5 Sales Associate Interview Questions and Answers

Whether you are preparing to interview a candidate or applying for a job, review our list of top Sales Associate interview questions and answers.

As a sales associate, what is your experience meeting regular quotas?

Sales associates are often required to close a certain number of transactions per day, week or month. It is helpful for the applicant to have experience hitting quotas. It shows their determination and ability to sell products efficiently. The ideal candidate will understand the importance of reaching goals in the workplace and have the drive to surpass their target number. What to look for in an answer:

  • Sets goals for themselves and self-motivates
  • Has experience achieving sales quotas
  • Understands the importance of meeting required tasks in the workplace

Example: "At my last sales associate job, I was required to meet daily and weekly sales quotas. I not only met the minimums, but I set my own goals to continue to excel."

What methods do you use to determine if a product is right for your customer?

When a potential client is searching for a new product, it is important for the sales associate to know whether or not an item is ideal for that individual. By explaining the specific steps that they would take, the applicant shows awareness for the customer's needs. The candidate's response allows you to determine how detail-oriented they are along with their critical thinking skills. What to look for in an answer:

  • Awareness of customers' unique needs
  • Detail-oriented sales pitches
  • Critical thinking skills to consider the best product choices for each customer

Example: "When determining if a product is right for my client, I always make sure to focus on what problems they are trying to solve. I always ask important questions before finalizing a sale."

Tell me about a time when you handled a situation regarding a customer who was upset about a shortage of a product they wanted to buy.

In retail, there are times when popular items go on sale and they practically fly off the shelves. In such situations, customers who traveled a long way to the store might be upset because they planned to purchase the product. The applicant's response to this question allows you to gauge how well they handle stressful situations and their ability to solve problems. What to look for in an answer:

  • Calm demeanor under pressure
  • Good communication skills in times of conflict
  • Ability to provide out-of-the-box solutions to problems

Example: "At my last job, we sold out of a speaker within 30 minutes, which resulted in one angry customer. I gave her a rain check so that she could buy it for the discounted price when it came back in stock, and I called her the day it was restocked."

How do you respond when a customer asks you a question about a product that you don't know how to answer?

Sales associates should be knowledgeable about their merchandise; however, there may be times when they might not know how to respond to a client. In your company, you want someone who does not make false promises. The ideal candidate will know how to look for solutions that they don't initially know rather than just make up an answer. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to follow up with customers
  • Knowledge of where to research answers about your products
  • Avoids making false promises

Example: "Whenever a customer asks me a question that I cannot truly respond to, I always assure them that I will go and find the answer. Overall, I try my best to know about all of the products I sell to clients."

What is your experiencing using POS systems as a sales associate?

In the retail industry, it is essential for a sales associate to understand how to operate point-of-sale systems. Many different types of devices are used to finalize a transaction. The applicant's answer to this question will allow you to assess what equipment they have used when closing sales as well as their basic math skills. Does the candidate have experience with the same systems your company uses? What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience with POS systems
  • Ability to perform basic math
  • Computer skills

Example: "I have six years of experience using cash registers. I have also used Square contactless readers as a POS system."

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