20 Sales Job Interview Questions (+Job-Winning Answers) – CV Nation

20 Sales Job Interview Questions and Answers

Posted by CV Nation on

The ultimate guide to sales job interview questions, with 20 of the most common sales interview questions and example answers.

Sales interviews are difficult. Interviewers ask a range of tricky questions to determine if you’re capable of meeting sales targets and performing to high standards.

Use our example answers and interview tips in this guide to give yourself a better chance of acing your interview and landing sales jobs.

This guide includes common interview questions for all sales roles, including sales representative, sales advisor, sales assistant, sales executive and sales coordinator roles.

1. Tell Me About Yourself

This question is designed to kickstart the interview and enable the interviewer to gain insight into your background in sales.

When answering this question, focus on your professional career. Avoid talking about your personal life, unless you have been specifically asked about.

Ideally, you should be able to link your accomplishments into your background. This will help you stand out from the competition.

Here is an example answer to this question:

‘I have been employed as a sales representative for over nine years. I started my career as a sales assistant at Example Company. Since then, I have gone on to work in a number of challenging sales roles across London.

In my current role, I am employed as a sales advisor. During my time in this job, I have exceeded sales targets by more than 50% on seven occasions.’

2. Why Do You Want to Work for Us?

Interviewers ask this question to find out if you’re aligned with their culture and values. This question also indicates if you’ve done your research.

As such, you should conduct some research before your job interview. This could involve reading the company’s ‘about us’ page on their website, news articles about the company or the job description for the role. By researching the company, you’ll be able to tailor your answer to this question.

Here is an example answer to this question:

‘I want to work for your company because of the opportunities for internal promotion and professional growth. I know a few people who work for Example Company who have progressed from junior sales roles to senior management roles. As someone who is passionate about professional development, it would be great to work for a company that rewards it with promotion.’

3. Why Do You Want to Work in Sales?

This is a question that is often asked to those looking to land their first sales job. Interviewers ask the question to learn if a career in sales is right for you.

When answering this question, show that you have the necessary skills for a career in sales. You could also touch on your passion for sales.

Here is an example answer to this question:

‘I want to work in sales because I love working to targets. In my last job, I exceeded all targets and found myself highly motivated while operating in a performance-based role. I also have strong communication skills, so I believe I can perform to high standards in sales.’

4. Tell Me About Your Sales Process

This question is designed to help interviewers learn about your approach to sales. It shows them if you’re following best practices.

When answering this question, walk the interviewer through the specific sales process that you use, from planning to closing sales.

Here is an example answer to this question:

‘I follow a six-step process to sales, which involves, prospecting, preparation, qualifying prospect, presentation, handling objections and closing. I have found that following this structure gives me the best chance of closing sales. During my last job, I exceeded monthly sales targets on nine occasions while using this process.’

5. Tell Me About Your Most Successful Sale

This question gives you a great opportunity to stand out from the competition. By describing how you have excelled in sales, you can convince interviewers that you’re the perfect candidate for the job.

Don’t just describe the sale. Walk the interviewer through every step of the sales process.

Here is an example answer to this question:

‘While employed as sales executive at Example Company, I closed a deal for ten-thousand dollars’ worth of a software solution. I was successful in closing this deal largely because I had used a consultative sales strategy, working closely with the customer to help solve his problems and provide a value-adding solution.’

6. Tell Me About a Time You Failed to Meet Your Sales Goals

This may seem like a very daunting question. How do you describe a time you failed in sales without showing the recruiter that you’re not right for the job?

The fact is, we all fail sometimes.

Recruiters aren’t trying to find out if you’re perfect with this question. They simply want to know if you’re capable of using your failures as an opportunity to improve.

Considering using the STAR method when answering behavioural questions such as this one. STAR, which stands for situation, task, action, result, is a method used to answer job interview questions. When using this method, you start by describing the situation, followed by the task, the action you took and the end result.

Here is an example answer to this question:

‘When I was employed as a sales representative at Example Company, I was tasked with closing 25 sales per month. By the end of October, I had only closed 23 sales. I spoke with my supervisor about where I had gone wrong and we determined I could’ve done more to build productive relationships with potential clients. Since this experience, I have always gone above and beyond to build profitable relationships and I have exceeded all sales targets.’

7. What Are Your Weaknesses?

This isn’t a question that’s designed to trick you into admitting your shortcomings. The goal of this question to help interviewers learn if you’re capable of identifying your weaknesses and improving on them.

When answering this question, avoid describing a weakness that would prevent you from performing your sales job. For example, it wouldn’t be a good idea to state that communication is your weakness.

View our guide to describing weaknesses in a job interview.

Here is an example answer to this question:

‘One of my biggest weaknesses is taking on too much work. Sometimes people from other departments ask me to help them with their workload. I often agree and this hampers my own work. I have recently started using a time management app, which shows me exactly how much extra work I can take on without getting behind on my own tasks.’

8. How Do You Define Success?

This question helps interviewers learn if you understand what is expected of you as a sales professional. It also gives them insight into your priorities and expectations.

Here is an example answer to this question:

‘To me, success is exceeding sales targets on a consistent basis. In my last job as a sales executive, I exceeded monthly sales targets on nine occasions. I largely achieved this by building genuine relationships with prospects and going the extra mile to help them solve their problems.’

9. What Motivates You?

Interviewers ask this question to learn about what motivates you. Working in sales, it’s often a good idea to touch on working to targets as your biggest motivator. After all, sales is a very target-driven profession.

If you can convey that you’re motivated by exceeding targets, you’ll make a positive impression on interviewers.

Here is an example answer to this question:

‘I am motivated by exceeding sales targets. Having operated in sales for over five years, I take great pleasure in exceeding targets and improving my performance levels.’

10. Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

The goal of this question is to help interviewers determine if you intend to stay with their company long-term. Do you plan to progress to greener pastures in the near future? Or do you envision staying with the company for many years to come?

If you don’t intend to stay with the company long-term, it would be a good idea to avoid mentioning it at this stage. Instead, focus on how you intend to develop and improve as a sales professional within five years.

Here is an example answer to this question:

‘Within five years, I would hope to have advanced to a more senior role within your company. As someone who is passionate about professional development, I am always eager to improve my capabilities and advance to more senior roles.’

11. What Are Your Salary Expectations?

Interviewers ask this question to find out if your salary expectation matches theirs.

Initially, you would be wise to avoid providing the interviewer with a specific number. Instead, give them a range, such as between twenty-five-thousand pounds and thirty-five-thousand pounds. This will give you room for negotiation at a later stage.

12. Do You Have Any Questions for Us?

At the end of job interviews, the interviewer will ask if you have any questions. Always respond to this by asking at least one question. By saying no, you would indicate that have little interest in the job.

Questions that you could ask the interviewer include:

- What do people enjoy most about working at your company?

- Could you tell me about the opportunities for professional growth at your company?

- What career paths do you see for people who are employed in this role?

More Sales Job Interview Questions
13. What Do You Dislike About Sales?
14. How Do You Maintain Your Professional Development?
15. What Sales Technologies Are You Familiar With?
16. Sell Me This Pen
17. How Would Your Colleagues Describe You?
18. What Type of Work Environment Do You Prefer to Work In?
19. What are the Qualities of a Good Salesperson?
20. What Are Your Strengths?

We hope you’ve found this guide to sales job interviews helpful. If you’re pursuing roles as a sale manager, view our guide to sales manager job interviews or sales manager CV writing.

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →