"Show Me How To Sell A Pen" Interview Question (With Tips)

Updated 25 February 2023

During a sales job interview, you may encounter questions that require you to demonstrate your ability to make a successful sale. Understanding how to sell a simple product, such as a pen, can show the interviewer your marketing and business skills. Responding to the question with a convincing sales pitch may also increase your chances of getting selected for the job for which you have applied. In this article, we explain why a hiring manager may ask you the "how to sell a pen" interview question, list tips for crafting the best responses and review a sample answer for improving your sales technique.

Related: Interviewing Techniques To Help You Succeed In Interviews

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Why Interviewers Ask The "How To Sell A Pen" Interview Question?

Interviewers typically ask the "how to sell a pen" interview question to test your sales skills and find out if you can create a convincing sales pitch. They may also ask this question to learn about your sales technique, including the tactics you use to persuade customers and close a deal. Additionally, interviewers sometimes ask you to sell a product in an interview to assess your level of comfort and confidence during a sales presentation.

Related: Interview Question: 'What Motivates You?' (With Examples)

What Is The Best Way To Sell A Pen In An Interview?

In an interview, you can sell a pen effectively by considering:

  • Why the interviewer may want or need a pen

  • How they might use a pen at work

  • How they could benefit from purchasing a new pen

Ways To Prepare To Sell A Product In An Interview

When an interviewer asks you to sell a product in an interview, it may be helpful to:

  • Understand the purpose of the question. The interviewer may ask you how to sell a pen to evaluate the level of your sales skills.

  • Customise your response based on the product. The interviewer may ask you to sell them different types of products. While some interviewers may ask you to sell a pen, others may ask you to sell them a pencil.

  • Research the interviewer. Knowing about the interviewer's job and responsibilities in the company may help you create a more convincing sales pitch.

  • Practice your pitch. You can write a sales pitch, practice it with a friend and use their feedback to help you improve your presentation. You can also make a video recording of your response to the question and evaluate it yourself, which may help you create a more effective presentation.

Related: How To Give an Elevator Pitch (With Examples)

How To Sell A Pen In An Interview?

You can follow the steps below to improve your sales technique and sell a product in an interview:

1. Ask the interviewer about their job

Before making a sales pitch, sales representatives often research prospective customers to learn why they might need the product. In a sales interview, knowing the interviewer's position can help you predict why they might need the product you are selling and how they might use it. For instance, if you are selling a pen and the interviewer is a manager, they might need the pen to sign company documents and bank cheques. Mentioning the practical benefits of the product you are selling may help you persuade them to purchase it.

2. Establish a link between the interviewer's job and the product

Ask about the products the interviewer has used before and highlight the practical benefits of the one you plan to sell. You can also ask the interviewer about their daily duties, which may reveal what they typically use the product for at work. For instance, when selling a pen in an interview, you might mention how the interviewer could use different types of ink to make it easy to identify and differentiate between original documents and copies.

3. Highlight the emotional value of the product

People often buy products because they find them emotionally appealing. To highlight the emotional benefit of the product you are selling, you can talk about specific product details that might make the interviewer feel positive about their purchase. For example, when selling a product to an interviewer, you could explain that the manufacturing process is environmentally friendly, which might align with their personal values.

4. Convince them that they need the product

To motivate the interviewer to purchase your product, you can smile, maintain eye contact and encourage them to respond to your pitch about the product's practical and emotional benefits. You can mention how customers have found the product's features useful, which might help convince them that they need the product too. For example, when selling a pen in an interview, you might highlight key features that other customers enjoy, such as long-lasting ink and a durable nib.

5. Close the deal by selling them the product

After outlining the product's emotional and practical value, you can mention its price and make your sale by asking the interviewer to buy it. Consider reviewing the product features the interviewer seemed most interested in and inviting them to ask questions about the product. This can help them make a purchase decision that is right for their needs.

Related: 23 Interview Tips: How to Get the Job

Strategies For Selling A Pen In An Interview

You can use the following strategies to help you sell a pen in an interview:

Focus on how the pen can benefit the interviewer

To create a compelling sales pitch, it is helpful to consider why the interviewer would want or need the pen you are selling. You can also think about how the interviewer might benefit from buying the pen. Then you can use your predictions to help you make a personalised sales presentation. For example, you can mention to the interviewer that they might use the pen you are selling to write to-do lists, draft memos or sign contracts at work.

Focus on how your response aligns with the company's values

To ensure your sales pitch matches the company's values, it may be helpful to research the company and read its mission statement. Understanding the company's values can help you show the interviewer that you are well-suited to the position for which you are applying. For example, if a company values organisation and time management, you can mention how your pen has helped your customers to take important notes, write essential lists and reminders and become more organised at work.

Related: What Is the Difference Between Sales and Marketing?

Tips For Answering The "How To Sell A Pen" Question

Here are a few tips you can follow to help you respond to this interview question effectively:

  • Prepare before the interview. You can practise your answer to this interview question to help you prepare to respond confidently.

  • Stay positive. A positive and enthusiastic attitude may help you make a sale in an interview. This can also help the interviewer feel comfortable during your sales pitch, which may show them that you are well-suited for a sales position.

  • Ask relevant questions. Asking the right questions about what your prospective customers want and need can help you with market research and enable you to improve your sales strategy.

  • Emphasise the product's value. To emphasise the value of the pen you are selling, try explaining how the pen may benefit the interviewer. Rather than focusing on its practical benefits, you might focus on how a specific pen could improve the interviewer's life at work.

  • Review the attractive aspects of the product. In your sales pitch, you can reiterate the pen's essential features and emphasise its affordable price to help you close the sale.

Related: How To Prepare for a Job Interview

Example Of Selling A Pen In An Interview

The following example answer may help you sell a pen to a hiring manager in an interview:

"As a manager, you probably use a pen to sign company documents and plan meetings. Since you complete these tasks often, it may be necessary for you to replace your pens frequently. If you are interested in a more durable pen, please consider the latest model from our company. It is a durable fountain pen, with a dark blue surface, a high-quality rubber grip and a steel nib. Additionally, the ink is easy to refill. My customers say they can write comfortably and efficiently with this pen."

If you purchase this fountain pen today, our company can offer you 50% off on a high-quality ink bottle. The price of the pen is ₹200. It comes with a free plastic case and a two-year warranty."


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