Sales Interview Questions For a Better Hire

Sales teams play a vital role in any business. The…

Sales teams play a vital role in any business.

The goal is to find people who can effectively represent your brand and hit their sales targets, no matter the hurdle. This requires effective questioning that goes beyond just what the candidate knows.

You need to understand how they handle tough conversations and their ability to be effective under pressure. We’ve listed some good sales interview questions to help you find the right people.

Asking only common interview questions won’t be enough to find the best candidate for a job. Any applicant can quickly research “interview questions” on Google and rehearse the best answers to common questions. As a recruiter, it is your task to determine how applicants can provide authentic answers to ensure they align with company values.

Two woman talking while seated across each other on a round table.
Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Examples of Good Sales Interview Questions

1. Walk me through your current sales process.

It would be best if you gained insight into a candidate’s approach to selling. This will help you gauge their understanding of the customer and the importance of nurturing a solid customer experience. You’ll also want a better idea of how well the candidate can meet your company’s needs.

Can they clearly explain their step-by-step process, from pitching and contacting leads to closing deals and keeping relationships strong?

2. How can you tell if a prospect isn’t the right fit?

To meet sales quotas or even exceed them, sales personnel must be able to identify valuable leads from the bottom of the pile. You don’t want them wasting time on a lead that’s not going anywhere.

Take note of the criteria that they use. What are their leading qualification skills and practices? How well can they focus their energy?

3. Describe an instance when you weren’t able to meet a goal. What did you learn?

Everyone from a brand-new sales representative to an experienced VP of Sales should know how to answer this question. In the sales process, failure to make a sale or close a deal is inevitable. The question is, how do they deal with failure?

Learning from failure is essential to becoming a good salesperson and employee. Mistakes can happen, competitors might get there first, and sales goals aren’t always attainable. Pay attention to what they learned, the actions they took, and the core values they’ve built from these experiences.

4. How do you follow up with that prospect when you lose a deal?

One of the most important rules in sales is to follow up and follow up on your follow-ups. Sales are seldom closed during the first meeting. It can take anywhere from five to seven touchpoints to close a deal.

A good sales professional should learn to expect and embrace the “no.” And they should know when to keep pushing. This question allows you to understand whether or not the candidate has a passion and eagerness for the job.

5. Describe an instance when someone gave you constructive feedback. How did you respond to it?

A great sales professional can take constructive feedback and use it to become a better version of themselves. They can understand their areas of weakness, and they are willing to improve in these areas. This is the trait of a truly great sales professional.

You want to hear that the applicant remembers and absorbs the feedback they receive. Also, note how they used it to help achieve better results in their work.

6. Can you sell me this pen?

If you’ve watched The Wolf of Wall Street before, you’re familiar with this question. This question is popular with sales managers because it gives a glimpse into the sales process of a candidate. You can get creative and ask them to sell other interesting things like an apple or a broken watch!

7. Was there a time you had to make a decision between what was morally right and what was the easy way out? Which did you choose?

Ethical questions play an integral role in job interviews and are often asked in order to assess a person’s character and integrity. This question is a great way to measure a candidate’s to make an ethical choice.

Research shows that buyers have a hard time trusting most salespeople. You don’t want your sales team to be a part of that statistic.

8.What is your least favorite part of the sales process?

Honesty is essential for any job position. A salesperson’s job requires them to deal with difficult people, roadblocks, rejections, and failures.

Even if they enjoy their job, it’s unlikely they are always 100% motivated and contented. When you get the initial answer, ask follow-up questions to learn how they respond to difficulties.

9. Why shouldn’t we hire you?

In contrast to the common question, “Why should we hire you?” this question seeks to determine the candidate’s weaknesses. It assesses the candidate’s honesty, resourcefulness, and whether they are aware of their development areas. A candidate must be able to present an answer that doesn’t undersell their capabilities.

10. Have you ever turned a customer or client away? And if so, why? 

This will allow you to better understand a candidate’s level of experience and business sharpness. As the business world evolves, there is an increasing focus on the customer. You want to provide products and services that are beneficial to their circumstances. Some customers may need to be turned away for this reason.

If you close a deal or pitch a solution that isn’t right for the customer, your business may be negatively affected. That’s why you must hire people who understand this.

Need More Sales Interview Questions?

You can generate more interesting and effective questions using online writing tools like the INK Engaging Questions Tool. This intuitive tool uses AI technology to generate the right questions specific to your needs in seconds.

All you’ll need to do is type in the topic of the question and the audience you’ll be asking it to. You can also add the tone of the questions, whether you want it to sound professional, friendly, relaxed, and so on.

After you’re done entering the details, click on AI write. It will then generate questions that you can copy directly. Pretty impressive, right? Don’t take our word for it. Try it out yourself!

Wrapping Up

Every company will have different criteria for choosing its salespeople. But it’s generally vital that they have critical thinking skills and a good personality.

Good salespeople know when to be assertive and when to accept failure and improve. These good sales interview questions will help you evaluate candidates effectively to choose only the best people for the job.

Sales Interview Questions For a Better Hire

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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