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Talent & Recruitment
Sep 22, 2014 | The Canadian Professional Sales Association lock

When hiring a new salesperson, asking the right interview questions are essential to securing a highly-skilled employee. However, what are the most important questions you need to ask?

This answer depends on the position you are interviewing for, as there is no standard list that should be proposed to all potential hires. Therefore, there are a variety of sales interview standards that should be met, regardless of the position you are looking to fill.

The 4 Elements of a Basic Sales Interview

1. Warm Up Questions
During the initial moments of an interview, ensuring the candidate feels comfortable should be at the forefront of your concern. Remember to first introduce yourself and your position. Make the candidate feel they can speak openly with you. Following this initial contact, ask questions such as:

-Tell me about yourself.
-Where are you currently working?
-What are some of your largest accomplishments?
-What do you bring to the companies you have worked for?

2. Experience
Once you have broken the ice with your candidate, it important to gain and understanding of how they have adapted to specific scenarios in their previous positions. This information will help you identify if they are capable of handling the problems your reps come across on a daily basis. Ask questions such as:

1. Describe a tough customer that you won over? How did you do it?
2. How have you kept your spirits up in the face of rejection?
3. How do you close tough customers? Walk me through some examples.
4. How do you develop relationships with tough customers?
5. Are you given leads or do you develop your own leads?
6. Describe some of your biggest prospecting successes?
7. How have you kept your spirits up in the face of rejection?
8. Tell me about a time when your persistence paid on in a sales setting.

3. Personal and Future Inquiry
Next it is important you find out more about your candidate. Do their interests and future goals reflect the type of employee you are looking to hire? Ask questions like:
1. What is your plan to achieve your goals?
2. What kind of sales environment do you thrive in? Why?
3. What would you bring to our company?
4. Why should they hire you over other candidates?

Remember that the interview is where you can see the salesperson's sales skills first hand. Your interview questions should give the candidate a chance to show their personality and skills set.

About the Canadian Professional Sales Association
Since 1874, we’ve been developing and serving sales professionals by providing programs, benefits, and resources that help you sell more, and sell smarter.
Contact us today at or 1-888-267-2772 to see how we can help you and your team reach new heights in sales success.
Copyright ©2014 by The Canadian Professional Sales Association
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