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How to Interview a Candidate for a Sales Job: Top Questions


Sales jobs are very challenging. Interviewing a candidate and picking the right one for a sales job requires you to understand the requirements of this challenging job. If you understand the requirements, hiring the right candidate would never be difficult. Here we have listed a few qualities that every sales employee should possess:

interview candidate for sales jobMust-Have Qualities of Sales Professionals:

1. Confidence:

Confidence is the most vital quality that a candidate must possess when he is taking up a sale or marketing profile. A sales person should directly be in touch with the clients. They need to solve the client’s queries and doubts. They need to tackle rough clients politely. People who lack confidence usually get nervous when they are posed with several questions. Nervousness and confusion are never appreciated in sales and marketing careers. These are jobs where everything depends completely on client relations and the way these relations are handled.

2. Negotiation Skills:

In a sales job, the knack of the sales professional is in selling the product at a price that appears optimum or affordable to the client while yielding sufficient profit to the manufacturer or seller. Negotiation is the key to convincing the client. Individuals who lack proper negotiation skills end up making a loss in their dealings and businesses.

3. Ability To Take Stress:

Sales jobs are known to be stressful. There are many things you need to deal with, while you are handling a sales job. You need to make sure that the deadlines are met. You need to achieve competitive targets and handle really difficult clients. Apart from all this, you may have to attend client meets and travel to places. Individuals who are not capable of tackling stress will find it very difficult to cope with the hectic regime.

4. Courage to Tackle Challenging Situations:

People who lack the proper knowledge, courage or confidence can never live up to the expectations of a sales job in a reputed company. You need to be bold and confident. You need to have all the facts and figures clear. You should have no doubts related to your dealings and should be able to deal with any challenging situation.

5. Good Communication Skills:

Good communication skill is known to have a very great impact on the minds of the clients as well as the bosses. If you are planning to take up a sales job, make sure you speak boldly and effectively. You need to make sure your language has no mistakes. You need to be proficient in your language. You also need to have an impressive tone and accent as these are important factors that cast an impression on others.

6. Proper Dressing Sense:

Dressing sense may appear less important to people but the way you dress makes a great impact. You need to be wise while selecting your attire. Pick formal shirts, trousers and accessories that suit you perfectly. Avoid overdoing it by choosing gaudy accessories and strong perfumes.

Questions to ask a Candidate for a Sales Interview:

You need to keep all the above factors in mind while interviewing a candidate for a sales job. You need to prepare a questionnaire beforehand to test these attributes in the candidate. Having a set of questions ready before the actual interview will help you interview the candidate properly. Here we have listed a few of the questions that may be ideal for a sales job candidate.

1. What Are The Common Challenges Faced By A Sales Professional?

This question is a great way to gauge how well the candidate understands the sales trade. There are many challenges that are commonly faced by sales employees. These include challenges handling tough clients or difficulty sticking to stringent deadlines. Only candidates who understand their trade perfectly can cite the right examples when they are posed with this question.

2. What Motivates You In Your Sales Job?

The challenges in a sales job makes you resort to better options unless you have a real strong motivation. If you do not have this underlying motivating factor, attaining your goals can become even more difficult. If you ask a candidate this question, he must have a very good reply if he belongs to the sales trade. You can make out from his reply whether he is a good choice for the trade he has chosen.

3. How Do You Describe An Ideal Sales Manager?

This question will help you understand how the candidate gauges the role of a sales manager. He may state the duties and responsibilities of an ideal sales manager. You will know from his reply whether he will be able to handle the responsibility of a sales manager when he grows to that level. If he is fit for the position, he will be able to enumerate the roles and responsibilities of sales professional properly. He will also be able to explain to you the right work ethics in a sales job.

4. What Would You Do If You Have To Handle A Difficult Client While Selling The Product?

You need to encounter a tough client sometime or the other in a sales job. You need to be perfectly prepared to handle such individuals with the right attitude and patience. A candidate who will explain to you how he plans to solve issues with clients by pointing out plus points of the firm and the company knows what is required of a sales executive.

5. Are You A Good Leader?

As a sales executive grows, he may have to lead a team of other employees. He needs to possess leadership qualities to handle such a responsible position. You can understand from his reply to the above stated question whether he is a diplomatic leader or whether he is bossy. The traits of a leader become evident in the way he tackles questions like these. You may further ask him what kind of ideology he believes in. You may ask him to choose between dictatorship, democracy and socialism. His reply will help you understand what ideology the person truly follows.

6. What is the Core Values That Your Ideal Company Would Possess?

You need to understand whether the candidate will survive in the organization. The modern youngsters are very eager to switch jobs if they are not satisfied with the present job. Very often, a job change is a result of dissatisfaction with the work culture in a certain organization. If you are able to assess the type of work culture the candidate is looking, you will be able to understand whether he will fit in your organization or not. It is thus vital that you pose questions like these during the interview.

7. What Are The Best Customer Relationship Tracking Methods According To You?

Relationships with customers matter a lot during interviews. You need to have a good relation with all your customers. Most big firms and good sales representatives have their unique customer relationship tracking methods. These help you identify the best methods to maintain a cordial relationship with your customers. If your candidate is able to site a few good customer relationship tracking methods, he sure knows his trade.

8. Why Do You Wish To Be A Part Of This Organization?

Candidates who appear for interviews usually do a thorough research regarding the firm they are joining. The seriousness with which they conduct this research reveals how serious they are going to be about their work. When you ask them about the firm, they should be able to tell you the key plus points in the firm that will attract any sales employee to be a part of the firm. If his reply seems sensible and he enumerates some reliable reasons to join the organization, he may suit the role well.

9. Why Should We Hire You?

The question is often asked by interviewers to understand how well the candidate thinks of himself. When a candidate is asked why he thinks he is eligible for the role, he usually reveals the positive traits in him that make him ideal for a sales role. You need to compare the traits he mentions and the traits he reveals. It will help you understand his level of honesty. If the candidate says he is confident while he is fumbling or blinking, you can easily make out he is lying. You need to strictly avoid candidates who try to conceal their true self.

10. How do you handle a client who has very high expectations?

In a sales career, a person is sure to encounter a client who has very high expectation. He should know how such situations are handled. He should also be able to tell you the ways he will implement to deal with such a situation. An experienced interviewer will be able to make out if the candidate is giving an honest reply.

These are various questions that you may pose to a sales employee to understand if he is worthy of the role. You must select only candidates who are capable of working under excessive stress. You also need to make sure that the candidate possesses the essential work ethics.
Sometimes it can be difficult to make out if the person is being honest or not. A thorough interview is the best way to identify an ideal sales candidate.