Interview Questions for Sales Reps


“Will you sit on my lap” is NOT a good interview question

Here is a list of Interview questions that I use during the Focused Phone Screen and the Onsite Interview.

I will review this list before the interview and select a few questions to ask.

I also keep this list in front of me during the interview in case I forget to cover specific areas that require more investigation. 

I do not ask every question or follow these in order.

  1. Role play with me on a prospecting call. Take me through the process from initial call to purchase.
  2. Role play with me on a closing call.
  3. What motivates you at work?
  4. Why are you in sales?
  5. Have you ever been in a quota bearing position? What do you think about a 50/50 split (salary to commission)?
  6. How would you feel about a carrying $500K quarterly quota?
  7. Why should I hire you?
  8. What has been your performance to quota? Is this verifiable?
  9. What challenges would you see in phone only sales?
  10. Tell me about a time you:
    • failed at something
    • had to take an unpopular stand
    • really had to go way above and beyond
    • had to show exceptional attention to detail
    • dealt well with a difficult colleague/co-worker
    • showed that you can work under pressure
  11. What do you do to handle pressure?
  12. Give me an example of how you creatively closed a new customer.
  13. What kinds of sacrifices have you made to be successful?
  14. Describe a typical day and week for you.
  15. How many cold calls do you make in an average day?
  16. How do you use email for prospecting? For Closing?
  17. Tell me about the CRM you use.
  18. What is your ratio of calls to pipeline to demos to closes?
  19. How do you close tough customers? Please walk me through some examples.
  20. Can you please share an example of a time when you had a challenging customer? A challenging team member?  How did you approach the situation and what was the end result?
  21. Are you given leads or do you develop your own leads?
  22. How do you create leads in white space accounts?
  23. What tactics have you employed in the past to build your pipeline? What were the results?
  24. How have you kept your spirits up in the face of rejection?
  25. Describe some of your biggest prospecting successes.
  26. Why have you been successful?
  27. Tell me about a time when your persistence paid rewards.
  28. Do you follow a sales system? Please describe.
  29. How do you recover from making mistakes with customers? Please provide examples.
  30. What did you do to prepare for this interview?

I recommend every sales manager creates a list of interview questions that are specific to the role you are interviewing to fill.  This could include specific sales tools, competitive knowledge, market knowledge etc.

If you want some help building your sales team or improving sales, contact me here. I’d love to hear from you. 

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2 thoughts on “Interview Questions for Sales Reps

  1. Mark A. Daley

    Excellent questions Dude. The creative closing question should also be preceded by creative prospecting questions. Maybe make it 21.5 Tell me the most creative way you got to a “C-Level” or on executive row consistently.

    Too many people believe that Marketing owns the lead gen, when the best sales people I’ve ever had always fill their own funnel.


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