Attracting high-caliber sales talent to a workplace is often easier said than done. Many times you won't know who the best performers are until you put them on the job. But asking the right questions helps narrow your list of candidates to the most relevant for your needs. Here are the top sales interview questions you should be asking.
1. Would you give me some background on your sales experience?
One of the top sales interview questions asks the candidate about their sales history. If you have their resume in front of you in an in-person meeting, look for experience that best relates to the position they are applying for and ask about it. Get a feel for the candidate's enthusiasm level for sales and what aspects they enjoy most about it.
2. How up-to-date are you with apps and other technology used by sales agents?
These days mobile devices and the best apps for sales people play a significant role in sales jobs. Make sure the candidate is comfortable using mobile devices and apps. They should feel at ease using any type of user-friendly app.
3. What is an example of a memorable sales experience?
A great sales agent is someone who lives and breathes sales and finds the experience exciting and empowering for others. Ask about great sales moments to determine how much value the individual places in helping others meet their goals. An example of a memorable sales experience is answering enough customer questions to trigger a sales conversion. If the person can't come up with at least one good sales story, they probably aren't ready to be a productive player.
4. How have you learned from your mistakes?
Asking about mistakes is fair game since everyone makes them. Be aware that some candidates might react defensively, which is a sign they lack maturity. The proper response to such a question from a supervisor's perspective involves acknowledging a mistake, knowing how to correct it, and ensuring the experience will help prevent it from happening again. Find out the degree of satisfaction the individual gets from correcting and learning from a mistake.
5. What do you do to bounce back from a tough day?
Everyone has days where not much is accomplished or bad luck strikes. For a salesperson, such a day can mean getting several rejections. A successful sales professional understands that "no" is usually not a final answer, as many times it just means "not right now." Experienced salespeople understand how to reallocate leads for the future. Each day is a new challenge and no one day sums up a sales professional's performance ability. You can save time and money by prioritizing the candidates who show no fear of rejection.
6. What strategies do you use to motivate yourself?
Everyone needs to develop motivational strategies to accomplish goals. Someone who knows how to get sales likely has a self-motivational approach they can readily share with you. An example of a typical process includes researching a specific client or target market to get a clear picture of what they are already looking for. In this case, building a knowledge base is a motivator. Some people get motivated by physical exercise or listening to music. Ask how well their strategy works for them.
7. How would you describe the work environment that's most productive for you?
The candidate has probably envisioned an ideal workspace from their own experience. It's essential to know how well the candidate can adapt to environments they may not wholly embrace. Does the individual have to have things their way? The more flexible the candidate is at adapting to different environments, the more valuable they will be on the field. Top sales performers try to overcome physical barriers using mobile devices to work anywhere to achieve sales.
8. What qualities do you like most about your favorite boss?
Asking the candidate about their favorite ex-boss gives you an idea of how they like to be treated as an employee. Many times employees favor fun bosses over productive bosses, so try to figure out the type of relationship they had and whether or not it equated to company productivity. Another likely possible response is they liked their boss due to their strong communication skills.
9. What things bother you about a boss?
This question invites the candidate to share negative thoughts, but it might also open the door to resolving issues that management may not understand. Try to ascertain whether the candidate speaks in emotional or factual terms about an ex-boss. Take note of the level of objectivity the candidate assumes to describe management problems and to what degree they take responsibility.
10. What is your ultimate career goal?
Some people want to learn sales to lead a sales team or become an entrepreneur. Others are happy simply being sales representatives. Consider the needs within your organization if you need to nurture management talent or focus on developing a sales team. Ambitious workers with high career goals often become the most productive since they focus on working toward a position with higher pay.
11. What are your core values relating to sales?
This question helps separate the people who are confident and ready to perform from all the rest. The more articulate the individual is about their core values, the more thought they've put into ethics and money and status. It's essential to invest in talent who gives off positive energy to translate into customer satisfaction. A big part of selling these days involves educating the customer, which should be part of the candidate's response.
12. What are your questions for me?
Your final question for a sales representative candidate should invite the applicant to ask any questions about the company or the position. It's common for applicants to say they don't have questions simply to speed up the process. Take note if they ask questions to gauge whether they have sincere interest and enthusiasm in the position.
Knowing the right top sales interview questions helps narrow the list of candidates to the most compelling talent. Contact us at E-Marketing Associates to learn more about developing a worthwhile web presence that will help your market grow. We can help you fix what's broken or build a new website designed to meet your goals.