Applying for sales positions can be challenging and complicated – preparation is key.
Many organizations look for certain aspects beyond your resume when filling sales positions.
As for sales positions, the main aspects are:
Sales personality, financial motivation, and desire to succeed and drive to achieve the sales goals.
The interviewer will question you concerning:
- Content skill – your experience and qualifications.
- Personal characteristics.
- Sales functional skills.
This article provides list of interview questions for sales jobs with suggested answers and tips for the same.
After reading this article you may be interested in reading –
Interview questions and Answers
- What type of products have you sold?
- Do you have a proven record of accomplishment in sales?
- How do you find prospective clients?
- Have you ever used a consulting firm to find clients or buyers?
► Answering the above questions:
The employer would like to know – what is your former sales experience?
What industries or institutions have you worked for in the past? What is your technical experience? What type of products have you sold? Do you meet your customers? How often?
It is good practice to supply any existing documentation not otherwise supplied with your resume. Any forms, newsletters, presentations, online marketing material, graphs or infomercials you have created, or any letters from satisfied clients will be well received.
2. Behavioral Sales Questions
Do you have the proper attitude and behavior to be a top sales representative? You may be surprised at the amount of questions your interviewer will ask pertaining to just these types of questions.
Questions regarding your sales behavior:
- How do you meet your quotas? What creative ways have you used to meet quotas and deadlines?
- Do you often meet your quotas? What is your average percentage of quotas met?
- How do you feel when not making a sale or meeting a quota?
- What do you do to restore your confidence?
► Answers Regarding Sales Behavior:
It is best to prepare answers you can easily and briefly relate.
Detail your capability to handle a tough situation. Your confidence in problem solving should be narrated as well, with a suitable anecdote portray yourself in a positive light, without arrogance.
Give details of a sales related challenge, explain why you proceeded as you did, and end with the successful result.
3. What Are Your Goals
Some sales-goals questions:
- Do you have a sales plan template? How did you go about creating it? Does your template include a forecast for 30/60/90 days? And five years?
- Do you have prospective buyers? To whom do you plan to sell our product?
- How do you plan to follow up on your sales?
- If you meet your quotas for your forecast plan, what is next?
- What is your backup plan, if you do not meet your quotas?
► Answering Sales Goals Questions:
It is most impressive to have a solid forecast on paper.
Just speculating in regards to any of these questions is not advised. The sounder your presentation is, the more confident your prospective employer will be in giving you this opportunity. Review your presentation with colleagues who will critique and improve your rendition.
4. Miscellaneous Questions:
- What attracts you to a career in sales?
- What motivates you regarding sales and marketing?
- Why do you want this job?
- What makes a good sales person?
- Please state your likes and dislikes, in reference to sales?
► Answer: You want to reply with the utmost confidence and integrity. Eagerness and motivation are good qualities to display, with replies such as:
“I love a good challenge and each prospective buyer creates a challenge in their unique way.
I like to be able to offer a quality product I can believe in and can truly serve the client.”
“Your product is unique and offers good value.”
“I take pleasure in offering a client goods or services that can truly enrich his life or grow his business.”
Sandwich dislikes, if any, in between positive aspects of the job. Replying, “I have no specific dislikes” is fine.
Refer to the articles –
5. Specific Sales Experience
- Tell me about one of your successive sales and the process used to achieve this sale.
- What creative ways have you used to meet quotas and deadlines?
► Answer: Never relay that this challenge was easy. It is fine to state perhaps that you would believe their product might sell itself – complimenting its quality or marketability; remember they want to see that sales drive potential. Detail your most successful and challenging sale, giving honest but short details. Keep the story upbeat and positive.
6. Lessons Learned, regarding unsuccessful sales:
- Give an example of an unsuccessful sales experience.
- Describe a situation where you gave up on a sale.
- What do you do when you see you are unsuccessful in closing a sale or meeting a quota?
- Give an example of the most time consuming sale you have ever made.
► Answer: Hopefully, your reaction to lost sales has been to analyze what went wrong, and how you might have succeeded. Perhaps you have studied motivational material, or consulted with colleagues to plan a better approach in the future. Discuss how you have grown in skills you’re your losses, including the lessons you have learned.
7. Sales Methods and Sales Techniques
- Give an example of when you initiated/created a new sales/marketing technique and enjoyed the results.
- How do you maintain/initiate a good relationship with clients? How do you keep them satisfied and interested in future sales?
- What makes a product successful?
► Answer: Review your sales history carefully, with an eye to answering these types of queries. Prepare your answers, and consult with colleagues. If you have any paperwork to show, such as product description, potential earning power of product, thank you letters, bring them to the interview.
8. Sales Presentation Skills
- Tell me about a successful and formal presentation you made recently.
- How do you present a new product for a client?
► Answer: They will want to view an actual presentation. If you have experience in sales, you will have a few of these available; select the most interesting, unusual or successful.
It would be best to research the areas within the industry you are applying, so that you can speak intelligently about their products and potential client base. It would be wise to know as much as possible about the particular industry.
Other questions could be:
- How do you prepare for a sale?
- Can you describe your most difficult client? How did you handle this client and were you able to make the sale?
- If you do not sell to a particular prospective client, would you plan to try to sell to them again? How do you change your approach?
► Answer: Keep in mind that selling is a positive and outgoing, self-motivating field of employment. Conveying that one has these attitudes will bring success.
At the same time, you may wish to express this point. Your time is valuable yet limited. Time spent on convincing an uninterested client could be perhaps better invested in a new potential client.
Sales Job Interview: Tips for Sales job positions
In order to prepare for sales job interviews, you may need to evaluate your skills – taking sales personality test can be very helpful and will highlight your true potential.
The personality test for sales will also clarify areas in which you may be weaker, and need to commit some time to improve.
Several on-line companies are available for such testing to help you assess the qualities you possess for sales positions and improve those that need strengthening. There are also many excellent books on the topic, especially including those by Dale Carnegie.
And it is never too late to take a sales course.
Sales and Marketing Job Interviews