Sales Interview Questions

Posted in Sales Tools  |  83 Comments

Interviewing your next superstar? Looking for your next sales position?

Here’s a list of 31 interview questions in no particular order.

If you’re interviewing candidates, use what you like and improve what you don’t.

If you’re in the hunt for a new sales position, use them as a prep tool and work your way through. When you come out the other side, you’ll be completely tuned and ready for action.

(please comment below if you have one to add)

If you like these questions, you might also like my message on commitment called Cross The Line. Use this link to watch the quick little video.
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31 Sales Interview Questions

(find your next sales star or use as a prep tool for yourself)

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COMMENTS


  1. Sales Interview Questions from JustSell.com | Salesjournal says:

    [...] Here’s a list of 31 interview questions in no particular order. [...]

    14 July 2014



  2. sabirkhatri53@gamil.com says:

    I might use some of them for my site. I also believe that a sales person should know what skills they need to have in order to be prepared for a sales interview.

    10 January 2014



  3. sabirkhatri53@gamil.com says:

    I knew which was best as I have picked wrong and right. But I list 5 before the interview and hope to pick the one that evokes a response.

    10 January 2014



  4. Sales Interview Questions from JustSell.com says:

    [...] Here’s a list of 31 interview questions in no particular order. [...]

    3 January 2014



  5. kutlo.molefi@yahoo.com says:

    nice!

    16 September 2013



  6. komal says:

    informativ site

    30 June 2013



  7. maria@excellenttrainers.nl says:

    Great questions. It makes the salesperson to think about the salesproces. With the answers you will be able to see their sales skills and potential

    I would also add: Describe your product or service in three sentences.
    It is neccesary a salesperson can pitch their business in a few sentences.

    Ruud | Sales Training

    28 May 2013



  8. Mark says:

    I have read a few excellent stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how a lot effort you put to make one of these fantastic informative web site.

    12 May 2013



  9. arun.shah78@yahoo.com says:

    i am a student i want to do job in usa at position of sales man.

    17 January 2013



  10. mohamedriyas25@yahoo.com says:

    really its so good questions. thnks so much nd if u add some answer with question i thing its much better. bt its ok really its very good way to learn how to faced interniew so thanks so much.

    14 October 2012



  11. Joanne Rile says:

    I have been receiving emails from Just Sell for years and have purchased several publications including 212 degrees. I received an email today. Now, when I try to sign up again, the message says, my email address is not valid.

    Please tell me what to do,

    1 October 2012



  12. mtjaramilla@gmail.com says:

    i love this site, such a great help for a recruiter like me :)

    9 September 2012



  13. Rupam Dey Sarkar says:

    hi… i m going for interview on sales could anybody help me what should i study for this.its my first job.

    25 August 2012



  14. sudheer says:

    What are the sales questions in mncs

    17 July 2012



  15. Anshu says:

    Extraordinary questions and a blessing to recruiter like me who has to do bulk recruitment for Marketing vacancies. The one that topped my list of favorites is “Describe one or two of the most difficult challenges and/ or rejections you’ve faced in the past and how you responded”. I usually talked of success of sales people and never thought that handling failures is also one angle.
    Thanks a heap!

    17 July 2012



  16. Audai Louri says:

    I also worked in recruitment, for both Saudi Aramco and Gulf Air, I didn’t recruit sales people as per say, but I did however recruit individuals that required traits that are similar to sales people. For example the need of achievement and communication skills are essential.

    15 July 2012



  17. ACN press release says:

    I hadn’t thought to ask that will help me make better hiring decisions. And I’m a recruiter, so you’d think I’d be sending this out to folks.

    30 June 2012



  18. Audai Louri says:

    Thanks for the questions, I might use some of them for my site. I also believe that a sales person should know what skills they need to have in order to be prepared for a sales interview. I’ve listed some on Sales Person Skills. I believe I covered the important ones but would highly appreciate if you have any other skills you can add here.

    Thanks,

    29 June 2012



  19. alex says:

    wow great information
    would you please made a post on biotechnology interview questions

    22 June 2012



  20. Sumit says:

    Hello this article is really nice as a job seeker i always look for a better option, I would like to share a website with you which provides the interview questions and their answers of all the top companies. Visit http://www.dhung.com

    18 June 2012



  21. Simon says:

    I have been looking for a job for some time and found this free job club really helpful. http://www.jobinterviewtipsclub.com

    It can be hard to keep going when you get knocked back and a bit of extra support does wonders – thank goodness for the web!

