How to answer 10 common behavioral interview questions sales recruiters may ask to find a job that suits your personality & work experience

Recruiters are a great way for anyone in the sales industry to search for new jobs and move up in their career. While you may be strategically putting your resume or portfolio together, you cannot dismiss the importance of the interview process. Especially for sales associates, recruiters will understand your place in the industry.

During this process, applicants will encounter behavioral interview questions sales recruiters will likely ask. A large part of getting to know you is through learning your experiences–the ups, the downs, and in-betweens. Have you come up with great ideas at your last job? Explain how it positively affected the company. Did you have a bad experience with a customer? Talk to them about your approach in defusing any conflicts you faced.

Behavioral interview questions sales recruiters ask give an insight to your history as a sales rep, but they’ll also get to know you–personally. Through this information, recruiters will know where you belong in the industry, and it could be in a position you’ve never imagined before. A recruiter’s understanding of your personality combined with their eye and expertise in the sales industry, they’re bound to discover the right place for you.

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Top 10 behavioral interview questions sales recruiters will ask you

During your meeting with a recruiter, you’re going to have to draw from all of your past work experiences. Brush up on your work history so that you are not surprised when you encounter these behavioral interview questions sales recruiters throw at you. Remember to take a quick moment to reflect before giving an answer.

1. Can you explain to us a goal you set for yourself and what you did to achieve it?

Have you ever set a goal for yourself? Setting a goal for yourself is a positive indication of you as a worker and person. Give a step-by-step explanation of what the goal was and your process to succeeding.

2. Was there a time where you weren’t successful?

With this question (like all other questions), you should be truthful about the situation. Were you unable to close a sales deal? Did you lose a lead client? Sometimes the stars aren’t aligned in your favor, other times there’s miscommunication. Whatever the case may be, explain and show that you’ve learned from these kinds of experiences.

3. Has there been a spontaneous occurrence where you’ve had to think quickly?

Easy answer: of course! In the sales industry, you constantly have to think on your feet because you never know what to expect when you’re dealing with all types of customers. Were you speedy in helping out a co-worker with a difficult transaction? Or was the spontaneous situation involve diffusing a bad customer interaction? Paint a vivid picture when you tell the story.

4. Is there an example of a deadline that you had to meet under a limited timeframe?

When you’re working on a project under a deadline, it gets stressful and overwhelming. If you are a planner, go through each step of your process to laying out your to-do list. And if you work better under pressure, explain that working under deadlines is equally challenging and possible for you.

5. If your customer is on the fence about purchasing your product, what do you do to persuade them?

Motivating customers to close a sales deal with you comes with experience. Maybe you have a good rapport with your customers and use your understanding of their needs to sway them towards you. Or maybe you (gently) pressure them to close a sales deal. Most customers are unsure before making a purchase but show that your method has worked by explaining your past experiences with them.

6. Was there a situation with a customer that was stressful?

Every sales rep has dealt with a difficult customer in their career. Be honest about the experience and say what you did to deal with it. Are you patient with the customer and try to work it out, or do you prefer to step aside and ask a manager for help? Asking about your attitude through stressful times is one of the most telling behavioral interview questions sales recruiters ask because they want to know what you’ve learned from these kinds of experiences.

7. Throughout your career, when have you had to adapt to new or unfamiliar situations?

There have been times where you’ve worked with new people or had to work at a different location. Maybe you once had a job where you initially knew little about the product you were selling. In the sales industry, you’ll have to float around from one position to another, and you want to prove that you are capable of the task.

8. Did you not believe in a particular company rule but had to abide by it?

Everyone has a different opinion about certain corporate rules, especially when applying them to a sales deal with customers. Sometimes you have to do what’s best for the company, rather than doing what you felt was right. If you didn’t believe in the policy, did you do something to improve it?

9) Have you presented a new idea to your past employer?

Coming up with new ideas shows enthusiasm and innovation on your part. When you love your job, you get inspired to make it better and build your career as best you can. Explain how you came up with an idea, how you presented it, and if it positively affected your company.

10. When have your written communication skills come in handy?

Written communication is equally as important as verbal communication in the sales industry. Whether you’ve written emails, letters, or social media posts for your past jobs, make sure you fully explain what you’ve done that required your writing skills.


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Think you’ve nailed that sales interview? Sign up with Blitz today for a 30-day free trial of our lead management and sales automation software to turn more leads into customers with less work!

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What are some behavioral interview questions sales recruiters have asked you? How did you answer them? Share your answers in the comments!