The 30 sales interview questions you need to be able to answer, if you are a salesperson

Selling product 

Last week I posted a comprehensive list of interview questions. They proved to be popular, both with job seekers for interview help, and with recruiters and HR people for some interview question inspiration. So I have produced a couple of extra posts with some further questions – this one today is for sales interview questions, and another coming soon is for management positions.

So if you are in sales, and have an interview soon, or you recruit for sales people, I hope this series of Sales Interview questions proves useful to you. Or, if you are in sales and fancy a challenge, then try answering them to yourself (honestly of course!)

So here you go, see if you can answer all these sales interview questions:

Targets and Marketplace

What is your sales target and how is it established?
How much time do you spend developing new business?
How do you target new accounts for prospecting?
How do you acquire new sales leads?
Who are your major competitors and why?
What business trends do you see developing in the market?

Your approach to sales

What makes a successful sales person?
How do you define a new customer’s needs and expectations?
What kind of problems do you have to solve as a salesperson?
How do you get a reading of people upon first meeting them?
How do you approach understanding your customer’s needs?
How do you establish rapport with a stranger on the telephone?
What do you consider the most crucial part of your job?
What kind of rewards are most satisfying to you?


Explain your role as a team member of a sales force.
How do you deal with disagreements with others?
How do you organise yourself for daily activities?
What kind of people do you like to sell to?
How do you turn a buyer into a regular customer?
Why do people buy a product or service from you?
Describe the best and worst manager you’ve ever had.
How do you deal with angry and upset customers?

Business Development

How much time do you spend on the different parts of your job?
What have you learned from the different sales jobs you’ve had?
How would you break in a new territory for an employer?
How many accounts do you like to handle at one time?
When do you find silence to be useful in selling?
What are the skills needed to be successful on the telephone?
How detailed are the sales reports you prepare?
What do you feel are your personal limitations?
How do you get people to work in cooperation with you?

These are a pretty humbling reminder, to the questions you should be able to answer, especially if you are sales person (that includes you, recruiters). Are there many you got stuck on? How many would have you stumped, if you were sitting in front of someone right now?

Maybe now is a good time for a sales training refresher?

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We consult, train, tweet, blog, text, post, speak, share, read, update, photograph, video and talk about recruitment. At Sirona Consulting we work with companies, recruitment agencies, RPO’s HR & recruitment technology vendors and conference / event organisers, helping them understand and integrate social media into their recruitment strategies. We have have been doing this now for twelve years, working with many companies along the way, from small independent recruiters right through to large international companies. We are honest, ethical and have experience of working across a range of different industry sectors delivering success in the UK, Europe, Middle East, APAC and the United States.


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