Salespeople are particularly good interviewees and it’s no surprise why. They’re skilled at connecting with their audience, speaking to pain points, and overcoming objections. They can apply those same sales tactics to another goal: nailing their interview and getting the offer. And many sales job seekers are getting more interview experience than usual in the COVID-impacted job market.
This isn’t a bad thing by any means. However, it does make it challenging for your team to narrow down candidates and understand who’s really the best fit for the role.
We’re here to help. In this blog, we’ve curated a list of proven sales interview questions to evaluate applicants and put them to the test. We’ll also go over interviewing best practices to help your company shine, convert top talent, and improve employee retention.
LinkedIn’s Sales Leader’s #1 Interview Question (and the Top Trait He Hires For)
These in-depth questions help an employer gain specific insight into your sales and leadership expertise and other skills related to the role:
Why are you interested in a leadership role?
This role requires you to have leadership and management skills. Employers ask this question to determine if you can handle the additional responsibilities of a leader. In your answer, explain what led you to want a leadership role, whether that be your skill set or previous experiences. Give examples of why you would make a great leader.
Example: “As I progressed in my previous sales role, I took on more management responsibilities. I found these tasks to be quite rewarding because I could make more of an impact at the company. I want this role because I can use my management background and leadership skills to build a great team of salespeople. Ive always been someone who can motivate others and facilitate interpersonal relationships. I also consistently meet deadlines and quotas, so I think I am ready for this next step in my sales career.”
Interview questions and sample answers
Here is advice on how to effectively answer common sales director interview questions. Use these sample answers as inspiration when preparing for your interview:
Personal Interview Questions for Sales Managers
The face-to-face job interview is the most vital part of the decision-making phase of the talent acquisition process.
Whether you’re a hiring manager interviewing sales manager candidates or applying for a leadership position yourself, this guide will prepare you with questions so that you can find the best candidates.
Key Responsibilities of a VP Sales
One of the critical mistakes companies make is building an interview process and questionnaire before fully understanding the responsibilities and functions of a sales leader. It’s is one of the reasons why the most common mis-hires in business is that of VP Sales.
This role directly influences a company’s revenue, market share, expansion potential, and culture, and the disparity in sales leaders’ performance is stark. There was a 51% gap in quota attainment between high-performing and low-performing sales leaders in a study of 400 VPs of Sales and managers: the high performers achieved 104% quota on average while the low performers reported 54%.
Your company’s revenue will end up on one side of this rift or the other because of who you hire, and hiring the right leader depends on your ability how the candidate influences people, business strategy, and customer relations to drive performance. Let’s start with the foundation skill of a sales leader – being a people leader.
Can they lead?
Sales leadership is 100% about delivering results. What’s this person’s ability to set the strategy, unite a team around a common goal and pivot when necessary to achieve success?
Ask this: “In your last sales leadership position, what role did you play in revenue achievement?”
Listen for this: Did this person design the sales process and set revenue goals? Did they have input into an existing sales strategy? Or was their role limited to executing on the strategy? A growth company needs a strategist, not just a competent tactician.
Ask this: “What did your weekly schedule look like in your previous job?”
Listen for this: Do they have an appreciation for rolling up their sleeves, building and doing? Are they actively coaching their sales team? Or do they spend much of their time sitting in leadership meetings? A company in growth mode needs someone who can professionalize the sales process from the bottom up, not someone who can slot themselves into an existing system.
What questions should I ask a sales leader?
- Is Our Sales Strategy Clear Enough? …
- Is Our Sales Culture Healthy, High Performing, and Aligned Enough? …
- Do We Have the Right Salespeople in the Right Roles? …
- Should Our Sales Cycle Be Shorter? …
- Are We Generating Enough New Business?
What are the best questions to ask in a sales interview?
- Walk Me Through Your Current Sales Process.
- When You Lose a Deal, How Do You Follow Up With That Prospect?
- Are You Ready To Jump on a Sales Call Right Now?
- What’s Your Favorite Part of a Sales Job?
- What’s Your Least Favorite Part of a Sales Job?
How do I prepare for a sales leadership interview?
The following questions address these responsibilities.
- Discuss how you’ve built a high-performance sales culture. …
- Discuss your sales management process. …
- Tell us about sales teams that you have directly developed, managed and led.