A sales interview is a crucial component if you want to enter a sales position.
To crack your sales interview, you should highlight your relevant qualifications, and then you should sell yourself to the interviewer and then close the deal by getting hired.
With some preparation and some pre-strategy, you can ace the interview and come out on top. However, unlike other interviews, you cannot present your skills on your resume. Instead, you have to demonstrate the sales skills from experience as well as how you would perform in the future.
In a sales interview, be prepared to get some situational and behavioral questions.
How to Answer Sales Interview Questions
One of the best ways to prepare for your sales interview is to prepare for them beforehand, and almost all the sales questions can be answered using the STAR method.
Become familiar with the STAR method
The STAR method stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result and means that every answer that you give during the interview must contain previous sales success stories and achievements.
Make sure to present the hiring manager with the situation you were put in, the assigned task, and the action you took.
“During my work as a junior sales representative at the XYZ Internet Security Company, I was asked to land the “Gobble Gop” account. For that, I analyzed their product base and then understood that our product base wasn’t immediately suited for them. So, I dug a little deeper and found out that a combination of solutions would work, and I successfully landed not only their account but also their sister account.”
The situation was that you were the sales representative. Your task was to land the Gobble Gop account. The action you took was doing some extra digging, and the result was that you landed the account.
How to answer sales questions if you don’t have any previous experience?
The question that is often asked is how the STAR method would work for a “fresher,” someone who does not have prior experience, since the STAR method relies on taking your previous experiences. Freshers usually panic because they don’t have the necessary experience.
Although hiring managers look for previous experiences, the sales industry hires more freshers than any other industry out there. So to circumvent this, you can rely on your non-work-related experience.
You could state your academic history, extra-curricular activities, and also mention your athletic and volunteering experiences. Since the hiring managers have already looked through your resume, they would know your experience and would assess your thinking ability.
Explain to the hiring manager that you have understood the question and show them the quality they are looking for even though you’ve not been a salesman before.
Here are the Top 8 Questions and Answers for the Sales Interviews
The idea here is to equip you to answer any sales interview effectively and to help you ace the interview.
Why did you choose a career in sales, or Why are you interested in sales?
The reason why hiring managers ask this question is to check if you are interested in the position. Therefore, although you might be tempted to answer money for this question, you shouldn’t answer only that.
A sales representative is a job where the money you make directly depends on the amount you bring in. So if your motivation is money, you’ll work extra hard just to close the deal.
Try to answer this question by also including other reasons for your interest in sales like meeting new people, the thrill of hunting, traveling, and the list goes on.
Why are you interested in our company?
A hiring manager will be looking to know precisely how much the company means to you. To answer this effectively, you must conduct primary research about the company before the interview.
You will not be hired if you cannot show the hiring manager that you believe in the company and the product or service they are selling to the consumers.
It is perfectly adequate to answer with the non-sales aspects of the company, like the charitable and other philanthropic activities of the company or the culture of the company.
Just make sure your previous experiences align with that of the company.
How will you keep yourself motivated?
The interviewers are looking for someone who is always motivated and wants to close the deal as soon as possible with a genuine interest in the job. The proper way to communicate this is by discussing and conveying your style and by pointing out the parts of the job that have inspired you.
How will you face rejections?
Facing rejections is not easy, and you’re probably going to face them in your position as a sales executive. Therefore the hiring managers will want to know how you would handle them. They want someone who can absorb criticism and not take it personally, but as lessons and grow from them.
At what point will you stop working with a client?
The interviewer will want to know how dedicated you are to the sales process. At the same time, they would also like to know if you’re being too pushy. You have to draw the fine line between persistence and pushiness. A pushy sales process will drive the sales away, but the persistent one can get even the reluctant one.
Are you comfortable with making cold calls?
A part of your job as a sales executive will depend on your ability to make cold calls, and good sales calls can be as difficult as persuading a stranger. A good salesperson will make a cold call into an excellent selling opportunity.
What do you least like about sales?
This is the question that will determine your character to the hiring manager and evaluate if you’ll be a right fit for the new company. So just be honest while you are answering this question, but at the same time, don’t take this as the opportunity to list out your grievances.
You also don’t want to sound disingenuous and false by giving an utterly dishonest answer.
What do you think is important: long-term clients or new clients?
This question should be answered based on the company that you’ll be working for and based on the product they are selling. This is a subjective question and will require you to conduct sufficient targeting and research.
A sales interview might seem intimidating, but you can succeed in your job by following these tips!