Top Questions for Sales Candidates

By Jenn Steele - Apr. 1, 2014
Improve Your Company Branding With Zippia

top questions for sales candidatesRecently, we’ve been hiring for a sales executive role in our San Francisco office. I’ve worked with a ton of salespeople (on both sides of the table), but I’ve never actually recruited one. I know I’m not the only person in this situation.

If you’re interviewing for sales (but you’re not a salesperson yourself), you can find yourself wondering what you’re looking for, just like I did. Will their skills be transferrable? Do I care whether they’ve done B2B or B2C? Do I need to like them? I don’t like salespeople normally. Do I have to hire someone kind-of slimy?

It turns out that I was being overly neurotic, and that salespeople don’t have to be scary. Our recruiters gave us a hand putting together their “killer” questions for sales candidates, and we put them together for you:
Trina BoylanTrina Boylan

  • Please tell me about a difficult customer you have had to deal with. Please explain how you managed to build a relationship with this person.
  • Please tell me about a challenging sales situation you have faced. What was your objective and how did you go about achieving that?

Heather TraegerHeather Traeger

  • What are three qualities of a leader that would make you admire and want to follow them?
  • Which one of those are you weakest in and how would you mitigate that if we hired you for this role?

Vic BurakVic Burak

  • What do you consider your unique point of difference as a sales person?
  • How would you describe your selling style?
  • What truly motivates you to excel as a sales person?

Melissa RichardsonMelissa Richardson

  • What was your most recent sales quota?
  • Did you meet or exceed?
  • If exceeded, by how much?

Lesley MacKenzieLesley MacKenzie

  • Are you comfortable making cold calls?
  • Have you consistently met your sales goals?
  • Do you prefer a long or short sales cycle?
  • How did you land your most successful sale?
  • How would your colleagues describe you?
  • How would your (former) supervisor describe you?
  • What are your long-term career goals?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What do you find most rewarding about being in sales?
  • What do you know about this company?
  • What do you least like about being in sales?
  • What interests you most about this sales position?
  • What is more important, a quality product or excellent customer service?
  • What makes you a good sales person?
  • What motivates you?

What did we miss? Do you have any “must-ask” questions for sales candidates?

Image courtesy of Kevin Dooley.


Jenn Steele

Related posts