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Interview questions for sales representatives are extra tricky. Since this job requires exceptional communication skills, hiring managers might want to ask situational interview questions or role-play questions in a sales interview for you to display techniques and share more about your personality.
To help you nail your sales representative interview, we gathered up tips and common questions that could be useful. With these sales interview questions and a lot of practice, you can be more confident during the entire sales rep interview session.
💡 How to prepare for a sales interview with no experience?
For people who have little experience in sales, you should craft your answers beforehand besides doing your search on common sales interview questions.
The best approach to all the interview questions for sales reps is to show them the best side of you. Soft skills such as interpersonal skills, conflict resolution skills, and active listening are what make a sales representative. Demonstrate your personality while answering the sales position interview questions—focus on your strengths and merits, and how they are transferable to your sales job.
To successfully answer sales representative interview questions and land your dream sales job, try out these 4 sales interview tips.
Good answers to sales job interview questions often target the specific company. To target the company, you’ll have to familiarize yourself with the job posting.
Job descriptions for sales representatives often share details about the company’s products, work style, and culture. They are resources for you when you prepare your answers to many interview questions for sales reps.
By reading the job description, you’ll get to know what the hiring managers are looking for in a salesperson, and have a peek at potential interview questions.
For example, if a job description reads like the following:
You know you will need to showcase organizational skills, public speaking skills and proficiency in CRM software in the interview.
The best way to craft answers to sales representative interview questions is to sell yourself to the hiring manager. Past experience and personal stories are ideal materials for you to craft answers to salesperson interview questions and persuade the hiring manager to invite you for the next round of interviews.
To answer salesperson interview questions, always bring up numbers—especially statistics that speak for your skills.
You’ll likely bring up past experience in a sales representative interview and with quantified results in them, your past achievements are compelling signs of an outstanding salesperson.
Incorporating measured accomplishments and responding with specifics in your answers to interview questions can help you display your professionalism.
Confidence is key to acing your sales interview as people are often less inclined to buy products from a sales that sounds unsure.
Even if you are not always a confident person, you can train yourself to be one. They are psychologically proven ways to show confidence that you can try out.
For example, when talking to the person who initiates the sales interview questions, you can mirror their body language and maintain comfortable eye contact. When you’re speaking, take your time to answer slowly, clearly, and calmly to each sales interview question.
📖 Further reading: 15 Tips on How to Answer Interview Questions Confidently
We’ve gathered 12 sales representative interview questions and answers for you. Feel free to refer to the following common sales interview questions while preparing for your interview!
Q: Why do you want to work in sales?
Sample Answer: “I choose sales as my career for several reasons. First, my passion lies in building relationships with others. Building trust and connections take effort and time, but it’s also at the center of a sales’ job. I believe a career in sales would be fulfilling both personally and professionally.”
Q: Tell me about your most successful sale.
Sample Answer: “My most successful sale happened just recently. I helped close deals with companies close to the gym where I work as a sales representative by conducting detailed research. I examined the work hours and commute routes of employees of nearby companies and suggested that the gym provide customized packages for them. I then followed up on those who signed up for the customized packages and offered discounts for them to invite their families and friends to join the gym. The research I did and the strategies I developed helped our company tremendously and I was promoted to a sales representative.”
Q: Tell me about a time when you exceeded your supervisor’s expectations.
Sample Answer: “In one task, I had to research and give an exhaustive presentation to the sales team. The presentation was about five new market competitors. The manager’s requirements were rather simple, and I had to research their products, prices, and other sales-related information. I saw an opportunity to go beyond and decided to use effective data visualization to explain my research more clearly. Moreover, all of the sales team members were well-informed by my presentation. The presentation helped us define our next sales goals more precisely.”
Q: What kind of sales-related skills do you have?
Sample Answer: “I am skilled in client management, conflict resolution and sales presentation. But among the sales skills I’ve got, I’d like to highlight my interpersonal skills. People, including my friends and colleagues, always say that I’m comfortable to be with and easy to talk to. I attend to conversations and actively listen to people. I make them feel valued and heard. As a result, I easily build long-lasting relationships with clients and they see me as their friend.”
