5 Golden Rules for Sales Interviews

Lucy Foster 18.12.2019

When interviewing for sales jobs, there are certain things that will make you stand out from the crowd. Our sales recruitment team have put together five golden rules to follow having collected feedback from hundreds of clients and interviews!

1. Ensure you know your numbers

A true sales person will be able to talk confidently about their targets and key achievements in previous positions. They will know exactly what their target was, the figures they achieved and how they performed in comparison to their peers. Even if they did not hit their targets, a competent professional will be able to give good explanations as to why in sales interviews. It is, therefore, important that you can talk confidently about numbers without hesitation and if you can't accurately memorise them all, write them down and have them with you in the interview.

2. Pay attention to ‘The Close’

One skill that all successful sales professionals will possess is the ability to close. Whether that is closing a deal or closing a meeting, sales professionals should be confident that they can get a confirmed next step out of any call or meeting and it is likely that the interviewers will be testing you to see if you try and close them! You should treat your job interview like a sales meeting - what are you looking to get out of your interview? Timelines? A second interview? Or maybe a job offer? It is important to show the interviewer how you treat your meetings.

3. Always ask questions

The ability to ask the right questions in order to understand any client’s ‘pain points’ is an important part of every sales process and helps you understand what you’re signing up for. You should demonstrate your ability to ask detailed, thought-provoking questions during your interview. Try to make your questions different and interesting, showing that you are really attempting to get a deep understanding of the business and that you are asking questions beyond what's easily available to see online. 

For example:

‘What are the current challenges facing the business?’ and ‘what has performance looked like year to date?’ 

Your questions could also be an opportunity to demonstrate any prior research that you have done, for example ‘I read on your website XXX, therefore why XXX?’

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4. Active listening 

Demonstrating that you have the ability to actively listen to your clients’ needs is highly important when trying to make a sale. If you aren't listening then how are you going to be able to position a solution to them? It is important to demonstrate strong listening skills in your interview. For example, don't cut in, let the interviewer speak and when they tell you what is important to them in the role, show you have listened properly by highlighting your skills that match what they are looking for. 

5. Building rapport is critical 

Relationship building is crucial to becoming a successful sales (wo)man. Your interviewer will likely be testing your relationship building skills and whether you have the right personality for the job. Make sure that you try to build rapport with the interviewer. Find common ground, shared interests (whether related to the role or not) and make sure you get them to like you - personality is key in sales!

Do you need further assistance for your sales interviews?

For more details on how to succeed in sales interviews, please do not hesitate to get in contact!

Lucy Foster's picture
Senior Consultant


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