Career Advice

Tips to Answer 5 Sales Interview Questions

3
min read
Mikaela Thompson

Here are 5 tips on how to answer sales questions and their answers. The key is to back up your stories with examples and tailor your answers to what they want to hear. Comb through the job description beforehand when you’re preparing and you’ll be able to slot yourself into problem-solving situations for help they’re looking to hire for.

Why Are You Interested in a Sales Position at This Company?

There are many reasons for liking a sales job, but the prospective employer wants to hear it from you. Yes, lots of sales commision come with a base salary followed by a commission on top, but answering “money” will not sound good. Also, not every sales position is right for each person. Think about which sales job is right for you?

What you want to do is mention why you are interested in the sales aspect of that specific role and give other reasons, such as building personal relationships, problem-solving, or enjoying travelling. You don’t want to make money sound like the be-all and end-all for you, even though it is a numbers game in the end.

Tailor your answers to the job description and give details that are specific to the company. This means that if they mention a problem they’d like to help solve through hiring this candidate, you can put yourself in those shoes and show how you can deliver.

Do you like the product or service they are selling? Even if you don’t, talk about how you think it works and can help customers. You might even be an advocate which will work even better in your favour. SHow them how much you know about their product or service and you’ll naturally demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role and company.

How Comfortable Are You with Cold Calling or Cold Emailing?

Cold calling is common as part of sales jobs. If not cold calling, it could be cold emailing. There are many ways to help get the right number or email address of the person you are targeting as a client, but first the hiring manager would  need to know that you have what it takes to do so.

Show that you have confidence and that you can talk to new people comfortably on the other end of the line. What’s your opening greeting and what would your opening question be for the follow-up sentence. How do you find the right person to get in touch with? How would you finish up a cold call so that there is a follow-up action?

When it comes to emails, how do you send a cold call email? DO you summarise and keep it brief? Do you use bullet points and bold text to make it easy to read? Do you include images or extra information in the body of the article so that the receiver does not need to open up attachments?

How Do You Handle Rejection?

Rejection is inevitable in sales. It’s unrealistic to think that every sale will go well. For whatever reason a sale may not go through and that may be at no fault of yours. As a sales person, you need to have thick skin and emotional intelligence to not take things personally. Show that you are resilient by walking through past scenarios for instance and explaining how you handle the situation when life throws a curveball at you. Show that you know how to pick yourself up , not dwell on things and move on. Basically, how to keep calm and carry on.

How Do You Motivate Yourself?

This is related to our point above. How do you inspire yourself to keep going. Is there recently a new feature that you think will sell well that you can return to past customers who have rejected the product or service before? Maybe you think it will be received well. Discuss how you personally handle this, even if in this case it is monetary related. Oftentimes, the incentive for a sales department would be an incentive, but you can also mention philanthropic reasons for instance. Such as, if a company decides to match the sales of the highest sales manager as a donation to a charity, that could be a good form of motivation worth mentioning. Another could be winning a Herman Miller ergonomic office chair for instance. Here are some ideas on how companies motivate their sales teams.

Do You Think New Clients or Long-Term Clients Are More Important?

This is a trick question, as in fact, both customers are just as important. The ratio and weight on each client would of course be dependent on the company’s goals. So find out what their goals are and whether they are short or long-term. You might be able to decipher what their priorities are and answer this question from there. In essence, do your research. This question requires a certain amount of digging and the more you know, the more well prepared you will be to answer this question. You can even respond to this question with a question asking them about their goals to help you better narrow down your answer.

The Takeaway

Demonstrate your skills and abilities with solid examples and you will fly through your interview. Future employers want proof that you can live up to the expectations and can meet what you wrote about yourself on paper. Do the skills match-up with the qualifications or work experience? Use the star method and  apply accordingl\y to keep yourself in check so that you’re telling your story in a logical order without waffling too much.

Are you being asked behavioural questions during your interview? Read "6 Tips to Answering Behavioural Interview Questions" to see how you can best answer questions that show yourself in your best light as a future employee and colleague.

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