So your CV hit the spot? Now it’s time to interview for the job you want.
The sales industry is filled with talented and skilled professionals, and if you’re one of them, you should have no problem getting your foot in the door for an interview. Interviews are tricky, and serve as a big hurdle standing between you and your dream job. Interviews for sales executives, in particular, can bring about some very tricky questions, and different kinds of interview processes.
The best thing you can do for your interview? Prepare.
While there’s no way of knowing exactly what your interviewer will ask you, some of our sales team at Simply Sales Jobs have kindly shared the questions they’ve been asked over the many interviews they’ve had combined. Read on:
Sales interview questions
You might find it a lot easier to answer the questions in the previous section as opposed to this one – but that’s okay! Below are some questions you can expect to be asked at your sales interview. On the following pages, we’ve provided some detailed examples for questions too.
Questions might include:
- Why do you want to work in sales?
- What do you consider to be the most important sales skills?
- Describe a time where you made a mistake. What did you learn from it?
- Explain something to me.
- Do you like making cold calls?
- What role does social media play in your selling process?
- How do you cope with rejection?
- How would you research prospects before a meeting or call?
- How can you make our business more effective?
- When would you stop pursuing a client?
Why do you want to work in sales?
If this is your first sales job, then expect this to be one of the first questions you’re asked, after “Tell me about yourself”. This is where your preparation can shine – give an answer that is relevant to the specific job but also highlights your passion for sales.
“I think I have the drive and self motivation to succeed in a sales role. I love talking to people, and I have a helpful nature that comforts anyone I’m speaking to, which makes it easy for me to ease their concerns and help them find solutions to their problems. This is the part I’d say I’m most interested in really.”
What do you consider the most important sales skills?
Sales is an art, as well as a skill, so you need to show that you can grasp an understanding of the product/service so you can answer any questions asked about it. It’s important to get across that you know sales isn’t just talking about the product, it’s about how you can solve a problem for the customer.
Describe a time where you made a mistake. What did you learn from it?
This question is a test of your accountability. We all make mistakes – what’s important is how you handle a mistake that’s been made, and how you take that experience to ensure it doesn’t happen again. This kind of question will be based on your own experience, so the main points we can give you include being able to communicate mistakes and how you rectified them to your customer, and explaining how you reassured or satisfied them.
Explain something to me.
While this technically isn’t a question, the interviewer wants to see how well you can convey a concept or process. Be clear and concise when you explain whatever you’ve decided to talk about.
Do you like making cold calls?
The simply answer to this question? Yes. Explain that you enjoy educating new customers about how you can help them, and that you find it a challenge to attempt to convert someone into using your product/service.
What role does social media play in your selling process?
In today’s world, social selling is becoming essential for all industries. If you haven;t used social channels to sell on before, show your enthusiasm to learn more about it. If you have experience, tell the interviewer how or at what point you used, LinkedIn, for example, to aid a sale.
How do you cope with rejection?
In reality, not everyone needs your services every day. So there will be alot of rejection on the phone, and face to face. Here, the interviewer would like to know that you have a thick skin. Confidence is a key skill to have if you want to succeed in sales, so you have to present to the interviewer your understanding that every ‘no’ could eventually become a yes if you’re persistent enough.
How would you research prospects before a meeting or call?
Neglecting to use LinkedIn to research clients is not a viable option in today’s sales environment. Ensure that you talk about searching for personal commonalities in addition to professional information, which in turn allows you to tailor your communication as much as possible. Looking into company trigger events would be the cherry on top.
How can you make our business more effective?
Think carefully about this question. If you’ve got experience, then you might already have a great answer to give. However, if you’re new to sales, then it’s a good idea to stick to discussing the enthusiasm and drive you can bring to the role, your passion for customer service and your ability to work well in a team.
When would you stop pursuing a client?
The right answer will prove your tenacity and persistence to not take no for an answer. Of course, in some cases, you have no choice in the matter, so usually six to eight attempt will suffice.
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