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Best questions to ask in a sales interview

Hi, I’m Irwin! I’ve been a software sales leader for startups like Okta as well as large corporations like BMC and Cisco. Now, I work as an industry mentor to help people land great jobs in sales through workshops and 1-on-1 mentorship. Check out my article with the best questions to ask in a sales interview.

People spend a lot of time preparing for their technical and behavioral interviews. They start by researching the companies and then they practice the common interview questions they will likely be asked. But, they often forget an incredibly important part of the session. The last 10 minutes of the interview, which is the time allotted for the candidate to ask questions.

Asking good questions can often give you the final push when it comes to interviewer feedback, so when you prepare for your sessions, you should always take the time to write down questions you want to ask.

The recruiters and mentors at Pathrise have interviewed hundreds of people and they know that when the candidate asks good questions, the interviewer takes note as a way to determine if the candidate is going to accept the position and remain interested in the long term. These are two very important factors to getting an offer, so you could say that asking strong questions at the end of the interview can be a deciding factor on whether or not you get an offer.

To help you be successful in your upcoming interviews, we came up with the 11 best questions to ask in sales interviews to ensure they show you are driven to work hard, willing to learn, and excited about the company and its mission.

Best questions to ask in a sales interview

  1. What percentage of leads and deals will come from inbound leads of MQLs vs. prospecting?
  2. Do you expect me to find my own leads? How is that supported?
  3. What support/handoffs are involved with a typical sales cycle?
  4. What challenges are being faced by the team currently? How can I best contribute to solving these challenges in this role?
  5. How long is a typical sale cycle? What are the customer’s main objections/drop off reasons? How do we address those?
  6. What are the main contributions and goals of the sales team at the moment? How does this role add to that? How do you measure success?
  7. What does a typical day or week look like for members of the sales team?
  8. Does the sales team collaborate with other teams, like marketing or product? 
  9. What do you like most about working at [company]?
  10. What is the most challenging part of your day at [company]?
  11. I read that [recent update about company]. How does that affect [the mission, the work of the marketing team, etc]?

Feel free to write your list down in a notebook before your interview and bring it in or have it next to you if you are interviewing virtually. You can add to your list as you interact with the interviewer and you can cross off questions that might have been answered naturally. Depending on the amount of time they save for questions, you might not have time to ask everything, so try to prioritize. Your questions should show that you have done your research and that you are interested in the company and its future. If they do, you will ensure that the interviewer is left with a positive impression of you and your fit in their culture. 

About Pathrise

Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. With these tips and guidance, fellows in our program have seen their interview scores double.

If you want to work with any of our mentors 1-on-1 to get help with your sales interviews or with any other aspect of the job search, become a Pathrise fellow. 

Apply today.

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