Getting a sales job in 2024 can be a big challenge. Sales and marketing strategies are ever-changing, and it takes a lot of effort to keep up with them.

But you’ve managed to land a job interview for a sales position (congrats!), and now you want to put your best foot forward while preparing for the interview.

Sales interview questions are among the trickiest of all job interview questions, and that’s because the job is multifaceted. You’ll need to showcase your communication and people skills in addition to showing how well you can close sales deals.

You’ve come to the right place to get started! We’ve answered some of the most common sales interview questions to help you prepare for your upcoming sales interview. Read through the sample answers below and get to practicing right now!

Key Takeaways

  • The best way to answer sales interview questions is to give details on the steps you take to close a sales deal.
  • A good strategy to keep in mind when answering these questions is to use the STAR method. It’s a safe and fool-proof way of answering challenging behavioral interview questions, such as sales interview questions.
  • Before entering your interview, prepare some common sales interview questions and read up on example answers to help you come up with your own. You can also try doing a mock interview with a friend or family member.

How to Answer Sales Interview Questions

To properly answer sales interview questions, you should start by explaining the steps you take to approach sales deals. Tell the interviewer the ways you acquire prospective customers and how you keep in contact with them. Then, think of ways you can highlight the company’s services or products. This is what the company wants to hear about the most, so focus on this section.

sales interview questions

A good strategy for answering sales interview questions is to use the STAR Method. Simply put, this method is used to answer behavioral interview questions. The letters in STAR stand for: situation, task, action, and result. Each of the four letters stands for the four steps you should take to answer a sales interview question.

Here’s what each letter advises you to do while you answer:

  • S – Start by mentioning a situation that is sales related.
  • T – Explain what your task was during that situation.
  • A – Show what actions you took to solve the situation.
  • R – End by mentioning what the situation resulted in.


Using the STAR method is the most foolproof approach to answering sales interview questions. That’s because most employers will expect you to use this method during the interview.

14 Sales Interview Sample Questions & Answers

Researching the most frequently asked sales interview questions and preparing to answer them is one way to impress hiring managers and get your dream sales job. Here are some of the most common sales interview questions and tips on how to answer them:

#1. Describe a time when you did not meet your sales target.

Setting targets in sales jobs is very common, as it’s the easiest way to measure an employee’s performance. You are told you need to sell $10,000 worth of products, close 15 new deals, or improve your sales figures by 10% from last month’s performance.

Failing short of your targets could simply mean you had a bad month because of a low season, but it could also show your new potential employer more about your skills and how you’ve overcome such issues. By answering this question, you show the hiring manager how you’ve handled not meeting your sales target and how you’d act in their company. Use this opportunity to explain how you overcame this difficulty and how you’re capable of improving your performance.

Answer example: “While working as a sales representative, I had a monthly sales target set at $40,000. One month, I failed to close a few large deals I had been working on for months, so I fell short of the target by a few thousand dollars.

I took a good look at my work process and zeroed in on a few areas where I felt I could improve, such as building more trust with decision-makers. After this, I devised a new client outreach approach and presented it to my manager to get some feedback.

With her very constructive and valuable help, I was able to make my strategy work and hit my sales target much earlier in the following month.”

Why this answer works: This is a good answer because it shows that you are accountable for your results and willing to take ownership of your performance. It also demonstrates that you are willing to learn from your mistakes and improve your skills to achieve better results in the future.

Additionally, by presenting a specific example of how you overcame a sales shortfall, you are providing evidence of your resilience and problem-solving abilities, which are important qualities in a sales role.

#2. Pitch me our company’s product.

Also known as the “sell me this pen” question, the employer will ask you to sell (or pitch) them a product to get a quick look at how you can apply your sales skills in a new setting. Decide on a product from their offering (if it isn’t specified) and tailor your answer to it.

Start your answer by asking a question. This way, you can instill a need for the product. You can then use this opportunity to fulfill that need with your pitched product.

Answer example: “How often do you actually use a laptop? When was the last time you used one? It’s pretty much every day, right? Well, that’s why you’d want to take a look at this RTX laptop I have to offer you that can improve your everyday experience of using a laptop.”

Why this answer works: This answer works because it can pique their interest and is tailored to their needs.

#3. Tell me about a challenging sale you closed.

When employers ask this question, they want to know how you might deal with a difficult client. It’s a great way for them to figure out where your passions lie and what your sales skills and talents are. While answering, try to come up with an example where you did everything in your power to close the deal successfully.

