5 Sales Rep Interview Questions and Answers

The process of hiring quality sales reps is challenging because, by nature, salespeople are incredibly persuasive and can make you believe they are the right person for the job. Additionally, many leaders responsible for hiring – recruiters, sales managers, executives, etc. – lack the preparation, process, and skill necessary to interview candidates effectively. 

For this reason, our team at Sciolytix put our heads together and came up with five interview questions and answers for sales reps roles.

Q1: How might your experience as a sales representative distinguish you from other candidates who applied to this position?

A1: An ideal candidate should have experience in a sales company similar to yours. If your company needs an outside sales representative, the candidate should have experience as an outside sales representative. If your company needs an inside sales representative, the candidate should have experience with inside sales. Additionally, if your company requires cold calling/cold selling, the candidate should have experience with a proven record of success with cold selling. 

What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience in a company similar to yours
  • Proven record of success in sales
  • Recognition for sales made in previous jobs

An example answer might look like this: “I once held a position as an outside sales representative that required a lot of cold calling. I have a proven record of success in sales.”

Q2: What are steps you use to make a sale? How do you approach customers to close a deal?

A2: An ideal candidate will know exactly how to close a sale by following the specific steps to make a sale. The sales steps include approaching the customer, asking probing questions, making recommendations, assuming the sale, rebuttal and overcoming objections, and closing the deal. An ideal sales representative should be able to name these steps and provide examples of how they used the steps in their previous job. 

What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to name the steps to make a sale
  • Confidence in their sales approach
  • Leadership developed from previous sales experience

An example answer might be: “In my previous position as a sales representative, I followed specific steps to close deals. I asked probing questions, made recommendations, and made the sale.”

Q3: The company’s sales are declining. What steps would you take to fix the problem?

A3: Sales may decline during specific times of the year. An ideal sales representative will have the motivation and a specific plan to increase sales in these situations. Look for candidates who will specifically talk about the steps they would take to fix declining sales. Ideal candidates should stay focused, approach more customers, make more calls, and dedicate their time to reaching their goals. 

What to look for in an answer:

  • Hunger for success and for making sales
  • Ability to reach their daily, weekly, and monthly goals
  • Ability to stay focused

An example answer might be: “I will figure out the issue that is causing the sales decline, address it, reach out to new customers, and dedicate time to increase sales.”

Q4: In your previous sales experience, how did you connect with customers? Were you able to create loyal customers?

A4: An ideal candidate needs to provide great customer service. Selling once can be easy, but it takes someone with great customer service to make a customer come back for more. Look for sales representatives who have connected with clients in previous jobs. Candidates should provide you with the techniques they use to connect with clients and make them loyal customers to your company. 

What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to connect with people
  • Great customer service experience developed from previous jobs
  • Previous experience connecting with clients

An example answer might be: “In my previous job as a sales representative, I connected with many clients. I was fortunate to have clients who referred their friends to me.”

Q5: What type of work environment do you thrive in? Do you enjoy working in a fast-paced environment?

A5: Depending on your company, you might need your employees to adapt quickly and to thrive in a fast-paced environment. Sales representatives need to have the ability to work in these kinds of settings and make as many sales as possible while under pressure. To exceed in a sales position, the ideal candidate should have experience working in a busy environment and experience adapting to change around them. 

What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to adapt to frequent changes
  • Proven record of success in a fast-paced environment
  • Confidence in their skills

An example answer might be: “I enjoy working in a fast-paced environment. I tend to thrive in these kinds of settings. I also adapt to change quickly and efficiently.”

We hope you find these questions and answers helpful. What interview questions work for you when hiring sales reps? Please drop us a comment to share.  

When hiring sales reps, knowledge is power. And a consistent, repeatable process gives you the best chance of success. For this reason, we developed the Sciolytix Sales Performance Predictor (aka: S2P2). 

To learn more, please visit: https://s2p2.sciolytix.com/. 


Author: Dario Priolo

Dario brings over 20 years of experience in the sales enablement and talent development industry. He has led marketing and strategy as CMO for leading companies like the Hay Group, Miller Heiman and Profiles International and has been part of 4 successful exits, including his own start-up.

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