Important Questions to Ask During a Sales Interview

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Important Questions to Ask During a Sales Interview

A sales job interview is not unlike any other job interview. You will still need to do the usual interview prepping tasks, such as company research, gathering of references and preparing a list of questions to ask during an interview. Even if the interviewer does not provide you with an opportunity to ask any questions, you should be able to weave some in during the interviewing process.

The questions you choose to ask are very important, especially for a sales professional. Unlike other industries, those who opt for a career in sales rely heavily on commissions to earn their living and typically have certain quotas that need to be met. It is important to get as much information as possible before choosing which company to work with. Otherwise, you may stuck in a position with little room for growth or outrageous volume expectations. Below are a few example questions to ask during a sales interview and why they are worth asking.

Questions to Ask During a Sales Interview:

What characteristics do your top performing employees possess? - This kind of question may actually give you some insight into company culture. If the top performing employees are cut-throat and very independent, you can assume that you won’t be working too closely with your co-workers.

What is the company doing to stay ahead of its competitors? - You want to work for a company that is diligent about staying ahead of their competition. This helps ensure that the organization will be around for awhile and that you have products/services customers actually want to buy.

What is the sales quota? What percentage of your employees meet that quota? How many exceed it? - As with any sales position, it’s important to find out what the company’s quota is. If it’s unrealistic, the company may not be a good fit for you. Finding out what percentage of employees meet or exceed that quota will give you an idea of how motivated your co-workers are and how well the products/services sell.

What are the long term expectations of this position? – Will there be any new expectations further down the road? Of course employers will want you to increase performance over time, but how stringent is this expectation?

What is the top sales goal you would like to meet and in what time period? - This may give you an indication of where the company is at right now and if they are desperate to reach a particular goal. A sinking company may not be the best choice. On the other hand, the interviewer’s answer may indicate that the company is thriving and this would be a great opportunity for you.

Are sales leads provided or will they be self-generated? - You will want to know how your leads are going to be generated. Will you have to find your own or will the company provide you with them? This is an indicator of how much extra work will need to be put into the position.

Describe the ideal candidate for this position. - This is an indirect way of finding out whether or not you fit the bill for the position. If the interviewer describes someone completely opposite of you, that may not be a good indicator.


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