There are several sales interview questions to ask an employer that will help you stand out from the crowd and have the best interview possible!
Yes, you heard that right: it’s perfectly fine to ask an interviewer questions. At Uvaro, we know that the best job interviews are actually two-way conversations among professionals – and hopefully future colleagues.
In fact, asking questions is a great strategy to keep the interview tilted in your favor while steering that conversation into the areas you want it to go: your strengths, skills, and education. It’s also a great way to show that you’re curious, agile, flexible, and eager to keep the conversation going for hours if needed – all vital skills to have if you’re pursuing a career in sales.
On the other hand, we also know that interviewing is tough. It’s perfectly normal to get nervous before a job interview. And it’s very easy to blank out when the interviewer asks you if you have any questions for them.
That’s why we recommend that you have a strategy in hand before you even
step into the office log into Zoom – for a job interview. So here are the most helpful sales interview questions to ask an employer… and put your mind at ease.
Why does asking questions during a job interview matter?
Why come prepared with some sales interview questions to ask an employer?
Mainly, asking questions to your employer shows a willingness to engage, and a willingness to care genuinely. Our students learn that one of the most critical turning points in the interview is when you ask your own questions.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who join the sales field for strictly financial gain. They simply research Google, see the potential for a six-figure salary in less than ten years, and throw their hat into the ring.
Instead, sales should be a personally fulfilling endeavor, filled with twists and turns nearly every day as you develop long-lasting relationships with customers and co-workers online, over the phone, or in-person over brunch and an over-priced gourmet coffee.
In our experience, you are preparing questions to show your interviewer that you did your homework and came prepared. The catch is that the more you come prepared, the more the interviewer will try to make you stumble with follow-up questions.
Here’s what you can ask to prove without a doubt that you are ready to succeed – prepared to get down to the business of sales, the nuts, and bolts of the position in a variety of areas.
The first set of questions that we recommend revolves around the onboarding process for successful applicants. It’s a mistake to assume that onboarding will be the same across every software company, and some may not have a formal onboarding process at all.
In a worst-case scenario, getting you up to speed with the company’s policies and workflows could take several weeks, if not an entire month. We always like to remind our students that they have more leverage than they think while talking to a job interviewer.
Above all, the most vital onboarding questions to ask include:
- How will you educate me on your product if hired?
- If I get the job, what’s the ramp-up time and training like?
- What software and tools does your sales team use daily?
It’s unfortunate that some companies don’t do very much in terms of educating their salespeople. Some only provide marketing collateral to review or a series of product pamphlets.
What we want you to remember most of all is that you do, in fact, have stake in the result when it comes to onboarding and training. So be sure to ask questions about it!
Next, success-based questions follow suit. We genuinely want you to pay close attention to how an employer answers them because it may affect your decision to continue the process.
Employment is always a voluntary, mutually beneficial relationship.
As a worker who takes pride in their success, you’ll want to know precisely how management measures it. That way, you can see if the company is, indeed, a good fit for your career aspirations.
We recommend that you understand where the goalposts are before playing the game. With respect to measuring success, you can ask questions like:
- How do managers give out constructive criticism?
- How do your most successful managers work with the team?
- In this role, what qualifies as an outstanding performance over a standard one?
- How will you measure success?
- What KPIs and metrics are the most important to your team?
A great company knows how critical it is to measure success and develop employees continuously. It’s not a one-off task to hire a sales team; it takes time and effort to keep the group cohesive enough to drive sales, whether it’s following up on leads or finalizing contract details.
There has to be a clear definition of what your future managers will consider successful.
Will it be deals closed per quarter? Or will it be the level of up-sells and contract renewals?
Sometimes the answers are murky and throw up red flags, which is why it’s best to bring up expectations as soon as you have an opening during the conversation.
The third set of questions we recommend deals with a company’s culture, what the company believes in, and what it strives to achieve. The trouble is that not every company has a mature culture, and some may actually have a work environment that needs improvement.
During an interview, it’s wise to ask culture-based questions, such as:
- What’s the culture like overall?
- What’s the biggest challenge the company has had to overcome?
- I read that one of your company’s values is X, but how do you live that?
- What was it like to transition from [interviewer’s old company] to [interviewer’s current company]?
In our experience, the best interviewers will provide you with honest, straightforward answers.
Of all facets of a company, culture is by far the most tricky to create, develop, and propagate throughout the business. A company with a toxic culture will likely do everything in its power not to reveal it to you.
These questions are pretty simple at the end of the day, so if an interviewer balks and stumbles, it’s not a bad idea to take a closer look at the company’s culture and foundation.
The best role-based questions glean information about what your daily tasks will actually be like once hired. Even if you came from an established company, that doesn’t mean that a new organization does conduct business entirely differently. In fact, that may be why you chose to apply for the company in the first place.
The top role-based questions to inquire about are:
- What’s it like to work here every day?
- Where does the sales team get leads, and then what are the next steps?
- If you bring me on board, and I excel, then what happens?
- What are a few goals I can expect?
- How does the team collaborate with one another?
In any job, communication among employees is what makes a company tick from the inside out. If the interviewer confesses that it’s a stressful work environment, maybe you should pause a moment.
When looking for employment, the job needs to be a great fit, not merely a good fit. Sales is an exceptionally competitive field for newcomers, so it’s absolutely critical to understand what a company will ask you to do.
In a worst-case scenario, you could start taking on too many roles without a comparable pay raise. We’ve seen situations where a job that offers a lucrative salary may require a much, much broader role than you expect.
But the best companies in the world know how to categorize employee roles and give them the tools they need to succeed. Some companies might not even be using Zoom for remote meetings, opting for a cheaper platform instead.
The final (and most effective) question of all
Above all, the most vital question to ask during an interview is: what are the next steps in the interview process?
This common mistake is one that we focus on in our program. You have the right as a job seeker to know what comes next. And as a sales rep, you want to leave every meeting with a firm understanding on what next steps look like with your prospect.
An employer can’t give you information that you don’t ask for, correct? And you can’t close a sales unless you ask if it’s a done deal, right?
If you ask, “what comes next?” It shows a company that you have an organized way to analyze situations at work. You understand the value of next steps, and the unexpected twists and turns don’t ruin your composure every day.
The general idea is to empower yourself with the questions you ask, so it’s critical to know where to start.
When asking this final question, be sure to not be too aggressive with your ask. It’s ok if they don’t have ‘concrete next steps yet’. One of the worst mistakes you can make is to be pushy and pressure the interviewer inappropriately. After all, you’re both here to propel the company forward, and it’s the interviewer’s task to make sure that you’re the one for the job.
Undoubtedly, going on a job interview can cause plenty of stress! At Uvaro, we’re here to help you through the process well ahead of time. With sales interview questions to ask an employer, and a variety of other free resources.
Our commitment at Uvaro is to prepare you for your dream role in tech sales. Through our 12-week tech sales training course, we train our recruits with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in a tech sales role. Download our course syllabus to learn more about our program and career support. And when the time comes, don’t forget to bring your sales interview questions to ask an employer!