Top 10 Interview Questions to Ask Sales Candidates

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Finding exceptional sales people is the difference between your business thriving or diving. Competition for top sales talent is fierce, and from an employer’s perspective, it’s no mean feat trying to recruit the very best candidates.

One common mistake sales recruiters make is rushing the recruitment process and hiring in haste, failing to ask the right sales interview questions in a bid to get someone through the door and on the phone. This results in poor employee performance and retention, and it ultimately costs you money.

BMS Recruitment are experts in sales recruitment. We have worked with countless businesses to help them find the right fit, and we understand how vital it is to ask a broad range of questions during an interview.

Avoid making the wrong hiring decision by asking these top ten sales interview questions.

  1. What’s your process for finding and researching new leads?

You want to make sure your prospective sales person is capable of finding new, strong leads. By asking them what their lead generation process is, you can get a feel for how they go about bringing in fresh clients.

  1. In what situation would you reject a lead?

Sales is about more than closing deals. Every good salesperson prioritises the interests of the client, and this question will help you identify if they have such integrity, or if they’re more interested in the numbers.

  1. What do you do when you can’t close a sale?

Sometimes, deals just aren’t meant to be. Knowing how to get up and dust off after a failed deal is just as important as knowing how to close a successful deal. Asking this question will certainly help you see how someone copes when things don’t go to plan.

  1. What is your current sales process?

From this question you’ll be able to determine how much training the candidate might need to get used to your way of doing things, and whether they have any bad habits that could be a sticking point in the new role.

  1. What are your current sales stats?

Past performance doesn’t guarantee a good future performance, but it can give you an idea as to what the candidate is capable of achieving. Ask for sales turnover, number of lead conversions, and average sale value to get a feel for their track record.

  1. Do you value closing a deal or pleasing a customer more?

The answer to this question will highlight how much value the candidate places on acting in the interest of the client versus making their sales numbers look good on paper.

  1. How do you deal with dry streaks?

This is one of the key questions to ask in a sales interview because, as mentioned, sales isn’t always easy and smooth. Dry patches are inevitable, so make sure you ask how the candidate goes about dealing with trying times.

  1. How do you build rapport with a prospect?

Customer service is a hugely important part of working in sales, so it’s vital the interviewee knows how to develop relationships. The question will also give you an insight into their patience levels.

  1. At what point do you stop pursuing a lead? 

Knowing when to stop is a skill that sales people must master. The last thing you want is for your company to get a reputation for being pushy and harassing leads. By asking this question at the interview stage, you’ll know if the candidate can show restraint and accept defeat.

  1. What approach do you take to meeting targets? 

Keeping leads happy is essential, but candidates must know how to meet targets and pay for their seat, so to speak. For this reason, this is one of the top questions to ask in a sales interview to figure out competency and dedication.

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