Q: What makes you a good retail sales associate?
Sample Answer: “My curiosity makes me an exceptional retail sales associate. I want to know everything and thus always thoroughly research all kinds of products and competitors. I firmly believe a good retail sales associate needs to have knowledge of what they’re selling and I strive to be one that has this kind of knowledge. Nevertheless, if customers ask questions I am not acquainted with, I’m always happy to find answers for them and keep their inquiries in mind.”
Q: How did you improve your sales process?
Sample Answer: “I like to learn new techniques and try new methods. For the previous few listings, I studied the way to better present my client’s houses on different listing platforms. To enhance my listings, I took photography courses and learned from successful house listings. After adjusting the estate posting strategy, I’ve gained 3 thousand more followers and my sales have also increased by 15% in half a year.”
Q: Most insurance buyers refuse to purchase what an insurance agent wants to sell them at first. How would you persuade them in such cases?
Sample Answer: “I’m also a customer. I do know what it’s like being asked to purchase something we honestly know nothing about. As an insurance agent, my approach to a reluctant customer is to earn their trust first, and that I’m there to offer a dependable plan. To win their trust, I would build connections with their personal lives and remind them how our specific insurance plan could be a helping hand in different times.”
Q: How do your part-time job/internships prepare you for this role?
Sample Answer: “I learned useful sales skills during a previous sales assistant part-time job six months ago. At that time, I learned to organize customer data, document sales records, and manage time. I learned to use software to manage sales-related information and look for patterns of different types of customers.”
Q: How would colleagues describe you?
Sample Answer: “My former colleagues would probably describe me as a responsible, humorous, and versatile salesperson. As a part of the sales team, my colleagues and I had good relationships, and we often helped out each other to close deals. Good humor certainly made our sales work more effective and motivating. In addition, I often helped my colleague respond with quick changes by agilely coming up with win-win terms.”
Q: How do you negotiate terms with clients?
Sample Answer: “Three months ago, I met a client who had an extremely limited budget. I first understood their needs and tried to offer solutions to their problems when negotiating with them. With a bottom line in mind, I first made myself firm but gentle. Next, I explained why our product was unrivaled and how this product would solve their problem. To close the deal without sacrificing profits, I helped them come up with better budget plans by recommending better manufacturers for other items.”
Q: How do you decide when it’s time to stop working with a potential client?
Sample Answer: “Sometimes expectations just don’t match. Last year, a client came to us and proposed to buy our products at an incredibly low price in a massive volume. They were unwilling to make any changes or accept other offers. As a result, our team determined it was not feasible or profitable to land a deal at this moment. However, we still remained in a friendly relationship after suggesting solutions for them.”
Q: Sell me this pen.
You: If you don’t mind me asking, how often do you use a pen and what for?
Interviewer: I use it almost every day to take notes and comment on documents.
You: Seems like your work relies heavily on pens. Would you mind telling me about a time you were upset with a pen?
Interviewer: I once had to sign a big contract. The pen wasn’t working initially, so I had to rewrite it several times and ended up accidentally tearing the sheet. It was horrible.
You: I’m sorry to hear that. I believe that with all the big contracts and documents you have to go through each day, that experience really gave you horror.
Interviewer: Yeah, it did.
You: Here’s what I believe, a busy and capable woman like you shouldn’t let an awfully manufactured pen ruin your tight schedule. This pen is designed with thoughtful details and aims to prevent these horrible situations. It has an anti-leak ink tank and a smooth and shock-proof nib that will never malfunction. Better yet, we are offering new buyers a 50% off deal. Sign your future contracts with this pen. What do you say?
At the end of a sales interview, you are often encouraged to ask questions. It’s a nice chance to show your passion for joining the company as a sales representative. Good questions to ask in a sales interview could help you leave an excellent impression.
5 five critical questions to ask in a sales interview:
Preparing for a sales interview is also an exercise of your salesperson’s skills. You have to show your traits, confidence, and your ability to communicate and persuade. By practicing and rehearsing your answers to salesperson interview questions, you’re learning to be a stronger sales representative as well!
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--- Originally written by Wu Chao Min ---