Top Questions to Ask a Sales Candidate before Hiring Them

October 26, 2022

Creating a reliable sales team can be difficult, especially starting from scratch. While it may seem logical just to gather the best candidates with impressive resumes and have them work together, it's not an ideal solution. It is important to get to know a candidate beyond their resume and learn what they can bring to the table of your sales team. In this article, we will discuss some of the questions you need to ask your sales candidates.

Finding the Right Candidate

When hiring a salesperson, asking the right questions is important to get a sense of their experience and skills. Here are some key questions to ask your sales candidates:

1. What Is Your Sales Experience?

You'll want to know what kind of sales experience the candidate has. Do they have experience selling products or services similar to what you offer? What kind of results have they achieved? Ask many questions to ensure that the candidate has the hard and soft skills to do your sales.

2. What Is Your Approach to Sales?

This question will help you understand the candidate's sales philosophy and whether it aligns with yours. Ask follow-up questions to understand the candidate's specific skills and knowledge.

3. What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses in Sales?

The candidate's answer to this question will give you insight into their self-awareness. Do they know what their strengths are and how to leverage them? Are they aware of their weaknesses and working to improve them? Candidate needs to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses because it helps them play up their strengths and work on their weaknesses better.

4. What Is Your Experience with Our Product/Service?

If the candidate has experience selling a similar product or service, they will likely be able to hit the ground running and be successful in the role. However, they may need time to get up to speed if they have no experience with the product or service.

5. What Do You Believe Is the Most Important Thing to Remember When Selling to a Customer?

This question can gauge the candidate's understanding of the customer's needs and how to best address them. It will also give you insight into the candidate's sales philosophy and approach.

6. Why Do You Want to Work in Sales?

The answer to this question will tell you a lot about the candidate's motivation. Are they driven by the challenge of meeting and exceeding quotas? Do they enjoy working with people and helping them solve problems? By knowing their reason behind wanting to work in sales, you get to know what strengths they could bring to the table and what weaknesses they are risking.

7. How Would You Handle a Difficult Sales Situation?

Sales is not an easy field. There will always be situations wherein the salesperson is dealing with a tough sale, and they must know how to overcome it. By asking this question, you can see how the salesperson will think on their feet and deal with these kinds of situations.

8. What Do You Think Is the Most Important Trait of a Successful Salesperson?

This question will help you understand and give you insight into what success is for the candidate. This will allow you to see whether or not their picture of success is an image that works for your company and is in alignment with your goals.


The right questions during a sales interview are critical to hiring the best salespeople. Your questions should be designed to assess a candidate's sales skills, motivation, and personality. Additionally, you should inquire about a candidate's experience to better understand their sales ability. You can hire the best salespeople for your team by asking the right questions.

If you need an outsourced sales team, you can contact us at The Sales Group. We provide sales consultation and outsourcing services for organizations throughout North America. Get in touch with us to learn more about our services.

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Donna Gliha, Chief Sales Officer / President

A proud nominee of the 29th Annual  RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards

Alyssa Huizenga
Director, Business Development

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