The 10 Interview Questions You Need To Ask Sales Reps

Recruiters asking interview questions to a sales rep.
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

When it comes to interviews, most hiring managers focus on the same few questions: What are your strengths and weaknesses? Where do you see yourself in five years? Why do you want this job?

These questions are fine as far as they go, but they won’t give you an accurate sense of whether or not a candidate is actually qualified for a sales job. If you really want to get to know a sales rep, you need to ask different – and better – questions.

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 interview questions you need to ask sales reps. These interview questions for sales reps will give you a much clearer sense of a candidate’s skills, experience, and motivation.

Interview Questions for Sales Reps

  • What motivates you?
  • Why did you choose sales?
  • Describe a successful sales you closed
  • Describe a time when you overcame an objection
  • Tell me about a time you went above and beyond for a customer
  • Describe a time when you struggled to make your quota
  • What do you like most about sales
  • What do you dislike most about sales
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Do you have any questions for us?

How to start the interview?

In today’s job market, there are a lot of highly qualified sales representatives vying for the same positions. So, how do you choose the best candidate for the job?

One way to help narrow down the field is to conduct a thorough job interview. But how do you start a job interview when you’re hiring sales reps?

Here are a few tips:

  • Start by asking about the candidate’s experience in sales.
  • Ask the candidate about their plans for the future.
  • Check what is it that they know about your company.
  • Make them comfortable before moving on with the interview.
  • Briefly enquire about their hobbies and interests other than work.

Get a better sense of who the candidate is and if they’re a good fit for your company.

Let’s now talk about the 10 interview questions for sales reps you must ask:

What motivates you?

Most people are motivated by a combination of things, but there are usually a few key motivators that stand out. When you’re interviewing a sales rep, it’s important to find out what motivates them.

  • Do they want to earn a high commission?
  • Are they driven by the challenge of closing big deals?
  • Or do they simply enjoy working with people and helping them find the products they need?

Why did you choose sales?

Sales is a demanding and challenging profession, so it’s important to find out why a candidate chose it in the first place.

Some people are drawn to sales because they enjoy the competition and the thrill of the hunt. Others see it as a way to help people and make a difference in their lives. The best sales reps are usually motivated by a combination of both. Competition drives them to be the best, and the desire to help others gives them a sense of fulfilment. The best sales reps are those who have a passion for both.

Describe a successful sale you closed

The best way to gauge a sales rep’s skills and abilities is to ask them to describe a successful sale they closed. This will give you a chance to see how they think and operate under pressure.

Pay attention to the details they include and the way they describe the steps they took to close the deal. This will give you a good idea of their sales process and how they go about closing deals. Probe to understand their involvement and contribution in each stage of the sales cycle – from prospecting, and lead generation to closure.

Check the kind of tools and CRM they’ve used. Do they know how to use various prospecting and lead generation tools?

Describe a time when you overcame objections

One of the most important skills for a sales rep is the ability to overcome objections. This is a chance to see how a candidate deals with adversity and how they handle customer complaints.

Pay attention to the way they handle the objection and the outcome of the situation. This will give you a good idea of their problem-solving skills and how they handle difficult customers.

Ask if there is any particular strategy they use for handling sales objections. For example, the PAT strategy for handling sales objections.

Tell me about a time you went above and beyond for a customer

The best sales representatives always go the extra mile for their customers. They are always willing to go above and beyond to ensure that their customer’s needs are met. This question is designed to see how a candidate deals with customer service situations.

It is important to pay attention to the way the candidate describes the situation and the steps they took to resolve it. This will give you a good insight into their customer service skills and how they deal with difficult situations.

Describe a time when you struggled to make your quota

No sales rep is immune to the occasional down month, so it’s important to find out how a candidate deals with adversity. This question is a chance to see how they handle failure and how they stay motivated in difficult times. Pay attention to the way they describe the situation and the steps they took to turn it around. This will give you a good idea of their resilience and determination.

A good sales rep must know how to bounce back after a poor month. Check their analytical thinking.

  • How did they analyse data and gather feedback?
  • What went wrong?
  • Were there any changes that impact sales?

What do you like most about sales?

Sales is a notoriously difficult profession. It’s often challenging, fast-paced, and can be quite stressful. But despite all of that, there are still many people who love sales. So, what is it that they like most about sales?

For some, it’s the challenge of the hunt, the thrill of the chase. They enjoy the process of finding and winning new customers. For others, it’s the satisfaction of helping people and solving problems. They take pride in knowing that they are making a difference in the lives of their customers.

Whatever the reason, many people enjoy sales and find it to be a rewarding and fulfilling profession.

In a survey, random salespeople were asked what they liked most about sales. The most common answer was the challenge. Salespeople love the challenge of the sale – the feeling of taking on a new project and seeing it through to the end. They also enjoy the thrill of the hunt, the satisfaction of closing a deal, and the sense of accomplishment that comes with a successful sale.

So if you’re looking to hire a great salesperson, be sure to ask them what they like most about sales.

What do you dislike most about sales?

This question will help you to identify any areas where they may need help or training once you hire them.

Of course, not all sales reps will have the same answer to this question. Some may find that they dislike the pressure of meeting quotas, while others may simply find that they don’t like dealing with rejection. However, by understanding the various complaints that sales reps have about their jobs, you can start to address these issues and make the sales process more efficient and effective.

Why should we hire you?

This is your chance to find out what a candidate believes makes them the best sales rep for the job.

  • Do they have a proven track record of success?
  • Do they have a strong work ethic?
  • Or do they simply have a passion for sales?

The answer to this question will give you a good idea of what they believe their strengths to be and why they believe they’re the best candidate for the job.

Do you have any questions for us?

This is your chance to see if a candidate has done their homework on the company. A good candidate will have prepared a few questions about the company, the position, and the sales process. This shows that they’re truly interested in the job and that they’re willing to put in the effort to learn more about the company.

Asking the right questions during an interview is essential to hiring the best sales reps. The 10 interview questions for sales reps listed in this article will help you uncover a candidate’s motivation, ability to overcome challenges, and closing skills. Be sure to share this article with your network and subscribe to our blog for more great content.

Do you have any other questions that you would add to the list? Share them in the comments below. Thank You.

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By BMB Staff

Business Management Blog is your online resource for business management and strategy articles, insights, ideas and tools. We talk about Business Management, Strategy, Customer Experience, Employee Engagement, Leadership and Career Growth. Subscribe to the blog to get updates about new posts.

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