Answer example: “I remember working with this one customer who didn’t like the quality of one of our products. I decided to call them over for a drink, and we talked about the details of each product. We talked about every stage of creating the product, from ideation to the final result. Our client was definitely still not happy, but we managed to reach a middle ground when I offered to build them a new product.”

Why this answer works: This is a great example of showing what steps you’re willing to take for customer satisfaction.

#4. Why did you choose a career in sales?

Employers ask this question to check whether you’re truly dedicated to the sales role. You can show this dedication by mentioning a personal event or reason that has led you to believe that this job is the right fit for you.

If not that, a good reason could also be that you’re just good at selling things and have great communication skills that you’d like to utilize. Whatever the case, choose an answer that can make the employer want to hire you.

Answer example: “I found out that I wanted to work in sales because I had this lovely experience with a salesperson when I had just graduated high school. She helped guide me throughout a product sale, and she remained calm and collected even when I asked the most absurd questions. She created this really comfortable space for me, which resulted in my purchasing the product. I want to provide the same experience for other people as well.”

Why this answer works: This is a good example of showing that you’re passionate about diving into the sales work environment.

#5. What do you do when your sales are down?

The employer wants to know whether you’re willing to take action to fix a complicated issue. This is quite a tricky question to answer, as you’re being asked to talk about a moment where you underperformed.

However, they want to know that you’re ready to pick yourself up and continue making progress, no matter what. That’s why, while answering, come up with an example of when you succeeded in bringing your sales back up to prove your point.

Answer example: “I believe that every person has to go through a hardship like this. The most important thing is to get back up and learn from the situation. That’s why I think that the best approach is to discuss the issue with your clients and customers.

I remember discussing my sales with a client, and they told me that my tone wasn’t friendly, and they decided not to contact us anymore because of it. I asked them if they could advise me on any ways I could improve, and they told me that I should be more positive while answering their questions. I started doing just that, and the sales started to go up again.”

Why this answer works: This answer shows that you prioritize the client and want what’s best for them. This will ultimately raise sales as well.

#6. How do you keep yourself motivated?

Employers ask what motivates you to see if you can continue to do a good job in the future. Knowing how to stay motivated is a priority in lots of jobs, and sales is definitely no different. Since you might be asked to work on a lengthy project that involves the same product or service, you might get bored.

However, employers want to know that you’re okay with working the same job every day and remaining motivated.

Answer example: “I stay motivated by giving myself deadlines and targets that I need to reach every month. This gives me a sense of accomplishment and motivates me to continue doing my job. For example, after every accomplishment, I try to reward myself with something small. Buying gifts for myself has been a great way for me to stay motivated and accomplish my goals.”

Why this answer works: This is a great way to show that you focus on hitting targets and work well with deadlines.

#7. How do you stay informed about market trends?

Interviewers usually ask this question to check whether you’ve researched the company and are interested in the field. It’s also a great way to show them your research skills as well as your proactiveness as a sales representative.

Answer example: “I am pretty consistent when it comes to following market trends. I do so by checking social media accounts dedicated to my craft and by attending monthly conferences and seminars in the design industry. This keeps me up-to-date with every change in the trends.”

Why this answer works: This answer shows that you’re willing to go the extra mile to stay up-to-date on current trends.

sales interview questions

#8. How do you handle criticism?

Employers want to check whether you keep a positive attitude when you are given constructive criticism. This way, they’ll find out whether you are hot-headed and how you react when things don’t go your way. The best way to answer this is to mention that a sales representative is no stranger to criticism. Try to come up with an example that illustrates how you use constructive criticism to improve.

Answer example: “I believe that receiving constructive criticism is a way for me to learn new things. I don’t take things to heart and use every piece of feedback as an opportunity to grow professionally.”

Why this answer works: This example shows that you’re an active listener and are ready to take another person’s opinion into consideration.

#9. How do you prioritize clients?

Employers will ask you this question to test your organizational and management skills. Both of these skills are quite important for sales representative positions, as you’ll have to organize your clientele and manage any difficult clients or situations. To answer, explain the steps you take to choose how you prioritize your work.

Answer example: “I believe that each client requires the same level of priority. I believe that they are each significant in their own way, and I always make sure to work my hardest to meet all of their needs. What I like to do is check in on them every other week. I make sure they have no trouble using our product or service. After all, the main priority is to create closer relationships with them.”

Why this answer works: This is a great way to show that you’re committed to each client, which is what employers want to hear from you.

#10. What sales goals have you set for yourself?

Recruiters want to know whether you are able to set personal goals. That’s why, for this question, try to come up with a goal that can benefit both you and your company. That’s how you’ll give the best answer to this question.

