Sales Interview Questions
- Tell me about yourself.
This is a very common interview question. It is asked by the interviewer to see how the candidate handles themself in an unstructured situation; also to put them at ease. It's also used to cross-check your Curriculum Vitae (C.V.).
Don't give your life history and bore the interviewer. Highlight your accomplishments, even if such achievements were at the school newspaper level. Refer to previous sales experience, if any. Make sure the interviewer remembers you. Prepare an example before you go for the interview about a positive experience in your life or previous job, which personifies qualities that are needed for a sales job.
- Why did you apply for this job or this company?
Asked to check your research skills in addtion to evaluating your overall motivation and interest in the post.
Research the company and convey the factors that appeal to you.
(e.g. company values, mission, vision and track record)
If you are a fresher, then the answer could be – I have relevant qualifications and have heard about your company. I would be very interested to be a part of your sales team. I feel that, I have great prospects for a successful career with your company.
If you are an experienced person in sales, then you can say – From my past experience in the field I have come to know about your company and its products. I personally feel that it would be a good opportunity to work with you to improve my capabilities and be a more successful sales person. I also feel that your products are in tandem with my previous experience.
- What motivates you about sales?
The interviewer is trying to understand whether you are target and achievement oriented or not. He is also trying to make sure you are a good fit to the company.
Your answer should be based on your background and experience. Be enthusiastic. Emphasize how your skills can contribute to the company.
I am motivated by challenge and 'sales' is a very challenging profession.
In sales, your effort gets you direct recognition and incentives and this is a strong motivating factor.
- Why should we hire you?
Asked to have a glimpse at your personality type and possibly analyze your presentation skills.
You have to analyze, what is the company looking for and present accordingly. Sell yourself to the company. Do not attempt to persuade them that you are the best candidate as you are not familiar with the qualifications of the other candidates. Highlight your core competencies and your potential contribution for the company. Be enthusiastic and sincere about why you want this job.
I feel that it can be mutually beneficial. I can contribute to the company as I am a person who never misses deadlines and gets the job done (here you can give an example) and the company in turn will satisfy my needs, both personal and professional.
I have experience working in the same field, which I can build up on.
I am reliable, I enjoy selling and I have good feedback from customers (If possible provide examples and references).
- What are your strengths?
To understand the candidate and to test yourself awareness.
It's important to state your strengths that are relevant to sales.
- Communication skills
- Time management skills
- Ability to complete targets ahead of time
- What are your weaknesses?
The interviewer is assessing yourself awareness, insight and positivity rather than your weaknesses.
Refer to a genuine weakness but make it sound positive and pro-active.
I am a perfectionist and so tend to perhaps spend a little too much time on my projects, re-checking to make sure no mistakes are made. However, I do see to it that it's finished on schedule. I have to learn to focus on the end results, and less on the smaller details.
- Do you have prior experience in sales?
To understand your sales knowledge and how much input is required to train you for the job.
If you do not have relevant experience then say so but suggest that you can compensate for lack of experience with dedication and willingness to learn.
If the answer is Yes then you can expect questions like
- What kind of experience do you have in sales and for how long?
Give an example of what you have achieved personally in your previous sales job?
- What percentage of your targets did you achieve and can you substantiate it?
Were you able to bring any new agencies or products and initiate innovative selling techniques?
- What kind of experience do you have in sales and for how long?
- Why do you want to change your job?
To know the reason for your decision in opting for this change. He wants to know if you were able to cope with the previous job pressures and policies or whether you are looking at better prospects that will help you to achieve your goals.
Never be negative about your previous or current job.
I feel that the opportunities in your company are more challenging and rewarding.
I am relocating to this area due to family circumstances and plan to leave my previous position in order to make the move.
I am interested in a job with more responsibilities and I am ready for a new challenge.
I saw this job posting in the newspaper and was intrigued by the position and the company. It sounds like an exciting opportunity and an ideal match with my qualifications and experience.
I now feel the need for a fresh environment where I can continue to learn, as I was beginning to stagnate in terms of personal growth.
My prospects for career growth were limited, hence I needed to move.
- How did you come to know about our products or know about this company?
Asked to find out how much research you have done on the company
Do your homework well, about the products, as well as, about the company.
I have seen your product advertisements which are very impressive and eye catching.
In the field your product or company is highly rated.
I have read about your product or company on the internet and have seen your website.
Through my close associates or friends.
- Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Asked to see if the candidate is over ambitious. If he will stay with the company or jump jobs and to read personality vis-a-vis stability and growth.
Do your ground work about the company, its hierarchy in the sales line and answer accordingly. Be practical. Don’t try to be over ambitious but, at the same time, let the interviewer know that you would like to grow in the company and try to assure the prospective employer that you are a stable person and not a rolling stone.
I want to be successful in this job and move up the career ladder in your company.
Working here, with additional responsibilities.
In five years I see myself progressing in my field and in the company. I am eager to experience the challenges ahead of me.
No References Available
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