It’s common for employers to struggle in trying to evaluate a salesperson’s sales abilities, especially if the interviewer does not have a sales background. 

The questions asked often give insight into a candidate’s personality, and character but are not always deep diving into their sales ability. 

As a sales recruiter and a person who has hired hundreds of salespeople over the years (and having to eat my own cooking), these are the top 10 questions I use when interviewing for a sales role. 

  1. Can you give an example of a successful sales pitch you’ve delivered in the past? 
  2. How do you stay organized and prioritize your sales leads? 
  3. How do you handle and overcome objections from potential customers? 
  4. How do you evaluate and measure your performance in a sales role? 
  5. How do you stay current on industry trends and developments? 
  6. Can you give an example of a complex sales process you’ve navigated and how you closed the deal? 
  7. How do you build and maintain relationships with clients? 
  8. Can you tell me a time when you exceeded a sales quota or goal? 
  9. How do you adapt your sales approach for different types of clients or industries? 
  10. How do you deal with rejection or setbacks in the sales process?

Allowing the candidate to ask questions about the role and the company can provide valuable insights into their level of interest and preparedness. 

It also allows the candidate to gain a better understanding of the job responsibilities and company culture, which can help them determine if the role is a good fit for them. 

Additionally, it can demonstrate to the hiring manager that the candidate is proactive and engaged in the interview process.

Author: Bryan Payne is Chief Talent Scout and Founding Partner at Just Sales Jobs, a recruitment agency specializing in finding top sales talent in Toronto and surrounding areas. He has over 25 years of experience in sales recruiting and leading successful sales teams. Contact him at