Hiring a sales team

A strong sales team is critical to the success of your business. They are the key to getting your product or service out to the world, as well as a representation of your company culture and the business itself.

Hiring the right people to be part of this team is challenging, but once you narrow down what to ask, it becomes much easier to forge a powerful group. Here are some sales interview questions to help you choose the right people for the job.

Are they capable of doing the job?

This is probably one of the most obvious sales interview questions, but there are nuances you should consider instead of sticking to a blanket “yes” or “no.” An individual should meet your basic requirements for the role – approachable, well-dressed and intelligent – but keep an open mind when looking at résumés and interviewing. A person might not have five years of experience, but if they display dynamic potential and a willingness to learn, they might fit your business far better than the sales associate who’s been working for 15 years.

This does lead to other questions: If they require training, do you have the resources to provide it? Do they strike you as the type of individual who will learn easily or will it be a struggle to train them?

giving sales interview questions

Are they passionate?

sales interview questions

As Tony Robbins says, “There is no greatness without a passion to be great.” You don’t want complacency in your sales people; you want driven individuals who are enthusiastic about achieving their own desires. The key is to ensure they can transfer that enthusiasm to your product or service. Ask your applicant, “What do you think about what we offer?” or “What do you want to learn more about?” Discuss what you offer with them at length, and study their body language as they respond to your questions and conversation.

Consumers know when their sales person isn’t entirely behind a product or service. Subconsciously they’ll start to doubt making the purchase at all. Conversely, an enthusiastic sales person who is passionate about the product will automatically draw potential customers in.

Are they a match for your company?

Some questions to ask in a sales interview will revolve around the applicant’s personality. This is where you gauge whether or not this individual seems like a fit for your particular group. Are they constantly on edge whereas you tend to hire relaxed personalities? More importantly, do they embody the identity of your company? Share your cultural values with the applicant, then ask, “How would you adopt these principles and make them your own?”

Consider the values your business holds, and what you expect of all your employees. This individual will be the face of your company for potential customers; are you comfortable with people associating your brand with this person?

sales team interview questions

What are their goals?

sales interview questions

People create their goals, either consciously or subconsciously, based on their ranking of the six human needs. The best employee you can find will be the one who sees working for you as a step toward achieving their own goals, whatever they may be.

For example, if you sell medical devices and your applicant is driven by a desire to help people, their goals may well dovetail with yours. “Where do you see yourself in a year?” is a way to open this conversation. If your applicant wants to take off after a year and explore the wild, they probably aren’t someone you can count on to stick around for the long term. “What makes you feel fulfilled?” will help you discern exactly what values this individual holds. You’re looking for employees who will stay with you through thick and thin – people who will commit to representing your brand.

Do they think big?

If you’re a sales manager, interview questions should also center on how much an applicant wants to grow themselves – and how much they think your company can grow. “How do you see the company now, and six months from now? How do you see yourself growing here?”

Do they see themselves – and you – as a one-town shop? Or are they imagining growth on a global scale, the kind of massive expansion that requires risk and innovative thinking?  

man asking sales interview questions

Time constraints aside, there is no end to the number of questions to ask in a sales interview. Keep in mind the role you’re hiring for and the guardrails you’ve set up, and you’ll find the right individuals to help you achieve massive growth.

Ready to build the strongest sales team?

Take the Tony Robbins DISC assessment and identify candidates with the right psychological profile for your sales team.