    Good luck to anyone seeking their next opportunity!

    17 June 2012



  22. The Sales Appointment says:

    Just another awesome article I will share with our readers!
    So very helpful on so many levels!
    Keep up the good work my friend!

    8 June 2012



  23. Martin says:

    A little tip for people looking for jobs in sales…

    I get CV’s on an almost daily basis from potential sales people. Most of which are addressed ‘Dear Sir/Madam’. Truth be told. It takes only a few moments to go to a companies website and find the name of the manager! This would have a lot more of an impact.

    Also, if I were looking for a job in sales, I would be more than happy to tailor each letter and put something personal in it for each company than just send them a template letter. You may only be able to send out half the amount of CV’s this way but the response rate will be much bigger.

    Let companies know why YOU will be an asset to their business!

    23 May 2012



  24. Howardlerton says:

    hello steve here is the contact address , they have a deal on at the mo ,just say Howard put you on

    13 May 2012



  25. Nicole B. Henry says:

    These questions are very helpful to everyone who is looking for sales jobs. Thanks for sharing the questions for interview.Jobs in sales require individuals who are dynamic, self motivated and dedicated.

    10 April 2012



  26. Puneet Bhatia says:

    Gud and excellent useful questions.
    Thanks.

    16 March 2012



  27. Phil says:

    Useful stuff – thanx alot

    5 March 2012



  28. tua022012 says:

    Hi,

    I agreed with you. Any way, your points of view make me thinking about some thing for my project.

    Pls try to keep posting. Tks and best regards

    Apart from that, this link below may be useful: Safety coordinator interview questions

    Rgs

    4 January 2012



  29. mohamed sabry says:

    we need normal answers for all these question, and we will add what we need.

    1 January 2012



  30. powel tom says:

    its very good

    1 January 2012



  31. mattymays says:

    hi http://www.justsell.com-ers all the best to every one – matty mays

    21 December 2011



  32. VP of Business Development says:

    Thanks for the extra tools for my box.

    Just a couple comments:

    Bens, are you for real?

    bens says:

    how can i sell a person an air conditioner who is living in at the north or south pole?
    How can i sell a person sand who is living in a desert?
    And how can i sell mobile phone to a person who has lost his eyes, ears, speaking ability, a hand?

    Well, if so, you are lacking integrity my friend.

    A true sales person has to be able to be Honest with their customers and prospects, Listen to their customers wants and needs, & be a person of the utmost integrity at whatever the cost! They would never do those things mentioned in your questions or others like: “How can you sell ice to Eskimos?” That person would be nothing more than a con man (or woman)! Someone who is truly a sales professional sells not for themselves, but for others. When you set your goals on how your product or service help your client or prospect, then & only then will you become a true Sales Pro! Oh, as an added benefit, you will also find yourself not only becoming monetarily wealthy, you will be Rich in Character & that my friend money can NOT buy!

    Good Luck, Good Selling & God Bless!!!

    1 December 2011



  33. Danish Khan says:

    Thanx for a good collection, vry vry usefull information,

    6 October 2011



  34. bens says:

    how can i sell a person an air conditioner who is living in at the north or south pole?
    How can i sell a person sand who is living in a desert?
    And how can i sell mobile phone to a person who has lost his eyes, ears, speaking ability, a hand?

    25 August 2011



  35. chandan kumar says:

    hi… i m going for interview in top news paper for add sales could anybody help me what should i study for this.its my first job.

    19 July 2011



  36. How to Build a Killer Sales Staff | Intuit Small Business Blog says:

    [...] what a typical sales process is like, and how she interacts with prospects. For more questions, check out this list. The way the candidate answers the questions is more important than the responses themselves: You [...]

    22 June 2011



  37. Derek says:

    Great website and forum chats good too……………anybody done a McQuaig Occupational Test and or McQuaig Word Test?

    Where can I see the qusteions is there a link that will tale me to one?

    7 June 2011



  38. kotoral125 says:

    Hi

    I read this post two times.

    I like it so much, please try to keep posting.

    Let me introduce other material that may be good for our community.

