8 months ago
November 23, 2023

How Should Candidates Prepare For A Sales Interview?

Have a sales job interview coming up? How much prep work have you put into it? As they say, fail to prepare, then prepare to fail. It’s no different when…

Claire McConnachie Recruiter
Claire McConnachie

Have a sales job interview coming up? How much prep work have you put into it?

As they say, fail to prepare, then prepare to fail. It’s no different when getting ready for an upcoming job interview. You’ll get out of it what you put into it. 

There’s no question that you need to give your best effort, especially if you are competing for a highly coveted position. There are many sales reps, especially newer professionals who are still looking for more effective ways to get ready for an interview. So, our sales recruiters put some time and research into this topic to undercover the most common questions candidates have about getting ready for an interview. 

Let’s take a look at the most common questions our sales recruiters get about preparing for a sales job interview. We answer these questions here:

How do I prepare for a sales interview?

This is a pretty basic ask, but a common question for sure. Here are some ways our sales recruiters recommend you prepare:

  • Research the Company: Understand the company’s products, services, and target audience. This shows your genuine interest and initiative.
  • Practice Your Pitch: Create a concise and compelling elevator pitch that highlights your enthusiasm, communication skills, and eagerness to learn.
  • Role Play: Practice mock sales scenarios with a friend or family member. This helps you become comfortable with sales conversations.
  • Prepare Questions to Ask: Prepare thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer about the company’s sales process, training, and expectations. This demonstrates your interest and curiosity.

Phrases that are Interview Killers

How do I prepare for a sales interview with no experience? 

If you don’t have sales experience, it’s important to take your preparation one step further. Do everything above and then do the following:

  • Learn About the Industry: Familiarize yourself with the industry the company operates. Knowledge about industry trends and challenges can impress interviewers.
  • Learn Sales Basics: Familiarize yourself with fundamental sales techniques, such as understanding customer needs, objection handling, and closing deals. You can find resources online or take free sales courses.
  • Focus on Transferable Skills: Identify any transferable skills from previous jobs or experiences. These might include customer service, communication, or problem-solving skills.
  • Use STAR Method: If you have no direct sales experience, use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method to answer behavioural questions. Describe situations where you demonstrated relevant skills, even if not in a sales context.

What questions will be asked in a sales interview? 

There are many potential questions you could be asked by a sales manager during an interview. Here are some of the most common to prepare for:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why do you want this job?
  • What interests you about our company?
  • Can you provide an example of a problem you’ve solved?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • What motivates you to do your best work?
  • Do you have any relevant experience for this role?
  • How do you handle stress and tight deadlines?
  • How do you prioritize tasks and manage your time?
  • What is your preferred work style and environment?
  • Describe a time when you had to adapt to a change at work.
  • How do you handle constructive criticism?
  • Are you familiar with our industry or products?
  • What do you know about our competitors?
  • What software or tools are you proficient in?
  • Tell me about a challenging situation with a coworker or supervisor.
  • Why should we hire you?

How do you pass a sales interview?

If you want to pass a sales interview, you need to put forward your best effort. As we’ve mentioned above, here are some of the key things you need to do to get a call for a second interview or job offer:

  • Research: Learn about the company and its products or services.
  • Practice: Rehearse your sales pitch and responses to common questions.
  • Demonstrate Enthusiasm: Show genuine interest in the role and company.
  • Highlight Transferable Skills: Emphasize relevant skills from previous experiences.
  • Ask Questions: Show your curiosity and interest by asking thoughtful questions.
  • Confidence: Display confidence in your ability to learn and succeed in the role.
  • Follow-up: Send a thank-you email after the interview to express continued interest.

Read More From Our Sales Recruiters About Job Interviews

Top 4 Things Sales Candidates Should STOP Saying If They Want To Get Hired

3 Ways to Improve Your Chances of Getting Noticed by Sales Recruiters on LinkedIn

The Top 4 Problems With Your Sales Resume You’re Overlooking

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.