Interview questions for sales jobs

by : John Bult



Ifyou are considering sales jobs, then your interview is a chance topractise those sales skills. An interview is, in itself, essentiallya sales call where the product is you. Here are some of the mostcommon questions you are likely to face with some guidance withregard to your answers

Q: Are you any good at selling?

A: Anything other than a resounding 'yes, of course I am' and youmight as well leave. The question will, of course, be closelyfollowed by 'prove it', but it is amazing how many will answer rathertoo modestly which answers such as 'okay I suppose' or ' not toobad'. If this is you listen up, sales jobs require dynamic,optimistic people which can really show the best side of theirproduct. If this is all you have to say about yourself then maybesales jobs are not for you.

Q: What can you show me to prove that you are good at selling?

A: Appointing people for is a critical task for salesmanagers, get it right and they themselves will be successful. Theconverse is, of course, true. Consequently, they won't take yourword for it that you are good, they will want proof, or evidence asit is usually referred to. For this you need to build a brag file, aportfolio of evidence of your successes that allow you to prove thatyou are a successful person and also the transferable skills you mayhave. This file may include anything form appraisals, league tables,letters of congratulations and awards. Ideally you need to showinggood performance that is recent (last 12 month), comparative(compares against others doing the same), and sustained (prolonged ofmonths, rather than weeks or days)

Q: Give me an example of where you have been successful?

A: What they will be really interested in here is whether you know whyyou were successful? Was it a planned and deliberate success (inwhich case it will be repeatable), or was it a chance happening orsuccess without really knowing why? (which will likely not berepeated). Sales managers want people who are successful, know theyare successful, and know why they are successful. You can plan a fewexamples of this in advance. Hesitate to provide an answer to thisat your peril!

Q: Give me an example of an awkward customer you have had to dealwith, tell me what happened and how you resolved the situation?

A: Unfortunately, in sales jobs you will encounter your fair share ofdifficult or awkward customers, no matter how pleasant or inoffensiveyou are, some people are just like this. What you need to be able todemonstrate is a scenario where you were able to handle thingstowards a positive outcome. You must avoid any situation whichended in confrontation, or you you loosing your cool. The bestsolution here is to be able to outlined a structured approach to anydispute situation, this should be something freely available toresearch on the web.

Q: Sell me this pen!

A: Every would be sales persons nightmare, but it shouldn't be withthe right preparation. What your interview is looking for is theknowledge of, and ability to apply a sales process. No matter howfalse you may perceive the situation to be. It is indeed a good testof whether someone possess a sales structure either throughexperience or research. There are hundreds of examples of salesprocess in books and one the web, each with their own little acronymto help you remember. Learn one of these and practise on yourfriends, get it right it really could be your ticket into sales jobs.

Thereare, of course hundreds of potential interview questions you couldget at sales jobs, but these are some of the most common, Preparegood answers to these in advance and you are significantly increasingyour chances of success.