    Source: marketing coordinator interview questions

    Best regards
    Henry

    26 May 2011



  39. SalesJournal.com » Sales Interview Questions says:

    [...] Here’s a list of 31 interview questions in no particular order. [...]

    2 May 2011



  40. David K says:

    Thanks for such great help. I feel more confident about my up coming interview now :)

    24 March 2011



  41. Saloni says:

    Nice article.

    Thanks,
    http://salonisalesblog.blogspot.com

    11 March 2011



  42. Thelma says:

    Thanks for posting all these questions, i was nervous for my interview tomorrow but now im relieved

    22 February 2011



  43. CP says:

    Great resource, great questions. If you want some more you can get 401 common interview questions to download from this selection criteria website

    6 February 2011



  44. Clear Eyes says:

    Excellent questions and very helpful for the interviews I am scheduling.

    17 December 2010



  45. zanem says:

    thats helpful but scary…i think u should suggest some smart answers aswelll

    11 December 2010



  46. Sam Parker says:

    Our pleasure, Chris.

    4 December 2010



  47. Chris says:

    Cheers Sam, I am looking to hire a writer at the moment for my selection criteria
    and have been searching for a comprehensive list of questions. Great resource.

    3 December 2010



  48. allan ray carpentero says:

    This is very useful and helpful for people like me who leads a team of salesmen
    i never pass a day without looking at this page

    13 October 2010



  49. Ye He says:

    Great questions, but I belive you never can prepare enought for the interview. The best interview I ever had for 2 hour real life phone sale challenge.The top 5 candidates with the most sales get the job. Another good point is to get your resume right, which is quite tricky for sales resumes. I usually use kabroo.com to find resumes from people who already for in the company of my interest. The logic is simple if this guy got hired with this resume, with similar one I should at least get a chance for the interview.

    25 September 2010



  50. Svend says:

    Hi Sam,

    Judging by the number of people who comment there is a resonable level of interest in this topic.

    Many people have asked for the ‘Answers”. I would be inclined to ask too. Not so much answers but some guidance s to where the question should lead and what I should be looking for in the answers.

    You see, I am not a sales person, not a good one any way based on the numbers. That is why I’ve decided to employ someone.

    I sat down and worked through your questions, looking at the answers I would expect or what I expect to learn about a person but following a line of questioning.

    But I stumble with a few of them. E.g. Q22.What do you see as the key skills in closing?

    Having never been very good at closing myself (would prefer that the customer does that) and having got a different answer every time I’ve asked someone about it, what are the key skills in closing? Are there any wrong answers?

    12 September 2010



  51. RAMESH KUMAR VISHWAKARMA (GARHAKOTA)M.P. says:

    nothing is imposible everything posible when you will think like that then you will fell very good

    25 August 2010



  52. Bill says:

    What good are the questions if you don;t know what the expected answers should be?

    20 August 2010



  53. miiraal says:

    that is good all sugestion for asking question and i wuold like to submit

    26 July 2010



  54. Carol says:

    oops… i forgot probably the most telling question of all……….

    What do you feel is a “GREAT” income? Best thing since sliced bread income….. what would you LOVE to make in a year? Ask it just like that. You can tel if they are listening, trying to be diplomatic, etc. You will hear responses like……. “I need”……. (didn’t listen), I couldn’t take a position for less than….(again didn’t listen). If the candidate comes in low…….. 40 -50, 60, 70K etc., are they driven? directed, and a big thinker? I love it when an applicant says, “love to make???? —- heck 200k, a million! The obviously listened, and are big thinkers………

    Have fun with this one; just make sure you ask it before going over any kind of pay!!

    20 July 2010



  55. Carol says:

    I would have liked to have the purpose of the question listed. There are tons of great questions, but if I don’t know “what I’m looking for, what a candidates answer will reveal about them, the question is useless to me. Many of the questions above are “skill oriented”, whereas I am more interested in driven, motivated, coachable people. If you have the personality traits needed to be successful, I can teach the person how to sell, I can teach process, I can teach positive expectations. One of my all time favorites: Have you ever played any “team sports” in high school,; what were they and why did you choose the particular sport? Reason for the question; sports teach competition, team, will to win,…. etc. try asking the most constructive criticism the candidate has received from mentors and you’ll learn their biggest weakness!! I want persuaders, so explaination oriented questions allow me to assess communication abilities….. Ask them what they would bring to your company, why should they be the candidate chosen? Why do they believe they are good in sales……their answer will give insight into their view of our profession……. just listen to the adjectives they use! i love the open ended questions.

