Sales interview questions and answers - Sales FAQs

How will you introduce yourself to the customer ?

Customers are the backbone of an organization. As a sales person, you should know how to handle their queries in a proper way.

While introducing yourself to the customer, also introduce your company. For example, “My name is Meera. I am working with CareerRide Info. We are an online magazine and we help create awareness about various career options for our site visitors.”

Be gentle and try to pay attention to the needs of the customer rather than focusing on your skills.

What are the important traits a candidate needs to succeed in a sales job?

These are a few traits that candidates need to have to succeed in sales profession -

- They have to be highly confident. A sales person should maintain a high confidence level and convince the customers.

- They should have the ability to persuade a customer to buy a product.

- They should have an effective communication skill and should be passionate about their profession.

- They should set goals and should be focused in order to achieve their targets.

- A sales person should be well disciplined. They meet people from different walks of life. They should be polite and should try to avoid conflict with the customers.

It is said that Smile and Patience are two vital aspects of a sales job. What is your opinion ?

Yes, it is absolutely right.

You should have a pleasant personality in order to impress your customer. Make sure that you talk to them with a smile on your face. It will create a friendly atmosphere between you and your client. Your one smile can make them feel comfortable.

Having patience is another important aspect of a sales job. You meet customers with different attitude each day. Attend to their queries patiently. Do not express any sort of dissatisfaction. Always remember, having patience will give good results at the end.

Why did you opt for sales as a career?

When you are asked this question by the interviewer, explain the skills that you posses. Also, mention your requirements. Given below are a few skills and requirements:

Skills – good communication, interest in traveling, art of persuasion

Requirements – salary based on performance, etc.

Understanding your skills and requirements in a better way will help you answer this question.

What is the definition of sale ? To sell anything, you need to sell your skills first. What do you understand from this statement?

A business or an activity that involves selling of goods and services is known as sales. Sales is the final stage in marketing and it involves 4 Ps (place, product, price and promotion).

You are the one who increases the number of customers by convincing and persuading them to buy a product or service. Mention your skills because the interviewer might be eager to know them. Also, rate your skills which are required in the field of sales.

What is target oriented sales?

When an organization aims for a specified amount of sales to be achieved within a specific time frame, it is known as target oriented sales. The harder you work, the more you achieve.

How do you maintain your relationship with your old customers?

Tell the interviewer about the qualities that you possess and which help you build a strong bond with the customers. The company would be interested to know the techniques or styles that you would apply to maintain good relations with your customers.

Maintaining relations with the new and the existing customers is not an easy task. You should never forget your old customers. They are the strength of your organization. Keeping good relations with your old customers would strengthen the organization.

Is it comfortable to work under a team leader?

You should make yourself comfortable when you work under a team leader. He/She is one who provides directions or instructions to a group of individuals in order to achieve certain goals.

You will gain many benefits and knowledge while you work under a team leader. He/She will help you to rectify your mistakes. He will constantly guide you to achieve your goal by giving feedback every time. It will also help you know the role and responsibilities of a team leader. In future, you may become one.

Which type of salary is the best in the sales industry – a fixed one or a salary based on incentives?

A fixed salary does not vary from month to month, whereas, a salary based on incentives may vary as it depends on the performance of an employee.

Salary based on incentives is the best in the sales industry rather than a fixed one. It motivates the employees to achieve their goals. The technique of convincing and persuading a customer varies from one sales person to another. So, the salary is paid according to the performance of an employee.

Share one incident where the sales job would be a learning experience for you?

Sales job involves a lot of work. It would also prove to be a great learning experience for you.

For example, if you are a fresher, you will be able to learn a lot of selling techniques from your team leaders and seniors. There are a lot of sales techniques that are emerging in the industry. You need to interact with different customers each day. Working in the sales department will give you some knowledge of how to deal with different customers.

What is the one thing which you like the most about a sales job?

The job profile of an employee working in sales, includes a lot of activities.

A few of them are given below :

- welcoming and greeting the customers
- maintaining and developing relationships with existing customers
- responding to e-mails, queries
- representing their organization at various events
- gathering the market and the customer information
- understanding the need of the customers
- attending team meetings and creating a good rapport with colleagues
- providing information about the products to the customer.

You should have a clear idea about your interest area. Above a few activities are listed which are done by a sales person, mention the area which interests you the most. The interviewer will have an idea about where can you be placed.

