There's an old adage, "We're all selling something, whether it's religion or the next new shining product." However, interviewing for a sales position can be especially difficult because you have to convince someone that you can sell their product (or service) and at the same time sell yourself as the best candidate for the job.
As a salesperson, it doesn't matter what you're selling. When you go on a job interview it's likely that the interviewer will want to know how past employers perceived your work style and aptitude. Here are sample answers to help you answer the interview question, "How would your current supervisor or a former supervisor describe you?"
- She would describe me as a person who leaves no loose ends. I have often been complimented on my attention to detail.
- My former supervisor would say that I work well in a team environment, as well as being an independent thinker who enjoys working on their own when the need arises. For instance, when I was employed at XYZ company, it was important to keep all the team members informed about the current upgrades and price changes on all products because we worked collaboratively on most sales endeavors. Instead of being put off by this, I found it to be an interesting environment that was challenging but also enjoyable.
- He would describe me as a self-starter. At XYZ company, we were responsible for our sales beginning with the first initial contact to closing the deal. I worked independently about 90 percent of the time. There were some experienced salespeople who had a difficult time with the lack of support but I found it satisfying to have that kind of autonomy because I found I could be more efficient working on my own.
Tips for Answering Interview Questions
Every response you give to interview questions should include concrete examples of your sales achievements. It's important to be clear and specific about how you can help the company grow sales and increase revenues. Be sure to include numbers to back up statements you make. For example, you might say, "At XYZ company, I was responsible for bringing in the ABC account and signing a contract that resulted in XX profit over XYZ period of time. I managed to accomplish this in only XX months with little help from my colleagues.
More Interview Questions About Bosses
More interview questions about bosses and advice on how to answer questions about working with your supervisor, your best and worst bosses, and what you expect from a manager.
Before you head out to your next 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, and will recognize a good salesperson when they see one.