Interviews for a sales position often cover several angles, albeit in a subtle manner. Sales interview questions can be challenging since it’s the first test of your persuasive powers. Here are some tips and sample answers to help prepare yourself.

Importance of Sales Interview Questions

For an organization to build a resourceful sales team, they’ll be looking for key attributes like the ability to hit targets, persuasion tactics, and the ability to handle rejection. The wrong person can keep the company from meeting its projected business goals, so an interview is a chance for both you and the company to assess whether you are right for each other.

Frequently Asked Sales Interview Questions

  • Do you have experience making cold calls? 
  • What percentage of your sales goals have you consistently met? 
  • How do you motivate yourself?
  • What was the most successful sale you made? 
  • What would your colleagues say about you? 
  • Would you mind selling me this pen? 
  • How would you describe your long-term career goals?

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Sales Interview Questions & Answers for Freshers

1. What motivates you to sell?

The answer to this question will give your interviewers a chance to see what drives you. While answering, try to align your answer with the company’s vision or future growth plans. Incentives like a financial bonus based on sales percentage can be a big motivating factor for you, but try going beyond this in your answer.

Sample Answer:

Every quarter, my aim is to go beyond my assigned targets. I am self-motivated by the strife to beat my personal best results from previous periods. I will ensure that my sales records grow with every quarter, with the help of productivity systems and more, so that it moves in tandem with the projected sales growth of your company.

2. Sell me this mug.

This is a classic question in sales interviews. The object you will be asked to sell can be an ordinary object like a pencil, pen, or piece of paper. The interviewer is essentially looking for a demonstration of how you can sell something ordinary using your sales tactics. 

Sample Answer:

Whether you’re a data scientist, teacher, artist, or artificial intelligence engineer, a mug is an integral part of your life. Be it tea, coffee, or just water, a mug can hold it all. What I like about this particular mug is that it’s made from high-quality material, has a refined finish, and is still budget-friendly. The best part is that it is multifunctional - it can be a simple decor piece or a pen-holder too! 

3. How do you plan to build rapport with prospects?

This question is quite straightforward and with your answer, the sales hiring manager will get an insight into your sales approach and how you build a connection with customers.

Sample Answer:

Every customer is unique and has different preferences that draw them to a product. So, to build a rapport with them, I would craft a meaningful, personalized approach that would appeal to their unique needs. I would also ensure that I don’t use too much jargon and conduct myself professionally while being approachable.

4. What appeals to you the most about this sales position?

In addition to knowing how much you have researched the company, your answer will reveal what attracts you to their company - work culture, specific products or services, incentives, or the opportunity to grow.

Sample Answer:

If I think from the perspective of a Digital Marketing Specialist, I can see the immense potential your marketing product has. I think it’s crystal clear that marketing specialists will benefit from how efficient, yet simple your product is. I think it’s important to sell products that you truly believe in or relate to.

5. Why do you think you’re a right fit for a sales position?

Your response to this question will give the recruitment team an idea of what qualities you think a salesperson should have, to excel. Ideally, the answer you give should align with the company’s job description and values.

Sample Answer:

I like getting to know new people and building a connection with prospects and customers. I’m super-organized and will make it a point to set reminders on my calendar, to follow up with customers. I also love researching new product and technology trends and staying up-to-date on current events to help the customers see product features that aren’t always evident.

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Sales Interview Questions and Answers for Experience 

1. Tell us about the most difficult sale you’ve had to make.

This question is an opportunity for you to talk about major accomplishments and your problem-solving skills. It’s a segue to show how you can leverage your critical-thinking ability and sales experience to sell something with passion and determination.

Sample Answer:

I was attending a networking event and met a business analyst, who would be a perfect fit for the company’s product. Although I wasn’t there to sell, I couldn’t help overhearing that they were having trouble dealing with Y in their field of work. After months of back and forth, I finally got through to them and landed the largest deal of my career in X years, with a major client!

2. Have you always been able to meet your sales targets?

Past trends can help predict the future, and your answer will give interviewers an insight into how you will perform at the company, in terms of meeting deadlines and sales quota. Be honest, but highlight the positives more. 

Sample Answer:

At XYZ Company, I was regarded as one of the top salespeople for the past five quarters. However, before this, I did have a rough quarter where I struggled to meet my goals. I was discouraged but I took it as a step toward success, where I could rethink my sales approach. So, I worked on the aspects that were holding me back, and it was great to see the tweaks pay off positively in the following quarters.