What is your method to follow up the expected sale of a lot?

A person in the sales department should continuously follow up the expected sales keeping frequent contact with the customers, discussing the current status of the sales with them. Feedback is an important aspect of sales. Do take feedback from the customers.

How many times have you been blamed for the shortage of achievements?

This question is asked to know about your shortcomings. It is a very common question. You should also mention the ways by which you can deal with these shortcomings. This will also help the interviewer understand the areas where you require training and will also show your level of acceptance.

Accept the fact that no one is perfect in this world. It is not necessary that you will achieve success always. Every person meets failure at one point in their life. Some people might have pointed out your shortage of success a number of times. Success and failure are parts of our career and life. So do not underestimate yourself in case you meet a failure.

What are your goals and long term objectives in life?

You should have a clear and proper answer for this question. Tell them about the goals and objectives that you have set and achieved. It should give a picture of your mind. For example, your professional goals should be time management skills, learning new skills and achieving new targets. Cite examples from your personal life as well. For example, how your communication skills have bought out the best in you, etc.

Tell us something about your creativity or methods to convince a customer for a big order?

Customers buy a product not only because of the product features that it possess but also for the benefits they gain. The more you explain to the customers about the benefits, the more you can sell a product.

You should be a solution provider. Tell them about your creativity skills or the techniques to convince a customer in your style. Explain how you would give the details about a product.

For example, if you buy a chocolate box, wherein the chocolates are stored in a bowl, convince the customer about having a bowl free. You should think out of the box.

How do you evaluate your performance and per day outcome in daily routine?

At some point, you need to assess your own work and decide whether it is good or not. There are certain ways through which you can evaluate your performance and per day outcome.

Attitude is an important aspect. Apart from doing your job in time, leaving office, spending time talking to your friends instead of working can have a negative impact on your work.

Keep the copies of your work in order to assess your own performance.

Try to get feedback from others about your work. It will help you judge yourself and improve, if required.

Do you think that you have the potential to sell products which others are unable to?

Selling involves different techniques. Each person may apply his/her own techniques to sell a product. Every sales person should possess an ability to sell the product quickly. Having strong communication skills will make it easy to convince a customer and sell the product. At times, others may fail to persuade a customer. Try to prove yourself as the best in such situations.

How do you rate your expertise in retail field?

Retail selling means to sell goods and products to the consumers through different channels of distribution. You should have some knowledge about your own performance. For example, on the scale of 0 – 10

- 0 to 3 = poor
- 3 to 5 =average
- 5 to 8 = good
- 8 to 10 = outstanding

Explain the special skills and qualities you have which make you perfect for this job?

Every job requires people who have a special skills in that particular area. Having certain skills and qualities in your field will help you improve your performance.

Skills and qualities that make you perfect for this job are as follows :

- good communication skills
- art of convincing or persuading people
- having a high confidence level
- being straightforward
- maintaining a positive attitude
- possessing leadership qualities
- having a good patience level
- remaining loyal towards the team members and customers
- being passionate

What do you think are your biggest weaknesses and strengths?

Every person has his/her own strengths and weaknesses. When asked about strengths, mention two or three skills related to your field. Describe how your strength can be helpful to the organization.

When asked about your weaknesses, do not hesitate to answer. Remember, no one is perfect in this world. Try to tell them about your weaknesses but you should make sure that the point is not an obstacle for you in getting the job.

How do you deal with a customer in a stressful situation?

You may meet a lot of customers who may be stressed or angry. You should know how to tackle such situations.

When asked about this question, be confident to answer it. Give an example where you had to face a difficult person and describe how you handled him/her. Your answer should elaborate on your maturity and diplomatic skills.

What is the current rate of dollar today? Explain the effects of the stock market over the retail market.

Such questions test your knowledge on current affairs. So, keep yourself updated about the current happenings. Read newspapers daily to increase your knowledge. Read news articles related to business, stock markets and international market.

To explain the effect of the stock market over the retail market, you need to know the status of the stock market. So be thorough with the current affairs section.

How will you motivate your team to achieve targets in a tight deadline?

What will you do if some of your subordinates are not performing up to your expectations?You should tell the interviewer about how you will plan your schedule. Describe your priorities in detail. You should motivate your team to achieve the target in time. Make your team feel comfortable to work with you. They should have the freedom to approach you any time regarding any doubts that they may face. Try to maintain friendly relations with your team members. Appreciate them whenever possible. Do not underestimate the confidence of your team members.

