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5 Sales Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

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What skills do you have to help you excel as a sales assistant?


You want a sales assistant who can give you examples of specific skills they have and how that translates to sales. You also want to be given precise numbers when talking about increasing sales or meeting goals. Look for an answer that mentions upselling, making product recommendations, and having a sense of urgency. You want an enthusiastic seller, but one who's never aggressive or pushy, so customers are always comfortable. What to look for in an answer:

  • Examples of meeting past sales goals
  • Ability to upsell
  • Comfortable making recommendations and helping customers make choices


"Last year, I exceeded my sales goal by 12% by upselling items that are frequently purchased together. I accomplished this by being familiar with all products benefits sales."


How would you handle an unsatisfied customer who will not calm down?


In these situations, you want your sales assistant to apologize about the situation and inconvenience, and then have the ability to meet the customer's needs. This may involve returning an item or making an exchange for an item that would work better for them. The key is to hire people who can make decisions under intense pressure and not give in to the stress of an angry customer. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to remain calm and be patient
  • Doesn't take complaints personally
  • Knowledge of return policies and procedures


"I would apologize to the customer and ask how they would like to move forward to remedy the situation. I would strive to remain calm during the interaction."


What do you foresee being a possible challenge in this position?


You don't want a candidate who assumes that this job will always be easy and they just have to stand around in case someone has a question. You need someone who's willing to be proactive. Look for an answer that includes an example of a past challenge in a retail position and a good explanation of how the candidate handled the challenge and was able to problem-solve under pressure. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to problem-solve in stressful situations
  • Demonstrates creative thinking skills
  • Acknowledgement of possible challenges as a sales associate


"When I had a long line at checkout and the first customer was taking an excessive time to decide what to purchase, I directed her to our website."


What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about being in sales?


If your sales assistants don't feel like their job is rewarding, they'll lose enthusiasm and may come off to your customers like they don't care. It's important to hire people who find making sales to be a rewarding career so that they'll put effort into their job and not experience burnout. You want your candidate to be able to specify the factors they enjoy the most. What to look for in an answer:

  • Enthusiasm about making sales
  • Lists specific factors that keep them motivated
  • Demonstrates desire to interact with customers in the store


"I love spending time and developing a rapport with customers in order to help them find the product that will truly fit their needs."


What do you think are the most important skills to have in order to succeed in a sales position?


Look for the mention of competencies and skills that a person working in sales needs to have in your specific store. Look beyond typical or obvious answers and pay attention to the more specific or unique answers that make a candidate stand out. You want an applicant who can adjust their approach depending on the customer and the amount of help they need picking out their products. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to think outside the box
  • Understanding of skills that are truly needed
  • Familiarity with gauging customers' needs


"I know how to ask the right questions and listen for hints in a customer's answer in order to meet their needs completely and land the sale."

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