Answer example: “My main goal is to always keep client satisfaction at least 95%. Clients are the backbone of the company, which is why I enjoy creating relationships with them. The number one priority is to always ask for their feedback, which also helps me achieve the aforementioned goal.”

Why this answer works: This answer is a great example of showing that while you still want to advance personally, you’re also taking the company into consideration.

#11. Tell me about a time when you lost a customer.

Losing a customer is quite common. Most recruiters are aware of this phenomenon, and that’s why they want to know how you have overcome a situation like this. Getting back up after losing a customer showcases that you’re ready to take the next steps in advancing yourself. Becoming a better person is ultimately what will benefit the company the most.

Answer example: “I lost one of our customers one time even though I thought that we had a solid relationship. The news of them closing their contract with us came as a shock to me, so I decided to ask them what happened. They told me that they were just not interested in our services anymore and would like to end all communication with us.

I asked them what the issue was, and they notified me that their company was scaling down and they wouldn’t need anything from us for the time being. I remained positive and let them know that I appreciated every contact we’ve had together and wished them luck in their next endeavors.”

Why this answer works: Keeping a positive tone in your answer and not talking poorly of your previous client will leave a good impression. You can also mention what you’ve learned from this situation.

#12. What do you know about our company or products?

Employers will ask this question to find out whether you’ve taken some time to do research on their company. This way, they’ll get the gist of your research skills. They can also find out whether you’re interested in the position and want to know more about what the company does and what it represents.

Answer example: “The main reason why I appreciate your company’s mission is that your best-selling product—the AllStar Twizzler—was invented by a woman. Growing up, I looked up to female entrepreneurs and wanted to achieve the same for myself. I definitely want to be someone that little girls can also look up to, so that’s the main reason I want to apply for your company. I did some research and found out that you support female advancement in the industry, and that’s something I really liked about your mission.”

Why this answer works: This is a great answer to show that you’ve done research and are very enthusiastic about the company’s values and mission.

#13. What is your biggest sales achievement?

This question is the perfect opportunity for you to boast about your accomplishments. Remember to stay humble, though! Employers want to hear about notable accomplishments in your career so far. So, while answering, take an example of when you actually helped raise the sales of a company.

Answer example: “I believe that my biggest sales achievement was closing a deal with Strato INC. They are a leading company, and I managed to convince them to invest in our services and products. I raised their sales to around 12.2% based on this deal. This led to me being chosen as employee of the year, and I even got a raise for my efforts. It was genuinely unforgettable!”

Why this answer works: Being specific is the best approach to answering this question. So, make sure you talk about the achievement in detail.

#14. What advice would you give to a new salesperson?

This question helps recruiters find out more about your sales journey and what you prioritized throughout your career. You were a newbie when you started as well, so this is a great opportunity to teach newcomers what you wish you knew before starting this career.

Answer example: “The main thing that a person who is just entering the sales career should remember is to always follow the client’s needs. It’s the number one thing that drives the sales numbers since they are the main contributor to our income. I’d also tell them that it’s okay if your sales pitch gets rejected at times. It’s important to use situations like these to learn and improve.”

Why this answer works: This is a great answer to show the middle ground between motivating a new colleague and staying realistic when telling them what they need to achieve.

Expert Tips on How to Nail Your Sales Interview

Two business professionals celebrating success with a high five and laughter

Here are some expert tips on how you can nail your next sales interview with zero hassle:

#1. Research and learn more about the company. Just like with any other job interview, doing some research on the company prior to your sales interview can help you answer the questions way more easily. Researching the company helps you understand its values and mission better. You can also tailor your answer to their requirements this way.

#2. Prepare questions for the person who’s interviewing you. Prepare a list of questions you want to ask the interviewer. More than anything, interviewers will expect you to pose some questions at the end of the interview. This is the best way to show that you’re interested in the position and would like to know more about the company.

#3. Prepare relevant examples. Try to tailor your answers to the job description and requirements. In this case, while answering, use the STAR method and choose a relevant sales situation you had to go through.

#4. Practice your answers before going to your interview. Ask a friend or family member to hold a mock interview with you. This way, you can see how you speak and how you use your body language. It’s also a great way to see whether you need to make any changes before your actual interview.

Final Thoughts

Showcasing your sales skills and other accomplishments by showing up prepared for your next interview can be the reason you get your next sales job. All you have to do is catch up on sales interview questions and answers, use the STAR method to define your own answers and follow our tips to nail your next interview.

Getting a sales job can be challenging, especially in a saturated market, but you can take the right steps to prepare for your interview and be the chosen one! Good luck!