You may face situations where your subordinates may not perform up to your expectations. In such situations, instead of criticizing them, try to motivate them to do better. Help them with their queries, explain to them the consequences of not putting up a good job.

What aspects are important in sales?

There are certain important aspects of sales:

- Trust is an important feature. There should be a good rapport between the customers and the sales person.

- You should have a complete understanding of any situation and should know the mood of the customer while dealing with them.

- To launch a product successfully, it should be promoted well.

- Shipping of the products should be handled with care.

Sometimes, customers place big orders. Later they refuse to take the delivery. What will you do in such a situation to convince the customer to take the delivery? How will you ask the customer to pay you the full amount at the time of delivery?

- Do not panic in such situations. Spend more time in convincing them. Do not quit.

- Give a clear description, the details and benefits of the product to the customer.

- Explain to the customers again about the terms and conditions.

- Try to make them understand about your situation too.

- If possible, try to give them some extra offer.

Once the customer gets convinced to accept the delivery, ask them to pay the full amount. Do not give in to any sort of bargaining. It will be a great loss for your organization. Try to make them understand about the problems that you would face. Convince your customer by promising them a discount on their next purchase.

How will you appraise your team's work?

Teams are considered to be the building blocks of an organization. Evaluating the performance of your team work is one of the biggest challenges.

There are certain ways through which you can appraise your team work.

- Conduct regular team meetings
- Establish one-to-one discussions frequently
- Provide feedback
- Avoid and resolve conflicts within the team
- Motivate your team and maintain order

How will you motivate your subordinates to raise their performance graph?

These kind of questions will test your leadership skills. As a team leader, you have certain responsibilities towards your team. You need to assist your subordinates and help them whenever required. Give them proper training in areas where they lack knowledge. Give them certain challenges as tests. Feedback is an important component and will help them improve the next time.

Their hard work can prove beneficial to you and your team. If your subordinates give good output, it will be a proof of your good leadership qualities. The company is always dependent upon its employees.

If a weak candidate is being assigned to you, how will you polish him/her to interact with people?

As a team leader, you have to look after the performance of every employee. You should help your subordinates in working hard and improve as well. You may get to handle a weak candidate, who might face a lot of hurdles in his work. Make sure that you clear his queries and assist him. Try to give him enough exposure. Make him interact with different employees. S/he should familiarize herself or himself with the handling of customers. Train him/her well and give him/her the confidence to do the work well.

What are your policies to cope with the team issues? How will you treat an inexperienced candidate in your team?

To handle the team issues, you need,

- effective leadership
- good communication
- less workload to reduce stress
- inclusion of team benefits
- to not lose clients
- to create a good image of the organization

It is not necessary that you will always have experienced candidates under you. There might be situations wherein you may have to handle inexperienced ones. Make them feel comfortable to work under you. Do not be harsh to them. It might be their first job, so treat them with special care. Provide proper training to them. They should not hesitate to get their doubts cleared. Give them chances to show their skill.

What is your biggest strength and what else do you need to improve in your skills to come to a satisfactory level?

When asked about your biggest strength, explain about a skill that will help the company grow, e.g. being able to interact easily. This strength of yours would help the company get a lot of customers.

Always remember, no one is perfect. But you can always try to work on your weaknesses. Before satisfying anyone else, you should feel satisfied with your work yourself. You should know your weaknesses and the areas where you lag behind. And, thus, work on them.

Which is more important for you: high salary or desired designation?

Both salary and job designation are important in our career. Every organization follows a down to top posts level. For example, salesperson to sales manager, etc. With the change in job posts, your salary will also vary accordingly.

Money is not the ultimate goal of a job. You should be happy with your work in order to give a good output. Your salary will be based on your job designation and performance. Hence, you should give more concentration to your post.

How will you make a call to a potential customer to sell your products?

Interest of the customer to buy a product is of crucial importance in the sales process. Be professional to the customers. Follow the AIDA model (attention, interest, desire, and action).

Make a call to the customer and convey your message in a gentle way. Explain to them about the features of the product in detail. Arrange an appointment with the customer wherein you can have a face-to-face interaction. Ask them to spend some time to see the demonstration of the product.

What is outside sales? How is it different from indoor sales?

When a salesperson goes into the field to meet the potential customers to sell products, it is known as outside sales. It helps in maintaining a face-to-face relationship with the customers.

