convince the interviewer you’re the best fit for this particular job. Do you feel ready?
If you want to become your company’s perfect candidate, you need to DO what 99% of candidates do NOT…
You need to stand out!
That’s why you need to be prepared…
Otherwise, your chances to get hired will be drastically decreased. And your competitors who have done their homework will get the job.
In order to help you close that interview deal, we’ve prepared answers to the top 5 common questions asked in a sales interview.
No matter how many times you’ve been on the hot seat, these questions can still catch you on the wrong foot. Take a look at them and learn how to answer them with confidence at your next interview.
Top 5 Sales Interview Questions
The Best Answers to Common Sales Interview Questions
The chance to be asked that question at the beginning of the interview is huge. It’s an open question and that makes it a tough one to answer. But it’s really important to be prepared for that question. You should use it as a great opportunity.
You can demonstrate your clear and effective communication and present yourself professionally. Besides, you can make a striking first impression just one time! That’s one more reason to pay even more attention to this interview question.
It can look like an easy one but it’s very important to bear in mind that you are in an interview and they don’t care so much about your personal life.
So, don’t talk about your hobbies, pets, friends, etc. Instead, talk about how you can actually help them with something. Do your research about the company. That will help you to know more about the company’s needs.
In reality, they are asking you 2 questions:
- What value could you bring to the company?
- What problem can you solve?
3 Strong phrases are:
- I have been doing ________ for the last ___ years and I specialized in helping companies to increase their sales.
Here’s a great time to talk about your previous achievements and what are you good at.
- My strength is/ My real strength is ________
For example, my real strength is to truly understand what your prospects are looking for. I know possible objections know how to handle them. This will help me to close more deals even while I am new to the team.
- What I am looking for is ________
For example, what I am looking for is a company that I can add value with my sales skills and where I can join a strong team. Is this what ABC company is looking for?
Whoever asks a question controls the conversation!
So, it is in your best interest to ask a question.
This is the moment where you can show the interviewer that sales are more than a job to you.
Interviewers want to understand what motivates you to sell.
Whether the money makes you get out of bed in the morning? Or the challenge of selling something you have never sold before? Or maybe you are more competitive and you want to be the best among your colleagues? It can be a reason for personal development also.
For instance, if you are shy and you want to overcome it by taking action.
Be honest about your answer.
Actually, that’s one of the jobs where it’s OK to say that money motivates you. It means hard work in order to get high commissions. In turn, high commissions for you mean a lot of sales for the company.
However, in most cases, they want to hear that you have bigger reasons than just money.
Ask yourself what really makes me feel good when you work in the sales department.
Being a salesman is one of the hardest jobs, especially if you strive to be one of the best in the team.
You will go through tons of rejections and you should manage to keep your good mood and be ready for the next sales call/meeting. It costs a lot of mental energy. That’s why they will ask you that interview question.
The perfect candidate for a sales position is one who is always motivated to close the deal.
It’s a good idea to highlight the parts of the job that really inspires you.
It’s a much deeper question and to know the answer, you should dig in your memories. If you can give an example you will be much more convincing.
You should take this question as an opportunity to represent your mistakes as lessons, instead of covering them up.
Be specific, and tell a story.
The best way to answer this question is to mention what was the mistake. Briefly explain it, but don’t emphasize so much on the mistake.
And then lead the conversation to:
- What action you took to immediately correct it
- What you learned from it or
- How you improved, after making that mistake
It's a good idea to explain the specific steps you took to ensure that you won’t make the same mistake again.
It's recommended to be honest.
Although honesty is important, it's better to talk about failure that wouldn't be critical for the new position. For example, tell them a mistake from your last job which can't be connected in any way with the requirements for the new job.
That interview question is most commonly asked by the interviewee. But if the hiring manager asks that question in most cases that’s great for you! It’s very likely to look very motivated determined to succeed in their eyes.
As you know work-life balance is important and in a sales position you have to deal with a lot of stress.
So, when you don’t work you have to find your way to relax, find something that helps you to chill out. Otherwise, you increase the chances of burnouts, and that leads to bad results in the long run. (and not only in the job)
If that’s the case just tell them how you love:
- Spending quality time with your family or friends
- Going on high luxury vocations or
- Looking for new cars/homes
With these answers, you are telling them you are extremely motivated to make money in order to afford all those cool things. + That’s a great way to show your motivation factors.
However, that might not be the case…
Sometimes hiring managers are looking for someone who is all in on the job and is available 24/7. Even at weekends!
So, you should calibrate your answer according to the situation.
Then the proper answer might be something like that:
“I'm awful at work-life balance. Often all my energy goes into work. That's my first priority and I am happy to look at how the needle in sales is moving. I know the results require dedication and I am happy to put all my time and effort in order to deliver results.”
By preparing answers to these questions asked in a sales interview you have chosen the path, which certainly leads to success. And you are one step ahead of your competitors.
Now you might be wondering...
“Do I need to memorize all those questions and answers?”
The answer is definitely…
That’s the point of going prepared for the interview. In fact, you want to write it out and practice saying it as many times as it begins to sounds confident.
When you repeat your answers plenty of times you will begin to believe in what you say.
In turn, that leads to confidence. After all, the last thing you want to happen in the interview is to panic and show uncertainty.