    20 July 2010



  56. Rabih says:

    Please could you find the questions from the interviewer during the interview as a sales position.

    24 May 2010



  57. Salesman101 says:

    The most common questions I got are behavioural questions around some sale situations such as how do you prepare for a sales, call to a new client, etc.

    Here are couple sample answers:

    http://commoninterview.com/story.php?title=describe-how-you-prepare-for-a-sales-call-for-a-new-client-

    and

    http://commoninterview.com/story.php?title=tell-us-about-your-most-difficult-sales-experience-

    16 April 2010



  58. Brad says:

    To the guy looking for PHD ( Poor Hungry and Desperate), there is a good chance there are that way for a reason…. they are crappy sales people, not closers.

    12 April 2010



  59. MIchael C Finegold says:

    I have been a sales recruiter, sales trainer, and sales manager for 30 years. These are all good questions but there are tons more one could use.
    For example:
    1. How would you describe yourself?
    2. What specific goals, including those related to your career, have you established for your life?
    3. How has your previous experience prepared you for a career with us?
    4. Describe the ideal job for you.
    5. What influenced you to choose sales as a career?
    6. At what point did you choose this career?
    7. What specific goals have you established for your career?
    8. What will it take to attain your goals, and what steps have you taken toward attaining them?
    9. What do you think it takes to be successful in this career?
    10. How would you describe yourself in terms of your ability to work as a member of a team?
    11. What motivates you to put forth you greatest effort?
    12. Why did you decide to seek a position in this company?

    19 February 2010



  60. imran khan says:

    very nice but answer r also must

    17 February 2010



  61. Kevin says:

    These are great questions. For those people responding by asking for the answers to these questions, do you self a favor and get out of sales. The sale starts with great questions. The real work begins in finding out the answers through your own hard work.

    9 January 2010



  62. Sam Parker says:

    Answers will be different for everyone.

    These are to help you prepare (if you’re getting ready for an interview) or to give interviewers ideas for helpful questions to ask.

    Truth is next.

    9 January 2010



  63. tariq javed says:

    These are good question bt answer should be given

    8 January 2010



  64. mpumi says:

    i am going 2 an interview. I tried 2 answer those questions i’m no longer nervous abt it. But where are the answers?

    3 January 2010



  65. Turok says:

    If you want answers, here is quite interesting article “Negotiation Genius – influence strategies for answering interview questions” which discuss possible approach to answering those questions based on “Negotiation Genius” book by Max Bazerman and Deepak Malhotra: http://interviewpattern.com/post/Negotiation-Genius-interview-strategies.aspx

    12 December 2009



  66. Zarif says:

    Excellent questions for selecting the right product.

    9 December 2009



  67. Mr. Green says:

    Excellent set of questions. Alot of them were new to me.
    Nice work !

    18 November 2009



  68. Geloencoume says:

    I found this site using google.com And i want to thank you for your work. You have done really very good site. Great work, great site! Thank you!

    Sorry for offtopic

    14 November 2009



  69. Lawrence Rosenberg says:

    Next question…

    Are you a PHD? And I don’t mean do you have an advanced academic degree.

    What I want to know is if my candidate is poor, hungry and determined!

    A very powerful question, and one to consider when contemplating who you are going to choose to add to your sales team. I’m not interested in hiring trust fund surfers, guys that can weather the storm or those that have a safety net. I want hunters that have nothing to fall back on and need to make things happen now, not later. Give me a PHD and I’ll show you a closer.

    24 October 2009



  70. Acing The Job Interview! | My Selection Criteria says:

    [...] fluent with your responses! I have included a link to some standard questions you should know. http://justsell.com/sales-interview-questions/ I’ll get into more detail on some specific questions where you need to really be on your game [...]

    22 September 2009



  71. Joshua Mohamed Mewah says:

    This must be a site to finally develop my sales career.Thanks!

