7 years ago
February 21, 2017

5 Potential Sales Job Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

In a sales job interview, be prepared to discuss your personality, career ambitions, employment history, and motivation. Keep reading.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter
Claire McConnachie

Congratulations! You’ve successfully submitted an application to a company and caught the attention of the hiring team. After showcasing your excellent e-mail skills and arranging an interview time, you’re getting ready for the interview and making preparations to wow your interviewer. Job interviews are getting tougher and tougher as employers do their best to seek out top candidates.What’s more, you need to constantly update your skills and show how you’re the right candidate to adapt to changing landscapes and new opportunities.

No matter how many interviews you’ve taken or how qualified you know you are, the interview is the ultimate place to translate your resume into value added to the company. There are some questions that could catch even the most prepared candidate off guard, and you don’t want to find yourself stumped. Here are five potential sales job interview questions and how to answer them.

1. Tell Me About Yourself

This is the gold standard for starting off an interview, and your answer here can dictate the way things go for the rest of the conversation. Even if you’ve answered this question dozens of times in the past, it’s a common stumbling block for many interviewees.

Instead of telling the interviewer every detail of your professional career, this is your chance to focus on personal qualities that convey the skills and strengths you would bring to the role. Include interesting facts that will make you memorable, but keep things light,brief, and intelligent.

2. What’s Your Motivation to Sell?

Explaining your motivation is a great way to showcase your resilience and tell your interviewer what drives you. This can be a tricky question to answer on the spot, especially if you haven’t considered it before your sales job interview. This question demands just the right amount of personal and professional information.

Give an answer that provides insight into who you are as a person as well as an employee. Are you motivated by goals? Do you need the right manager to motivate you? Are you self-motivated by personal ambition? Show the type of employee you are and the ways you approach sales.

3. Why Do You Want to Work in Sales?

This question is an easy stumper: as interviews go, showing up isn’t what counts, it’s giving a strong answer that synthesizes your past experiences, personality, and potential contributions. You also want to show off how you’re tuned in to industry trends and how you’re ready for the future.

Don’t make the mistake of giving a simple, personal reason like “I like it,” and definitely don’t talk about your earnings. You want to come across as motivated and tell the story about why this career path brings out the best in your skills and talents. A strong answer to this question will focus on your sales history whilegiving tangible examples of success and growth.

4. What’s Your Biggest Weakness?

On top of making sure you’ll be wearing the right outfit to showcase your professionalism, you need to be ready to ace this important question. Giving a strong example can set you apart from other candidates, especially when it comes to showing how you are committed to improving yourself.

Think of a true weakness you might have, such as time management or getting sidetracked too easily, then give specific examples of what you do to manage and improve these challenges.

5. Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?

This is an important question for striking a chord of professionalism with your interviewer. Avoid giving personal reasons and definitely avoid any sort of over-the-top explanation of why you left.

Whatever your reason for leaving your last job, you want to stay positive in a sales job interview. Start off by stating something positive, then switch the focus into the areas of development you’d like to explore in your new job.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter

Claire McConnachie

Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.