The difference between indoor and outside sales are as follows :

- In outside sales, you need to travel to different places to meet the customers, whereas, in indoor sales, you need to work from the office.

- Your appearance counts in the outside sales, whereas, in indoor sales, you will have to interact with the customers through the telephone. Your appearance and body language does not matter but your manner of talking does.

How would you prefer to do outside sales, in a team or alone?

If you are a fresher, you should prefer to do outside sales as a team. It will make you understand how the process is carried forward. You have to be careful while dealing with the customers. Once you gain some experience, you can start doing it alone.

Do you think you have excellent convincing skills to motivate a customer to buy your products?

You should have good persuasion skills to convince people to buy a product. Your communication skills should be excellent. You should be confident enough to rate yourself on a scale of 10 about your convincing skills.

0 to 4 = poor skills, require improvements
5 to 8 = average, needs a bit improvement
9 to 10 = outstanding

What would you do if a customer refuses to fix a meeting with you?

Usually, meetings are very lengthy. Meetings should not be wastage of money or time. You should handle the situation with utmost care when a customer does not agree to fix a meeting with you. Customers may have many reasons for not fixing a meeting. For example, they may be busy. In such cases, give them an opportunity to decide a time and place for the meeting. Convince the customer about the benefits of a meeting. Make the customers understand that the meeting will be purely one-to-one without any barriers. It will prove beneficial for the customers.

What is your principle to understand a device practically? Can you give the demonstration in front of the customer?

As a salesperson, you should be aware of the principles and working methods of a device. You should have an in depth knowledge as you may need to clarify the queries of the customers. Apart from the basic features, you should also be aware of the working process of the device. It can be a mobile phone, a laptop or any other product. You should use the device once in order to handle the queries effectively. If you gain some practical experience, it will be easy for you to attend to the doubts of the customers regarding that particular device.

You should have the confidence to give a demonstration in front of the customers. This will also give the customers better and more information about the device. While demonstrating, the customers have the right to ask questions or doubts regarding the device. Thus, it is necessary that you should conduct a demonstration in front of the customer.

People generally do not like outside sales. What is your opinion about it?

When a salesperson goes into the field to meet the potential customers for the purpose of selling products, it is known as outside sales. There are certain advantages and disadvantages of outside sales.

Advantages of outside sales:

- More demonstration is possible.
- You will gain more support
- More personal as it involves face to face interaction

Disadvantages of outside sale :

- Involves a lot of traveling
- Difficult to manage the day-to-day schedule
- Appearance matters a lot. It is not possible to concentrate on your looks throughout the day.
- You will be your own supervisor. It will be difficult for you when you face any problem.

People may or may not like outside sales. The opinion varies from person to person. For example, people who like traveling may be interested in outside sales.

How would you compare your products' technology with that of your competitor's?

Your products should have something different or some extra feature to survive in the market. Your product should stand out from the competitors' products.

Technology is booming rapidly across the globe. Every organization tries to bring in some new technology to survive in the market. Product positioning is an important concept which will help you compare your products' technology with that of your competitors.

You should know your target audience, target market and the competitors.

What do you like the most in this job?

Tell the interviewer what made you apply for this job. It can be your interest in any area of sales. Provide proof that you are not simply attending the interview for the sake of getting a job. Make the interviewer feel that you are really interested in this job. For example, say that you like to interact with different kinds of people, and thus, you feel your communication skills will be helpful for this organization.

The word target holds an important meaning in the career of a person who has opted for a sales and marketing job. What is your opinion?

Yes, it is true that the word “target” is important for an employee from the sales or marketing department. Sales is all about meeting new targets each day. The more products you sell, the more benefits you gain.

In departments like sales and marketing, the salaries are mostly based on incentives. Thus, it is important for you to achieve your targets in time.

How do you plan to achieve the objectives of two diverse fields i.e. sales and marketing?

Planning to achieve the objectives of two diverse fields, sales and marketing, is very important. You have to plan a strategy which includes branding, segmentation, positioning, etc. It contains 4 Ps (place, price, promotion and product).

Which is easier to deal with? The sales or the marketing aspect?

Sales is the exchange of a product for money. It is also known as the action of selling. Whereas, marketing is all about communicating the value of a product or service to the customers.

All the jobs require a considerable amount of input. Both sales and marketing involve healthy communication skills. If you do your best, both the jobs will be easy to deal with. Thus, everything depends on your hard work and interest. You should love your job to achieve self satisfaction.

