The Best Interview Questions For Sales Hiring Success

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best interview questions for sales

The Best Interview Questions For Sales Hiring Success

Hiring the right sales people is critical for your business; in this article, you’ll learn the best interview questions for sales hiring success, so that we can help make the task a little easier.


We’ll categorise our best interview questions for sales hiring in the following way:


  • Leadership
  • Experience
  • Their drive
  • Miscellaneous


Read on to learn what they are, and why they make our list of best interview questions for sales hiring.



The Best Interview Questions For Sales Hiring Success



The Best Leadership Interview Questions For Sales Hiring



“Tell me about a time when something went wrong, and you took control. What happened, and what was the outcome?”



The reason this makes our list of best interview questions for sales hiring, is because you’re not necessarily just looking for a positive response.


More importantly – you want to see that they’ve got some experience when things don’t go to plan, and also the rationale behind their thinking to come to a conclusion.


What did they do that aligns with your business and brand?


Did they let management staff know early, or did they choose to keep things quiet?


When dealing with the issue, did the delegate and get people involved, or did they act on their own?


Their response is important because it’ll give you a slight window into how they think.


In sales and business – sometimes things will go wrong.


It’s important to hire people that know what to do when it happens.



“Do you like managing people? If so, how come?”



This sales interview question will give you some insight into what kind of manager they’ll be.


Do they like giving orders and telling people what to do, or do they delegate in an organised fashion?


Something to be cautious of is people who respond in a way that shows they like to take a back seat.


Your staff won’t be driven or motivated if they see their manager giving orders, and never leading by example.


Do they want to grow people, and if so – are they in the right interview, or could they be better placed elsewhere within your business?



“Tell me about a time you had a disagreement with a colleague; what happened, and how was it resolved?”



This makes our list of best interview questions for sales hiring, because naturally – people will have personality conflicts in the workplace.


How they respond can give you some great insight into what you can potentially expect from them.


When responding, do they bad mouth their previous management or colleagues?


Perhaps they’re the reason for the conflict?


You’re not necessarily looking for someone who hasn’t experienced conflict in the workplace, but more importantly; someone who has put the business priorities first and worked with someone to overcome it amicably.



The Best Experience Interview Questions For Sales Hiring



“Tell me about your sales process – what do the steps look like and why?”



The difference between hiring new salespeople and those are experienced (and high performers), is that experiences salespeople know to use a consistent sales process.


This makes our list of best interview questions for sales hiring because it does two distinct things.


First – it will let you know whether or not they use a sales process.


Secondly, it’ll reveal what kind of sales style they follow when speaking with potential clients.


Do they pitch first, and ask questions later?


Or do they follow a more consultative, question based approach when leaning about their clients wants and needs?


Related article: The 7 Step Sales Process – Learn To Close Easier



“Have you ever turned away a potential client? If so, why?”



There are generally two types of salespeople.


The first will try and sell anything to anyone (the always be closing types).


The second will only sell their product or service to a person they know they can truly help.


This question makes our list of best interview questions for sales hiring, because it’ll demonstrate what kind of person you’re potentially hiring.


It’s important when hiring salespeople, that you hire people with values that truly care for your potential clients and interests.


People who purely want to make a profit; and will do so at their client’s expense, will damage you and your business’s brand and reputation.



“What sales skill do you feel is absolutely vital, and why do you think so?”



This question isn’t necessarily right or wrong.


It makes our list of best interview questions for sales hiring for two reasons.


First, it helps you understand their rationale and the way they think.


They’ll reveal their motives and demonstrate what they value in sales.


Secondly, because it’s not a typical question – they’ll have to think quick about how to respond, which is important for all salespeople.


You need people who can respond effectively and articulate an answer even for questions that may be left field.


This question will help with both these key ingredients.



The Best Interview Questions For Sales Hiring To Reveal Their Drive



Motivation and drive are one of the more important things to learn when hiring salespeople, because by learning their internal reasons as to why they want the role, you can gauge whether or not they’ll be the right fit.


Below are our best interview questions for sales hiring in regard to learning their motivation and drive.



“What goals, including sales goals have you set for your life?”



This question can help determine whether they’re looking for just a job, or whether they have aspirations to be a manager and leader one day.


Depending on the role type; there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer.


If you’re looking to hire someone you can promote one day, then you’d want someone who has aspirations and the hunger for wanting more.


However, if growth and leadership isn’t available, you’ll want someone who’s happy to do an excellent job without wanting to be promoted.


This question may help you from hiring someone who wants to be promoted, but there isn’t the opportunity available for them.



“What role does your manager currently play in motivating you for work?”



This question makes our list of best interview questions for sales hiring success, because it’ll reveal whether they get their motivation from an internal source, or external source.


Ideally, it’s important to hire people who are internally driven.


This is because they’ll need less supervision, and even when things get tough – they’ll have the drive to push through and persevere.



“From time to time, working in sales can be grinding. What do you do on a daily basis to stay motivated?”



Similar to the question above; this will reveal whether they have intrinsic drive or not.


It also reveals whether they believe in consistency and following principles.


Principles govern the way we act, perform, and think.


If a candidate displays strong daily principles, you’ll likely have a better hire.



Other Questions to Potentially Include



“Have you asked a potential client why they didn’t buy? If so, what was their response?”


“How do you keep smiling when your day may have been tough?”


“How do you think our company can do to improve?”


“What advice would you give a new salesperson starting out today?”


“What sales metrics do you believe are crucial to keep track of?



Final Thoughts



Our list of best interview questions for sales hiring success will help you gauge the right candidates from the get go and help you potentially from making a bad hire.


Use these at your discretion, and feel free to change them up a little to make them more custom friendly for your business, company or industry.



Want To Close Sales Easier?



Are you committed to closing sales a lot easier, and consistently?


If so, you should check out our self-paced and affordable online sales training program; The 5% Sales Blueprint.


It’ll give you everything you need to close sales consistently.


To learn more, simply click on the link below for more information.


Our Online Sales Training ProgramThe 5% Sales Blueprint.

Khabeer Rockley

Khabeer Rockley is a Sales & Business Trainer, and the Founder of The 5% Institute

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