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Talent & Recruitment
Five Alternative Questions to Ask in a Sales Interview
Aug 8, 2017 | Canadian Professional Sales Association lock

Interviews are a nerve-racking process. Almost everyone feels the pressure to make a good impression, say all of the things the interviewer is looking to hear, and get the offer. While interviews are a chance for employers to find out about you – your skills, experience, and interests – they are also an opportunity for you, the candidate. It’s equally important that you find the right fit.

Here are some alternative questions you can ask in an interview that will help you stand out, and get the information you need to make the right decision.

What Does Success Look Like in this Role?

 Having knowledge of the expectations that may be placed on you will help to make your decision about working for a certain organization much easier. It will also give you clarity on what you will need to do in the role, and how you will impress the leadership. Framing the question around success will force your interviewer to look beyond the day to day duties, and speak about the bigger goals and expectations for the role.

How Does this Role Fit into the Success of the Company?

Getting satisfaction from your role depends on many factors, but for most people, and especially Millennials, understanding how their role contributes to something bigger is a huge factor. When in an interview, asking this question will enable you to understand the impact this role has in the organization, and whether that is aligned with your own goals. It will also show the interviewer that you care about the success of the company, and that you want to contribute to that success.

What is the Biggest Challenge I Would Face in this Role?

Instead of asking what a typical day in the job will look like, ask the interviewer what the largest challenge in the role would be. The answer to this question will give you more information about what is expected of you and the barriers you will face to achieving success. It also indicates to your interviewer that your interest goes beyond the day to day tasks the role involves, and you are looking to find out what you will need to do to be successful.

What are the Traits of the Most Successful People in this Role?

Understanding the common traits that people in this role share is helpful for a couple of key reasons. Firstly, it allows you to evaluate whether you have the skills to be successful in the role. The answer to this question may allow you to see that this role or organization is not the right place for you. The second reason this question is helpful is that it gives you a very clear idea of what the interviewers are looking for, and enables you to showcase how you have exhibited those skills. For instance, if the interviewers say that all of the top performers in this role were very data-driven, you can provide an example of how you have used data to make decisions.

How Do You Handle and Deliver Feedback?

Feedback is critical in any role, and asking about your manager’s style and the policies at the organization will help you understand the type and level of guidance you will be given. This question will also indicate to your interviewer that you do care about feedback, and you want to grow and succeed in the role.

Finding the right fit is never easy – both for sales candidates and hiring managers. Asking the right questions goes a long way to discovering the right information about the organization and the candidate; that way both parties end up where they belong.

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