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6 sales interview tips: Expert advice you need to know

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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes 

Preparation is key when it comes to having a successful sales interview. Being prepared will make you feel more confident during your interview and increase your chances of landing the job. 

As someone who recruits inside sales representatives for Schneider, here are my top six sales interview tips to help you stand out from other candidates and make a lasting impression on the hiring team. 

How to prepare for a sales interview in 6 steps 

1. Research the company you're interviewing with.

The first step in preparing for a sales interview is to research the company you’ll be interviewing with.

Look at the company’s website and social media channels to learn about its mission, culture and core values. This will give you insight into:

  • What the company does.
  • What the company’s goals are.
  • What standards the company upholds.

Hiring managers appreciate candidates who take the time to familiarize themselves with what the company is all about. Plus, this information will help give you a better idea of what it’s like to work at the company.

2. Read the job description you applied to.

While you’re on the company’s website, read through the description of the job you’ll be interviewing for again to ensure you understand:

Knowing this information will help you tailor your responses during the interview and align them with the requirements of the job.

Pro tip: I recommend taking a screenshot of every job posting you apply to and saving it in a folder so you can reference it later. It will also be beneficial in case the company takes down the job posting during the interview process.

3. Practice your answers to common sales interview questions.

Prepare for common sales interview questions by practicing how you will answer each one.

Some typical sales-related questions you will likely be asked include:

  • What got you into sales?
  • Why are you interested in our sales position?
  • What industry have you sold in before?
  • What is your sales process?
  • Did you manage a budget in your previous role?
  • What quotas have you hit in the past?
  • How do you build rapport with customers?
  • What does success look like for you?

Make sure you answer each question clearly and confidently. Sellers need to be persuasive, so this is the time to sell your skills to the interviewer.

Pro tip: Don’t talk negatively about previous employers or your current employer during the interview. Doing so is a red flag for the hiring manager and could prevent you from moving forward in the interview process.

4. Talk about your sales history and big wins.

During the interview, emphasize your success in previous jobs by providing quantifiable data. For example, you could say something like:

  • “In my last sales role, I consistently exceeded my monthly sales targets by 10%, which contributed to a 15% growth in overall sales for the company.”

If you’re asked about any instances where you fell short of your goals, explain what steps you took to improve. For example, you could say something like:

  • “Due to market challenges, I fell short of my monthly targets in March and April of last year. However, I refined my prospecting techniques and hit my sales goals the following quarter.”

5. Create a list of questions for the interview team.

Be prepared with a list of thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer. This shows the hiring manager or recruiter you are interested in the role, did your homework and are engaged in the discussion.

Some sale-related questions to consider asking include:

  • What metrics or targets will I be held accountable for?
  • How do you measure sellers’ performance?
  • What will the first week to three months look like in this role?
  • How much flexibility do you have to negotiate as a salesperson?
  • What percentage of your sales team reaches their monthly targets?
  • What challenges do your sales representatives face?

6. Find interview-appropriate attire.

While most sales environments are relatively casual, it's a good idea to dress professionally for the interview. It will help you make a great first impression on the hiring team.

You could wear:

  • A button-up shirt.
  • A suit jacket.
  • A blazer.
  • A dress or skirt.
  • Slacks.
  • Dress shoes, pumps, loafers or flats.

By following these tips, you'll be well-prepared and feel confident for your sales interview. Now go get that job!

Don’t make these common interview mistakes.

Now that you know how to prepare for your sales interview, check out our expert advice on the top things to avoid doing (or saying) during your interview. 
About the author
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Johnathan started his corporate recruiting career at Schneider in August 2023. He is responsible for bringing in successful Inside Sales Representatives and Freight Brokers to the Dallas STM office. Before he joined the Schneider team, Johnathan spent five years recruiting technical professionals. In his free time, Johnathan likes working out, visiting new spots in Dallas and enjoying Mardi Gras in his hometown of Mobile, Alabama.

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