Interviews can be tough for all candidates, but for people in sales, they represent a particular challenge. After all, if you work in sales, it's your job to sell - your most essential qualification is your ability to convince people to purchase products or ideas that may be new to them. So when you're interviewing for a role, interviewers will expect you to bring all those skills to the forefront and sell yourself.
During interviews, you can expect several questions about why you work in sales, from why you like it to what motivates you and more.
How to Respond to "What Are You Interested in Selling?"
For instance, your interviewer may ask you upfront: What are you interested in selling and how is that applicable to our company? Use this question as an opportunity to showcase your skills. That is, sell yourself!
In your answer, display your knowledge of the company and discuss why you want to sell its specific products or services. Talk about your understanding of the company's product and sales strategies and how it relates to your past experience, using examples and anecdotes where possible. Draw a connection between products and services you've sold successfully in the past, and the company's product or service.
Best Answers to "What Interests You Most About This Sales Position?"
Another very common interview question you'll get is: "What interests you most about this sales position?"
In your answer, you can mention your positive feelings about the product. Or, talk about specific aspects of the role or company that you're particularly well-suited for. This is a great opportunity to share any similar or relevant sales experience in the product category or to the company's demographic.
See some sample answers that you can use to help you practice your own response.
- I'm an avid amateur golfer, and I find your company's products to be superior and affordable for the average golfer. I believe selling something that I personally enjoy using so much makes me even more effective as a salesperson.
- I have worked in this territory for many years and would welcome the opportunity to use my contacts and experience selling a superior product such as this.
- The opportunity to utilize my experience in international sales is what interests me most about this global position.
- Your company has an outstanding track record in customer service which I greatly admire. I have broad experience selling to your customer base and I know how to feature the customer service component. For example, I developed a campaign last year that focused on the importance of customer service...
- I am continually motivated by the challenge of selling something new. Crafting a pitch and landing a new client is a satisfying process that never fails to excite me.
How to Answer Questions About What Motivates You
If your prospective employer's products or goals don't get you fired up and motivated to sell, then you're likely not a good fit for the job. But beyond the product, salespeople can be motivated by other factors, too. By asking this question, interviewers want to get a sense of makes you tick as a salesperson: Does money make you get out of bed in the morning? Do you like the challenge of selling something you've never sold before? Are you all about competition with your colleagues and a drive to surpass their sales?
Be honest about your answer. If it's money and the company is driven to hit killer numbers month over month, this is a good thing in their eyes. If it's competition and they post a monthly tally of everyone's sales to keep people on their toes, you'll be driven to work hard.
What Interviewers Will Look for in Your Answers
For interviewers, your responses to these questions will be a test of your research abilities - preparation is essential for success in sales. The more specifics you share, the clearer it will be that you've done your homework and are familiar with the company and its product. Being specific demonstrates that you're interested in this particular sales position (as opposed to any sales role that will hire you).
What Not to Say
Many questions about working in sales are open-ended, but that doesn't mean every answer is a good one. In your response, keep the focus on the company, position, or product. Do not focus on what the position will do for you. That means, don't say "I'm interested in this position because it offers a high salary." That may be one of your motivating factors for applying for the role, but it's not very compelling for interviewers.
Sales Job Interview Tips
Before you head out to your interview, review these sales job interview tips so you can convincingly sell your most important product - yourself - to an employer who is well-versed in sales strategies.