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Inside Sales Representative Interview Questions

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  1. As an inside sales representative, do you have experience using social media in your sales process? See answer
  2. Sales representatives often have to meet unhappy customers. Tell me about a time that you turned a negative situation with a customer into a positive one. See answer
  3. What kinds of questions do you ask your customer to find out what they need? See answer
  4. When do you stop pursuing a prospect about a product or offer? See answer
  5. Do you have experience making cold calls as an inside sales representative? See answer
  6. Do you think it is more important to nurture an existing client relationship or seek new clients? See answer
  7. Why motivates you as an inside sales representative?
  8. What strengths do you have that help you be a successful inside sales representative?
  9. How well do you deal with rejection?
  10. What methods do you have to deal with a client who is reluctant or difficult?
  11. What methods do you utilize to keep updated on your target market?
  12. What do you do to nurture existing clients and establish customer loyalty?
  13. How do you handle customer criticism of a known problem with your product?
  14. Do you have a research process to help you prepare for meetings and sales calls?
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6 Inside Sales Representative Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

As an inside sales representative, do you have experience using social media in your sales process?

A:

Social media plays a significant role in any inside sales representative’s sales process. Your ideal candidate will explain exactly how they use social media to their advantage and what sites they utilize more often than others. Focus on the applicant’s tone of voice when discussing the potential sales they gain from these opportunities. Have they used LinkedIn to find leads?

What to look for in an answer:

  • Computer skills
  • Experience using social media professionally
  • Opinion on specific social media sites

Example:

“In my last inside sales representative position, I communicated with prospects on LinkedIn and occasionally Facebook. I prefer using LinkedIn because I can easily determine if someone is my target client by reading their page.”

Q:

Sales representatives often have to meet unhappy customers. Tell me about a time that you turned a negative situation with a customer into a positive one.

A:

In sales, it is inevitable that one will encounter an angry customer, but the ideal candidate will not take such calls personally and focus on a resolution for the client. The applicant’s response to this question will allow you to understand their philosophy for handling negative situations and show their ability to problem-solve.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to remain calm during stressful situations
  • Experience dealing with angry customers
  • Problem-solving skills

Example:

“A client was angry about the cost of a package, so I allowed the customer to explain why they are upset without interrupting them. I provided a discount to ensure their business in the future.”

Q:

What kinds of questions do you ask your customer to find out what they need?

A:

All inside sales representatives have their own ideal sale process that they follow when talking to leads. The applicant’s answer to this question allows you to gauge how well they will perform using the common tactics at your company. The ideal candidate will have experience utilizing multiple methods to determine what a customer needs and is not afraid of asking questions.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Experience utilizing multiple sale processes
  • Confidence in oneself

Example:

“When talking to customers, I always start by asking about what I can do for them. Usually, this type of question allows me to flow towards more in-depth questions about packages and products.”

Q:

When do you stop pursuing a prospect about a product or offer?

A:

An efficient inside sales representative knows exactly when it is time to temporarily call it quits on a prospect. The candidate’s answer to this question will allow you to measure their persistence and their ability to let go of a lead. How many attempts will the applicant make to try to turn someone into a client?

What to look for in an answer:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Understanding of the marketing process
  • Knowledge of research tools

Example:

“After four communication attempts, I temporarily back away from a prospect. I try to focus my energy on existing clients and new leads rather than bothering a prospect who isn’t interested right now but might be in the future.”

Q:

Do you have experience making cold calls as an inside sales representative?

A:

Most inside sales representatives have experience making cold calls. The ideal candidate will explain how comfortable they are in these situations and how they utilize this type of communication to their advantage. Focus on the applicant’s personality and ability to convince you of their skills. Do they appear influential or have leadership skills?

What to look for in an answer:

  • Influential and persuasive personality
  • Optimistic tone
  • Level of expertise as an inside sales representative

Example:

“I have six years of experience making cold calls with ease. I find that I have fascinating and meaningful conversations as a result of these calls and enjoy my time talking with potential clients. The more calls I make, the more leads I have.”

Q:

Do you think it is more important to nurture an existing client relationship or seek new clients?

A:

This question can help you see how the candidate's prior experience has informed their decision-making and prioritization skills. Additionally, you can see if their values are in line with the needs of your company and its mission. Most inside sales representatives express a need to balance both existing client relationships while reaching out to new clients to ensure company growth and longevity.

The candidate's response should emphasize:

  • A clearly expressed opinion
  • Confidence and optimism
  • An understanding of balance

A response to this question may look like this:

Example:

"Although in my previous company I was asked to focus primarily on ascertaining new clients, I felt the need to focus also on customer loyalty programs. While I did follow the directive and focused our resources on reaching out to new clients, I was able to show through a data analysis chart that much of our revenue was through pre-existing customers. When we focused our attention only on bringing in new clients, our numbers dropped.

Because of that, I was able to help establish a customer rewards program that benefited our pre-existing customers and offered them points for referring new clients. This word-of-mouth advertising increased our overall revenue by twenty percent and influenced customer satisfaction as evidenced in our customer surveys. For a company to fully thrive, we must keep in mind that we need our customers, both new and existing, to support us."

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