When taking a sales representative interview, there are questions you need to prepare for to have a successful interview.
Knowing these questions and preparing with them will enable you to give the right responses with confidence at the interview, and your chances of nailing the sales representative job will be increased.
This post provides some of the major common sales representative interview questions, including answers to enhance your preparation for the interview.
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What do Interviewers Look for in a Sales Representative?
Interviewers look for many things in a sales representative. The first thing they want to know is if you have a sales background.
They want to know what your sales techniques are, and their next concern is whether or not you have experience working at a customer service job.
Interviewers want to know that you’re able to help the customer and work with people in general.
They may ask you what other jobs you’ve worked after school, and if these were customer service jobs.
Finally, interviewers want to know what kind of personality traits or qualities that would be an asset as a sales rep.
10 Most Common Interview Questions and Answers for Sales Representative Position
Here are major questions you will likely come across in a sales representative interview session (and their suggested answers):
1. What is your sales background?
2. How have you been successful in previous jobs?
Answer: I’ve been successful in previous jobs by working hard and doing my best to contribute as much as possible. I seek advice from other people and I’m always looking for ways that I can improve myself and the project that we’re working on.
3. Tell me about a problem that you solved.
Answer: I’ll give you an example of a time I solved a problem.
One time, my friends and I needed to pick a place to go out to eat. However, we couldn’t agree on a restaurant to go to. One person would want one kind of food, but the other person didn’t want that kind of food. In this situation, everyone was trying to talk at the same time and no one could get a word in because nobody knew when they’re supposed to stop talking. Finally, I suggested we would all take turns picking a restaurant and we would vote on it after each choice. This worked well because we were able to compromise in order to make everyone happy and nobody had to feel left out or unimportant because they didn’t get their way.
4. Tell me about a time when you failed and what did you learn from it?
One time, I tried to make a cake and the bottom layer of the cake didn’t cook all the way through even though I kept checking it while it was cooking. This caused me to get frustrated and unfortunately I yelled at my sister which I deeply regret doing. I learned that sometimes you just need to accept that something isn’t going to work out the way you wanted it to go. Even though there were steps in the recipe that one could take to fix this, I was making mistakes which meant that they weren’t going to work out either.
5. Do you work well under pressure?
Answer: It depends on the pressure. I find it easier to work under time constraints and pressures, but crowds make me feel more stressed out.
6. How have you been successful at previous jobs?
Answer: I’m a hard worker and I give my best effort every day that I come into work or school.
7. What would be the most difficult situation for you to make a sale?
Answer: I think my most difficult situation would be if I had to sell something that people already had an opinion about whether they liked it or not. I think if it was something they’d never heard of before, I would be able to convince them after finding out what their needs are and then showing them how this product or service would meet those needs without too much difficulty (or with minimal difficulty.)
8. Have you ever had to prove that you deserved a promotion?
Answer: I’ve never had to prove that I deserve a promotion, but I have successfully earned one once before. My responsibility level changed quite a bit when I was promoted and I learned quickly how to manage everything better so that it would go smoothly.
9. Why do I want to hire YOU specifically for this job?
Answer: I want to hire me specifically because I am internally motivated to get the job done. Even when there are setbacks, I will work hard to make sure that we get back on track and do what needs to be done. I might not always receive the credit for extra efforts but this is my work ethic at all times.
10. What is your goal in life?
Answer: To inspire others to be their best.
More Sample Sales Representative Interview Questions
Here are additional interview questions for sales representative position (in categories):
Sample Behavioral Interview Questions for Sales Representative Position
- What traits do you possess that makes you qualified for this position?
- Why are you the best person to fill this position?
- What is your experience with sales and customer service?
- Is there anything in your background that would prohibit me from fitting into the role of a sales representative at this Company?
- Tell me why you left your last job.
Sample Case Interview Questions for Sales Representative Position
- What are the strengths of a person in your prospective position?
- Could you describe a time you needed to make a decision without any data?
- In what ways have you been most successful professionally and why do you think these translate to this role?
- Why is this job better than other jobs?
- What was one important lesson that stuck with you after college or graduate school?
Sample Competency Based Interview Questions for Sales Representative Position
- Have you ever been a sales representative in the past?
- What is your experience in this field?
- How much have you sold so far, including your current [company] position?
- Why did you choose to work here [at [Current Company]] ?
- Describe a time when you went above and beyond for a customer.
Sample Problem-solving Interview Questions for Sales Representative Position
- What would your strategy be to increase sales in a declining market?
- How do you measure success in customer service?
- Give me two examples of good and bad customer service.
- Have you ever had a difficult client or co-worker? If yes, describe how you handled them.
- What research did you undertake for this role before accepting the position?
Sample Situational Interview Questions for Sales Representative Position
- Tell us about a time when you had to work in a team and what the result was.
- What is your favorite part of working in sales?
- How available are you during the week, for this position?
- What is your career goal in five years?
- Describe for me an experience where you felt like things just weren’t going well.
Sample Communication Skills Interview Questions for Sales Representative Position
- What are the various communication styles?
- Tell me how to be an effective communicator?
- When should you use different types of communication methods?
- Who influences your decision to communicate in a certain way?
- Why do people misunderstand each other often even though they’re using the same language and have the same intentions, what is likely happening here then?
Sample Interpersonal Skills Interview Questions for Sales Representative Position
- What motivates you?
- How would your co-workers describe you?
- Would you ever lie to make a sale?
- Can we be friends outside of work?
- Do you like to win and compete with others in the office/workplace environment?
Sample Company Culture Interview Questions for Sales Representative Position
- What are your work time commitments?
- How much vacation time do you need?
- Do you have any preferred days off to take the day after a long work week?
- How often will an employer call / text you during working hours?
- Are you open to working on weekends?
Sample Sales Interview Questions for Sales Representative Position
- What is your previous experience in sales?
- When did you last make a sale?
- Is it appropriate to say “no” to the client right off the bat?
- What is an objection and how do you handle them?
- What are some things that sales representatives need to know before working with a client?
Sales Representative Interview Success Tips
Interviews can be tough and can make one anxious. To ensure success at your sales representative interview, here are some useful tips to apply:
- Prepare responses to the top prospective questions with your potential employer.
- Review these questions before the interview to make sure that you are prepared to answer them in the best way possible. Make sure that you are doing your research about the company that you are interviewing with in order to give off a genuine impression.
- Have confidence in yourself and your skills when you go in for an interview because this is your opportunity to show what you can do!
- It’s wise not to mention how much vacation time or preferred days off that you need during an interview because this can deter employers from wanting to hire you if they don’t have that much flexibility.
- Look up your potential employer online to see what other people have said about working there. This can give you an idea on whether or not this is a company that you’d want to work with, and it might even give you some good interview questions beforehand!
When preparing for a sales rep interview, it helps to learn about the likely questions that you may be asked.
This helps you to practice how you will respond to the questions, which makes you more confident to go through the interview and get easily hired for the sales representative job.