36 Inside Sales Manager Interview Questions (With Responses)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 15 October 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Employers in inside sales departments strive to hire sales managers with strong communication skills and confidence working in a team setting. When interviewing for an inside sales manager position, an interviewer may ask questions about your education and work experience to assess your qualifications. Understanding how to answer inside sales manager interview questions can help you distinguish yourself from other candidates and improve your chances of receiving a job offer. In this article, we list some common inside sales manager interview questions and provide sample answers you can study to create your own responses.

General Inside Sales Manager Interview Questions

When you are interviewing for a position as an inside sales manager, the interviewer may ask you these general inside sales manager interview questions to learn more about you as a candidate:

  1. What is one of your favourite personality traits that you possess?

  2. Where would you like to be in five years?

  3. How did you find this position?

  4. Do you prefer working on a team or independently?

  5. Do you prefer a fast-paced work environment over a leisurely one?

  6. If you could work for any company, for which one would you work?

  7. What is your biggest weakness?

  8. What are your salary expectations?

  9. Why are you leaving your current job?

  10. What time management techniques do you use?

  11. What hobbies do you pursue outside of work?

Related: Top 16 Interview Questions And Answers

Interview Questions About Background And Experience

Before your interview for an inside sales manager position, you can prepare answers to these questions so a hiring manager can learn about your ability to fulfil the expected duties:

  1. Can you describe your prior management experiences?

  2. Do you have any experience creating schedules for sales representatives?

  3. What do you enjoy most about working in sales?

  4. What did you study in college?

  5. Do you have any professional certifications?

  6. What software do you have experience using?

  7. Which professor or mentor has had the most impact on your professional career?

  8. What skills do you enjoy helping your sales representatives perfect?

  9. What is your disciplinary process for an individual employee who is not working well with their team?

  10. What was the most enjoyable job you have held in the past, and why was it the most enjoyable?

Related: What Is Inside Sales? (Including Advantages And Disadvantages)

In-Depth Interview Questions

The responses you provide to these in-depth interview questions can help a hiring manager assess how you would perform in an organisation's work environment:

  1. What is one sales strategy that you implemented in a previous position that did not work well? What did you learn from this experience?

  2. In your opinion, what are the three soft skills that are essential to a successful career as an inside sales manager?

  3. How would you resolve an error that one of your sales representatives made?

  4. How do you handle rejection?

  5. How familiar are you with our target market?

  6. Can you describe the products and services that this organisation sells?

  7. How do the values of this organisation align with your own?

  8. What are some of your favourite ways to motivate a sales team?

  9. How do you feel about cold calling as a sales strategy?

  10. Describe a time your team lost a client and how you handled the situation.

Related: What Is Cold Calling? (Definition And Tips For Success)

5 Interview Questions With Sample Answers

Here are five interview questions for an inside sales manager with sample answers for you to refer to when creating your responses to use in an interview:

1. What is your leadership style?

A hiring manager may ask this question to determine how well you may fit in with the inside sales department's current work environment. In your response, name a common leadership style, such as the visionary, servant, democratic or transactional style. You may consider researching the department before your interview to determine its size and what kind of leader it may benefit from, and then tailor your response accordingly.

Example: 'My leadership style is transactional. I emphasise the importance of meeting performance standards to my team members. I establish incentives for exemplary performance and ensure all my team members know what they are in advance. I also establish disciplinary actions in case of employee performance issues. As a transactional leader, I also prioritise ongoing training and mentorship so that each team member can achieve individual improvements and contribute to the team's overall success.'

Related: 10 Common Leadership Styles

2. What do you dislike most about working in inside sales?

A hiring manager may ask this question to determine how you view all aspects of your job. In your answer, try to maintain a positive focus. You may answer the question directly but also offer a solution for how you overcame an element of working in inside sales that you dislike.

Example: 'If I had to say, one of the things I dislike about working in inside sales is that some people are not as passionate as I am. I have worked on teams in the past where some team members were not knowledgeable about what they were selling and did not have a desire to provide premier customer service. In those situations, I worked to foster passion and genuine interest in my team members with my outgoing personality and unwavering devotion to the inside sales industry.'

Related: How To Keep A Positive Attitude: A Complete Guide

3. Do you believe that competition within an inside sales team is healthy?

A hiring manager may ask you this question during an interview to assess your priorities when leading a team. In your answer, you can explain that a certain level of competition can help an inside sales team improve its productivity. You may also clarify that maintaining employee satisfaction is essential to the success of an inside sales department, so you may emphasise the importance of creating an ideal balance in a managerial role.

Example: 'I believe a certain level of competition is healthy within an inside sales team. Competition can motivate representatives to meet and exceed their performance expectations. Representatives may show more enthusiasm if they have the opportunity to receive additional rewards and recognition. While competition can be healthy, it is important not to create an overly competitive work environment, as maintaining employee satisfaction is essential to the success of an inside sales department.'

Related: Why Employee Motivation Is Important: A Complete Guide

4. What would you do if your sales team was not meeting its performance expectations?

Your response to this interview question can help a hiring manager determine how well you handle gaps in productivity. Deliver a calm answer to show that you can maintain your composure in a stressful situation. You may also describe how you would work to find a solution.

Example: 'If my sales team were not meeting its performance expectations, I would first conduct a meeting with all the members of the team. I would calmly present the problem and ask everyone's input on why the team may not be fulfilling its performance standards. I would consider various elements, including a lack of available resources. I would work with team leaders and members to develop a new strategy and redefine performance standards if necessary.'

Related: What Is Performance Management? A Comprehensive Guide

5. What interests you about working as an inside sales manager?

A hiring manager may ask this question during an interview to determine why you are seeking a position as an inside sales manager versus a position as a general sales manager. In your response, you can highlight that you enjoy working in an office environment versus meeting customers in person. You may also emphasise that you like reaching a broader group of people with the flexibility that the inside sales industry provides.

Example: 'I want to work as an inside sales manager because the thought of conducting sales in an office environment appeals to me. I am eager to lead a team of inside sales representatives who complete sales via phone calls, emails and other remote methods. I believe the inside sales industry is more lucrative than traditional in-person sales. I am excited to help this organisation reach a broader audience, and contributing my effort and problem-solving skills offers me great personal satisfaction.'

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