What do you like the most about the inside sales job?

There are certain interesting things about an inside sales job. You may like it for the

- direct and timely feedback
- casual environment
- less amount of traveling
- increased team work

According to you, what is the amazing aspect of an inside sales job?

Every job has certain aspects that attract the interest of an employee. It depends on an individual and his interests. Building a strong team can be one of the most amazing aspects of an inside sales job. People who do not like traveling, this aspect will be important to them. So, it varies from person to person.

Suppose you met a celebrity customer, what will your reaction be?

Suppose you met a celebrity during your outside sales process and you approached him/her. Give the details of your interaction with him/her i.e. how you introduced yourself, your organization and the product to the customer. Narrate the experience in a detailed manner.

All customers should be considered equal. There should not be any sort of bias while handling a customer. If a celebrity comes to purchase your product, remember, he too is a customer of yours.
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Discussion Board
46. Suppose you met a celebrity customer, what will your reaction be?

46. Suppose you met a celebrity customer, what will your reaction be?


Suppose you met a celebrity during your outside sales process and you approached him/her. Give the details of your interaction with him/her i.e. how you introduced yourself, your organization and the product to the customer. Narrate the experience in a detailed manner.

All customers should be considered equal. There should not be any sort of bias while handling a customer. If a celebrity comes to purchase your product, remember, he too is a customer of yours.
Meera V Nair 02-18-2015
45. According to you, what is the amazing aspect of an inside sales job ?

45. According to you, what is the amazing aspect of an inside sales job ?


Every job has certain aspects that attract the interest of an employee. It depends on an individual and his interests. Building a strong team can be one of the most amazing aspects of an inside sales job. People who do not like traveling, this aspect will be important to them. So, it varies from person to person.
Janhvi Johorey 02-18-2015
44. What do you like the most about the inside sales job ?

44. What do you like the most about the inside sales job ?


There are certain interesting things about an inside sales job. You may like it for the

- direct and timely feedback
- casual environment
- less amount of traveling
- increased team work
Meera V Nair 02-17-2015
43. Which is easier to deal with? The sales or the marketing aspect?

43. Which is easier to deal with? The sales or the marketing aspect?


Sales is the exchange of a product for money. It is also known as the action of selling. Whereas, marketing is all about communicating the value of a product or service to the customers.

All the jobs require a considerable amount of input. Both sales and marketing involve healthy communication skills. If you do your best, both the jobs will be easy to deal with. Thus, everything depends on your hard work and interest. You should love your job to achieve self satisfaction.
Meera V Nair 02-17-2015
42. How do you plan to achieve the objectives of two diverse fields i.e. sales and marketing?

42. How do you plan to achieve the objectives of two diverse fields i.e. sales and marketing?


Planning to achieve the objectives of two diverse fields, sales and marketing, is very important. You have to plan a strategy which includes branding, segmentation, positioning, etc. It contains 4 Ps (place, price, promotion and product).
Meera V Nair 02-17-2015
41. The word target holds an important meaning in the career of a person who has opted for a sales and marketing job. What is your opinion?

41. The word target holds an important meaning in the career of a person who has opted for a sales and marketing job. What is your opinion?


Yes, it is true that the word “target” is important for an employee from the sales or marketing department. Sales is all about meeting new targets each day. The more products you sell, the more benefits you gain.

In departments like sales and marketing, the salaries are mostly based on incentives. Thus, it is important for you to achieve your targets in time.
Meera V Nair 02-17-2015
40. What do you like the most in this job?

40. What do you like the most in this job?


Tell the interviewer what made you apply for this job. It can be your interest in any area of sales. Provide proof that you are not simply attending the interview for the sake of getting a job. Make the interviewer feel that you are really interested in this job. For example, say that you like to interact with different kinds of people, and thus, you feel your communication skills will be helpful for this organization.
Meera V Nair 02-17-2015
39. How would you compare your products' technology with that of your competitors'?

39. How would you compare your products' technology with that of your competitors'?



Your products should have something different or some extra feature to survive in the market. Your product should stand out from the competitors' products.

Technology is booming rapidly across the globe. Every organization tries to bring in some new technology to survive in the market. Product positioning is an important concept which will help you compare your products' technology with that of your competitors.

You should know your target audience, target market and the competitors.
Meera V Nair 02-17-2015