3. What are your career goals?

Setting short-term and long-term performance goals is a sign of clear thinking, organization, and drive to succeed. These qualities are essential to fulfilling your daily responsibilities and helping a company develop.

Sample Answer:

My short-term goal is to A so that I can outdo myself and improve every quarter. This will help me set the stage to achieve my long-term goals of B so that I can reach new heights within C years.

4. Are you comfortable with making cold calls?

Along with networking, cold calls are an integral part of a company’s sales strategy. Your response will help the sales hiring manager know more about your experience as well as your personality. This may seem like a yes or no question, but you can elaborate on your answer or provide examples from your experience. 

Sample Answer:

Yes. I think cold calls are an integral part of a sales approach. Although the results may be unpredictable, putting in the time to do some research about the company or person can help make most of these calls successful. I have proven experience in this sales tactic, at XYZ Company.

5. How do you find, pitch, and close sales opportunities?

If you’re interviewing for a sales position, you may also have to demonstrate your sales knowledge. Your hiring manager will want to make sure that you have both theoretical and practical skills required to deliver on your responsibilities and make a sale.

Sample Answer:

I find a sales opportunity through cold calls, client targeting, and calculated preparation. I make a pitch by listening to a client’s unique needs and helping them understand how product A can help them. Finally, I close the opportunity by building a connection with the customer and gaining their trust in both the product and me, until we reach a positive agreement.

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Things to Keep in Mind During Sales Interview

1. Share Your Skills

Sales interview questions help assess what skills you have that can add value to the company. Make a list of your skills, and look for ways to highlight the most important ones that align with the company’s mission during your interview.

2. Share Your Biggest Achievements

It’s a good idea to support as many answers as you can, with examples from your career. Concrete sales achievements will paint a clear picture to the sales hiring manager about how you can help the company meet its sales goals. Supplement the examples with quantitative data as well.

3. Do Your Research About The Company

Most of the questions an interviewer will ask you will be based on your knowledge of the company. Go through a company’s profile and make a list of potential questions and answers based on your research. It will also help you ask the interviewer any questions you may have about your role.

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Conclusion

Most sales roles are multifaceted, that is, you have to be quick on your feet. This means that you’ll have to draw experience from a diverse array of skills while answering questions during your interview. By approaching the interview with a growth mindset and confidence, you’ll be able to ace it!

Questions Our Learners Asked

1. How do you do a good sales interview?

In order to give a good sales interview, ensure that you treat is as a sales meeting. If you can successfully sell yourself, then you should definitely consider the interview a success.

Here are a few things you can keep in mind before your interview:

  • Research your company and it’s facts and figures before you go into the interview. The more you can talk about the company, the better prepared you seem
  • Prepare for general questions beforehand and formulate tentative answers to the questions
  • Highlight skills that are related to the sales field
  • Take evidence of your achievements, ensure to highlight figures and percentages wherever possible
  • Have a list of questions ready about the job that you would like the company to answer, it shows you have done your research
  • Close the deal

2. Why do you want this job?

In this question, you should focus on the company’s reputation and how you working with them will give you an opportunity to expand your knowledge and skills. You should also mention your skills and experience that make you a strong candidate for this job.

3. How can I sale a product?

Here’s how to sell a product online:

  • Find your products
  • Identify your target market that the product is great for
  • Conduct market research before creating a sales pitch for your product
  • Create buyer personas
  • Build a brand for your business
  • Create a sales pitch
  • Create your ecommerce website
  • Create a marketing plan
  • Create a content calendar for your company and website
  • Create a social media presence and calender for your business

4. What are the 4 P's of sales?

The 4 P’s of sales are: 

  • the product (the good or service)
  • the price (what the consumer pays)
  • the place (the location where a product is marketed)
  • and promotion (the advertising)

5. What words attract customers?

Here are 10 words that attract customer’s attention:

  • Free
  • Exclusive
  • Easy
  • Limited
  • Get
  • Guaranteed
  • You
  • Because

6. How would you convince an angry customer?

Here’s how to convince an angry customer:

  • Remain calm
  • Be empathetic to their cause
  • Proactively listen to what the customer has to say
  • Thank the customer for bringing the issue to your attention
  • Explain the steps you are taking to resolve the issue
  • Set a time period for them and follow up with them after, if needed
  • Be sincere
  • Highlight the priority of the issue to the company
  • Offer any discounts or benefits to the customer (if they continue to remain displeased)

About the Author

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Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
  • *According to Simplilearn survey conducted and subject to terms & conditions with Ernst & Young LLP (EY) as Process Advisors