    4 September 2009



  72. oliver winston says:

    I’ve been following JustSell articles & columnsfor a long time, and they are always great: I wish to note that before anyone gets offended by the next few statements.
    Myself, I’ve become a pure cynic. Here’s my philosophy:There are only liars and buyers. Suspects & prospects. Lucrative opportunity vs. Lookie loos. Distinguishing between the two is easy once you understand the risk of separating the sugar from the sh_t. (You will lose some valid or legit opportunities, but you will save yourself a whole lot of grief in the long run. There are only three (maybe four) distinct prospect qualifying questions; if they can’t answer successfully, then they’re usually blowing smoke, stalling for time, leading you down that path, setting up the wild-goose chase, pulling your leg, exercising their power over your greed for amusement purposes, etc, etc.
    1. What do you need?
    2. When do you need it?
    3. How much are you willing to spend?
    4. If I have it, or get it, when will you pay for it?

    The rest is BS.
    Period.
    Think that’s harsh?
    Just remember this?
    If they didn’t call, text, mail, message, twitter or email you, why are you even talking to them?
    Do they need what you have?
    Did they ask you for it?
    Are they shopping, comparing bids, considering a later purchase, setting up future vendor projects, blah, blah, blah?

    If you’re in front of a real buyer, you’ll instinctively know it if you’ve been in sales for any time at all. They ask real buying questions like:
    1. How soon can you get this?
    2. What payment options do you offer?
    3. Is there a discount if I order right now?
    ..and so on.

    Finally, quit confusing selling with marketing, advertising, networking, relationship building, CRM, and all the rest. It’s all hucksters trying to waste your time, deliver their spiels, get you to buy something. You can waste an inordinate amount of time with all all of these pretenses (I mean pastimes), instead of doing your real work: Being in front of buyers or customers. Believe me, I’ve learned the hard way the last 15 years or so, trying to be Mr. Salesmen, Mr. Customer Service, Mr Everything To Everybody, and I have nothing to show for it. Net Worth is your only real measuring stick…what’s your Gross Revenues Total for the last fiscal quarter? That’s how you know if you’re really in sales or just bull-shitting. Sorry to be the one to tell you that, but 90% of the Internet is just information, and useless garbage that’s meant to distract, mislead, and steal your time and your money.

    About Me:
    I sell Internet Leads to buyers only.
    My customers are established Marketers, not Home-based Hopefuls.
    Don’t even think of contacting me call unless you’re a buyer!
    gc at getleads@officeliveusers.com

    21 August 2009



  73. Keith Halvorson says:

    These questions make me look at how to improve my current position – and helps me be a more accountable leader, coach & salesman!

    6 August 2009



  74. Amena says:

    Great questions very useful!

    6 August 2009



  75. RileySue says:

    Thanks for this post! I picked up several questions I hadn’t thought to ask that will help me make better hiring decisions. And I’m a recruiter, so you’d think I’d be sending this out to folks, not taking good ideas from it! Just goes to show you, never think you have all the answers!

    5 August 2009



  76. kgosi says:

    where are the answers???gud questions

    23 July 2009



  77. Tom says:

    When I interviewed sales folks, I tried to use questions that showed the process people took to hurdles, objections, changes in conditions.

    Which one, I wish I knew which was best as I have picked wrong and right. But I list 5 before the interview and hope to pick the one that evokes a response.

    Questions like these are fun to respond too as well.

    But if someone asks me what kind of tree I would be again, I will might respond with a money tree or, a wood one, or say Oak and then ask if they walk or carry their lunch to work!

    19 July 2009



  78. anna fredericks says:

    Terrific list of questions especially for sales managers or business owners who don’t interview candidates too often.

    14 July 2009



  79. Sam Parker says:

    Raku… The answers will be different for everyone. These are to help you prepare (if you’re getting ready for an interview) or to give interviewers ideas for helpful questions to ask.

    9 July 2009



  80. raku says:

    wher are the answers??

    9 July 2009



  81. Anand says:

    Excellent and very useful information.

    Thanks!

    8 July 2009



  82. Sam Parker says:

    Thanks, Diane.

    3 July 2009



  83. DC says:

    These are all excellent questions. I find that the more examples the candidate is able to provide the better insight I gain of this persons skills. I quickly becomes evident if they have real skill or not. I also like to give a sales scenario to see how sales ready they really are.

    1 July 2009


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