During a sales interview, it’s essential to dig into a candidate’s specific background, experience and approach to adversities like lost deals, stubborn clients or unexpected events. 

By focusing on a candidate’s specific approach to key sales problems, hiring managers can compare candidates based on their skills, response to interpersonal situations, and potential for growth.  

To do so, it’s important to push past the standard “Tell me about yourself” or “What’s your greatest weakness?” questions. 

Here are 12 sales interview questions that can help hiring managers learn more during a sales interview. 

  1. Tell me about a time you had to start with a new territory or client from scratch. What did you do in the first 30 days? What would you do differently if you had to restart today? 
  2. Why did you choose to work in sales, instead of in another customer-facing role?  
  3. How would you engage me with your current company’s offering? 
  4. If I was a buyer, what would your cold outreach look like?  
  5. Walk me through each step of your sales process. 
  6. Tell me about a time you had to choose between the easy choice and the right choice. What did you decide, and why? 
  7. How do you ensure communications with customers are productive, and not merely a case of “just checking in”? 
  8. Give me an example of a time you had to provide constructive criticism to a friend or colleague. How did you go about it? 
  9. Tell me about your first year at your current organization. What were your three top priorities, and how did you address them? 
  10. How do you establish trust with prospective customers? Which methods have worked for you, and which ones haven’t? 
  11. How do you keep up to date on your target market? How do you keep up to date on your company’s products and services? 
  12. Tell me about a sales opportunity you lost. Why did you lose it, and what did you learn from it? 

At SMR Group, our recruiters connect our clients in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries with some of the best sales and marketing candidates available. Contact us today to learn more. 

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