20 Questions to Ask Your Interviewer During Your Next Sales Interview

February 25, 2020

The interview process for sales positions can be a little more demanding than that of other roles as interviewers typically have high expectations of the candidate's powers of persuasion. Because of this, it's important that applicants come sufficiently prepared. Though adequately answering questions during an interview is the primary focus, directing thoughtful and relevant questions at the interviewer is an opportunity to display that you are the right fit for the position. In this article, we list 20 potential questions to ask your interviewer as well as provide some tips that will help you prepare for your next sales interview.

Related: 9 Best Questions to Ask Your Interviewer (With Video Examples)

Questions to ask in a sales interview

At the end of most interviews, the candidate is given the opportunity to ask some of their own questions. Though it may seem inconsequential, this is a unique opportunity to demonstrate both your eagerness to join the team and preparedness for the interview. Coming equipped with thoughtful inquiries could be the advantage you need to stand out among the other candidates and aid in your progression through the interviewing process. Here are a few questions you can ask the hiring manager in your next sales interview:

What is the culture like here?

It's important to most companies that they hire team members that are a good cultural fit, and this question will demonstrate that you are aware of this. This question shows that you are examining whether their culture aligns with your values.

Related: Follow-Up Email Examples For After the Interview

How do your managers interact with the sales representatives?

Displaying an interest in the relationship between staff and managers is a good sign for most interviewers. Furthermore, being aware of a company's management style can provide valuable insight into your potential fit within the organization.

How do you train new hires about your product/service?

Asking questions about training is typically a good sign for employers. It usually means that the candidate is committed to making a full transition into this new role. Additionally, it generally signifies an ability to meet and exceed quotas.

What has been your team's greatest challenge this year?

This question shows an interest in the overall success of the team rather than just your own. Additionally, many new hires enter a new role or company overly optimistic, only to be disappointed. With this question, you can communicate that you have realistic expectations, making you appear experienced and thoughtful.

What's the average day like in this position?

Posing a question about a position's daily activities demonstrates pragmatism. However, it can also provide a lot of insight into what your day would be like if you receive a job offer, allowing you to decide if it is the right fit for you.

Do you have any questions or concerns about my fit at this company that I could address?

It's usually a good idea to present this question at the end of your interview. It will allow you to get an idea of your current standing and address any reservations that the interviewer might have.

How is success measured here?

Success in sales is multifaceted. This question shows your interviewer that you realize this fact. However, it also gives you an opportunity to learn about what the company values most.

Why types of books do your sales team members read? Which books would you recommend that I read before joining your company?

These types of questions show that you are both intellectual and curious. Additionally, they demonstrate a commitment to developing your career in sales.

Is your team collaborative?

Sales teams are generally highly collaborative. By asking this, you're showing your interviewer that you are a team player.

I read on your site that you value ____ here. How do you encourage its manifestation?

Employers are typically eager to hire team members that will contribute to their company's values and culture. By asking this, you'll show them that you've done your homework and that you will be a thoughtful addition to the team.

What tools do your salespeople use?

Many sales representatives are resistant to using new technology or data entry. This question puts you in a favorable position because it indicates that you would be open to learning new methods.

What traits do the most successful members of this team possess?

By asking this question, you will get a concrete example of what success looks like to this team.

What behaviors do the least successful members of this team exhibit?

This is a follow-up to the previous inquiry that demonstrates to your interviewer that you're willing to ask the difficult questions. It will also show that you are looking for a clear idea of what will make you a valuable member of the team. Furthermore, it will provide you with some insight into how supervisors handle office politics.

Where do you get your leads? What's the process like after the leads have been obtained?

This line of questioning can be a powerful indicator of a candidate's curiosity, an important trait in an effective sales representative. A curious sales professional will be able to demonstrate a genuine interest in the needs and challenges that a client faces.

Related: What to Wear: The Best Job Interview Attire

What do you like most about working here?

Instead of focusing on the job, yourself and the company, this question shifts the focus to the interviewer and the company's culture. It will make you appear more personable and show that you care.

How do your managers deliver constructive criticism?

In sales positions, feedback is an inevitable aspect of the job. This question indicates that you are receptive and coachable.

If I meet my goals, what happens next?

When interviewing for most positions, it is considered distasteful to ask questions about promotion opportunities within the company. However, the opposite is true in sales. This question will show your interviewer that you are committed and ambitious.

Related: 15 Sales Jobs That Pay Well

What was the transition like from your previous company?

It's imperative for salespeople to research prospective customers before interacting with them, so practicing this technique before an interview will leave a good impression. Research your interviewer's previous positions and responsibilities and use them to ask informed questions. This will show that you have come prepared and done your due diligence.

What distinguishes a great performer from a good performer in this role?

Aside from demonstrating that you are invested in exceeding expectations, this question also shows the interviewer that you are focused on being an exceptional employee. Truly effective hiring managers will be able to answer this question because they will be aware of the traits employees must cultivate to make a successful team.

What's the transition period like here?

This question can communicate that you are ready and eager to get started in this new role. However, the answer can also provide you with a lot of insight into the healthiness of the company's sales culture. A company that expects you to meet goals too quickly could signify an unhealthy environment.

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Sales interview tips

  • Research the company: Before heading into your sales interview, spend some time researching the company and the products they sell. Check out their presence in news stories as well as how they portray themselves on social media and their website. This research will give you an idea of the company's culture and sales strategy, allowing you to contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way. Furthermore, interviewers always appreciate a candidate that has done their homework.
  • Practice beforehand: Anticipating the questions that you will be asked in a sales interview allows you to prepare strong, fluent responses. Spend some time before your interview coming up with possible talking points and responses so you can answer their inquiries quickly and comprehensively.
  • Dress appropriately: This may seem obvious but, regardless of a company's daily dress code, you should show up to your interview dressed professionally. Make sure your clothes are clean, tailored and conservative. Though attire is a huge part of your appearance, your attitude can play a huge role as well. Make sure you are exuding a positive attitude.
  • Use concrete details: Every one of your answers should provide the interviewer with concrete details about your previous sales achievements. When possible, quantify your claims with figures. This makes it clear to potential employers that you are capable of helping their company and sales grow.
  • Tailor your responses: Take the information you gathered through your research of the company and use it to shape how you address the questions you are being asked as well as the questions you choose to ask your interviewer. It can be useful to consider the list of skills presented in the job description and find ways to demonstrate your mastery of those skills in your answers.