1. Please tell us what motivates you?

Money, achievement, helping customers, being #1 -- there are a lot of potential answers to this question. What makes a good answer vs. a bad one will hinge on your company culture. For instance, if teamwork is paramount within your sales team, a candidate who is driven by internal competition might not be a great fit.

2. Please explain about a sales experience that demonstrates your work ethic?

If they give a positive one, ask for a negative one. e.g. a time they failed and what they learned

3. Explain how do you expect to close sales? How do you know when a buyer is ready to buy? What closing principles do you follow? What closing techniques work best for you?

Does the candidate mention of the importance of body language?
Some answers to "what closing principles do you follow" include:
Do not attempt to close until the buyer is ready
When you propose a close, be silent until the buyer responds
After the sale is made, quit selling
Should be able to describe three different closing techniques

4. Tell me what's your opinion of the role of learning in sales?

Being thrown for a loop by this question is a sign that your candidate isn't a life-long learner, which is becoming increasingly important in sales.

5. Tell me what are three adjectives a former client would use to describe you?

Listen for synonyms of "helpful," as a consultative approach is becoming increasingly important in modern sales.

6. Explain how do you research prospects before a call or meeting? What information do you look for?

Neglecting to use LinkedIn to research clients is not a viable option in today's sales environment. Ensure that candidates are searching for personal commonalities in addition to professional information so they can tailor their communication as much as possible. Looking into company trigger events would be the cherry on top.

7. Please tell me have you consistently met your sales goals?

Should have done a thorough job of research or your industry and company

8. Tell me how do you overcome buyer objections? How do you handle price objections?

Ask for examples
Can they describe selling on value, not on price?

9. Explain who are you most comfortable selling to and why?

Listen for whether they answer with a description of an ideal buyer, or a particular demographic with no tie-in to the buying process. Depending on your product or service, the second type of response might pose a problem.

10. Tell me what's your take on collaboration within a sales team?

Collaboration might be less important at some organizations than others, but candidates who aren't willing to collaborate at all won't likely make pleasant coworkers, not to mention their uncooperative attitude will block knowledge sharing.

Download Interview PDF

11. Tell me what was your most significant professional accomplishment?

Keep asking for more and more detail to get insight into work ethic

12. Do you know how do you keep up to date on your target market?

Even if the target market of their last job is totally different than that of the one they're interviewing for, this will show you their ability to find and keep up to date with relevant trade publications and blogs.

13. Tell us have you ever had a losing streak? How did you turn it around?

Everyone has bad spells, so beware of someone who claims they've never experienced a downturn. Nothing's wrong with a temporary slump as long as the candidate learned from it.

14. Tell us what are some of your favorite questions to ask prospects?

Salespeople today should be asking questions more than making pitches. Open-ended questions that help a rep thoroughly understand a prospect's needs are as good as gold.

15. How do you generate leads as Logistics Services Salesperson?

Asking for referrals from current customers should be a large part of the answer

16. Can you explain something to me?

While this technically isn't a question, it's important to assess whether the candidate has a helpful demeanor.

17. Tell us what role does social media play in your selling process?

Social selling is becoming more important in all industries. If the candidate has not used social channels to research prospects or look for leads in the past, make sure they have a willingness to learn.

18. Tell us what role does content play in your selling process?

Again, it's not necessarily a deal breaker if the salesperson doesn't actively share and engage with content on their social media accounts, but they should at least want to start doing so.

20. Tell me what's worse, not making quota every single month or not having happy customers?

Depending on your company's goals, either answer could be the right one. But beware of reps who will prioritize quota over truly giving customers what they need -- or withholding from them what they don't.

21. Tell us have you ever turned a prospect away? If so, why?

Selling to everyone and anyone -- even if a salesperson knows it's not in the prospect's best interest -- is a recipe for disaster. Make sure your candidate is comfortable with turning business away if the potential customer isn't a good fit.

22. Tell me when do you stop pursuing a client and why?

The right answer here will depend on your company's process, but in general, the more tenacious and persistent a rep is willing to be, the better. Trish Bertuzzi, founder of The Bridge Group, recommends six to eight attempts before throwing in the towel.

23. Tell me what interests you most about this position as Logistics Services Salesperson?

This is probably one of the first - and most important - questions you'll be asked. The interviewer will obviously want to know that you are interested in and good at selling.
It's also important to demonstrate the research you've done on the company before the interview and talk about why you want to sell this particular company's products and/or services. Talk about your admiration for the company's sales strategies or product quality and explain how your past experience is relevant.

I've always admired your company's reputation for customer service and I know that's a big part of why your clients buy from you. I have a lot of experience selling to your key demographic and I know how to sell the overall product experience - including the customer service component. Let me tell you about a sales campaign I came up with last year that centered on the benefits of customer serviceā€¦.

24. Tell us what made you want to get into sales?

Commission, while perhaps part of the motivation, is not a great response to this question.

Download Interview PDF

25. Tell me how would you approach a short sales cycle differently than a long sales cycle?

Short cycles call for reps that can close quickly, and long sales cycles require a much more careful, tailored approach. They're drastically different, and your candidate should recognize this.