Sales interview questions will help you evaluate candidates’ skills and hire the best salespeople for your company.

Sales candidates to look for

Whether academic, professional or just about anywhere else, salespeople come from all kinds of different backgrounds. That’s why they’re so awesome. 

So when it comes to interviewing, there’s a whole bunch of stuff to look out for:

  • Soft skills: Those unmeasurable skills like negotiation and communication are super important for sales. 
  • Strong professional interests: It’s hard to figure out who a person is based solely on their resume, especially in this field. Meet with candidates, learn about their pro interests and find out how they’d react in realistic sales scenarios.
  • Industry understanding: These guys and gals are central to your company growth. So, make sure to test how well they understand your industry and whether they have a go-getter mentality. 
  • They have the whole sales bag: Your perfect candidate will have a customer-oriented attitude, excellent communication skills, a drive to meet goals and be team-players. 

Whatever sales role you’re hiring for, they’ll share common goals: 

  • Promote products and services
  • Meet sales quotas 
  • Identify new market opportunities. 

Top tips: 

  • Entry-level sales interview questions should be based on company vision and products/services, so you can select candidates who will love selling your products. 
  • For account management positions, ask questions that showcase negotiation and relationship-building skills. 
  • Senior sales interview questions will test leadership and decision-making abilities. 
  • For inside sales roles, focus on tech know-how and comms skills.
  • Ask a mix of industry-specific and behavioral sales interview questions, to find candidates with knowledge and ambition.

Sales interview questions

1. For any role:

  • Have you worked with any sales tech?
  • Do you know about market analysis? What is it?
  • Sell me this [pencil/shoe/phone/etc]. What’s your technique?
  • What info do you need before communicating with a client?
  • Describe a challenging situation where you missed your sales goal. What did you learn?
  • Describe a time when you aced a deal as a team. What was your role?
  • What’s more important: hitting goals or client happiness?
  • When do you quit the race with a client, and why?
  • What are some common challenges and how do you handle them?
  • What’s your favorite thing about working in sales?

2. For entry-level roles in-store: 

  • Tell me about your sales journey so far.
  • How do you make your customers happy?
  • What’s your favourite of our products and how would you sell it?
  • How would you deal with a customer complaint?

3. For entry-level roles in a call center: 

  • Are you up for shift work?
  • Have you ever had to deal with an angry customer? How did you cope?
  • What do you do if you can’t answer a customer’s question?
  • This job is sometimes repetitive. How do you stay upbeat? 

4. For account management roles:

  • How would you deal with a client that used cost as a reason not to buy?
  • Tell us about your best sales moment.
  • What’s your current revenue and customer satisfaction track records?
  • Where do you hunt for new clients?

5. For senior level sales roles:

  • How do you handle a tense team?
  • How do you approach an unmotivated sales rep?
  • What’s your experience in forecasting sales and what’s your fave tech?
  • Has your team ever underperformed as a whole? How did you cope, and what did you learn? 

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