36 Sales Assistant Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)
Updated 16 March 2023
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An interview is an opportunity to highlight your skills, personality and work ethic to a prospective employer. Interview questions often aim to explore your work history, education and experience. If you are interviewing for a sales assistant role, it may be useful to know what kind of questions you can expect during the interview process. In this article, we look at 36 sales assistant interview questions with sample answers for some common questions.
General Sales Assistant Interview Questions
Here are some general sales assistant interview questions:
Tell us a little about yourself, including your academic and professional background.
What are your career goals?
What do you consider your most important values?
Do you work better alone or in a team?
How do you manage work pressure?
What is the most important skill to improve for your professional development?
Where do you see yourself professionally in the next five years?
Can you describe a situation in which you used critical thinking at work?
What is your availability?
What are your salary expectations?
Related: 23 Interview Tips: How To Get The Job
Questions About Experience And Background
Here are some examples of questions about your experience and background for a sales assistant role:
Can we discuss the skills you have listed on your resume?
What skills did you develop while working at your previous company?
How many sales positions have you worked in before?
What did you study in college?
What kind of training do you have for this role?
What specialised knowledge or training might separate you from other applicants?
Can you describe a time in which you had to lead a sales team or help lead one?
What kind of sales environment do you prefer to work in?
Is there any education or training you hope to obtain in the future?
What skills do you hope to develop in this role?
Related: What Is A Sales Interview? (Plus 7 Sales Interview Tips)
Here are some in-depth questions about the sales industry that you may face in an interview:
Which of our company's values do you most align with and why?
How do you plan to meet the sales quota for this position?
What challenges did your previous sales team experience and how did you address them?
When do you stop pursuing a sale? Why?
How do you plan to generate and convert sales leads in this role?
Can you describe your leadership style in a sales environment?
How would you handle a frustrated customer who does not want to be contacted further?
Can you briefly describe what you believe was your best sale? What happened?
Can you briefly describe what qualities you think a good salesperson has?
How important do you think trust is to the relationship with your customers?
Related: How To Improve Your Sales Skills: A Step-By-Step Guide
6 Sales Assistant Interview Questions With Sample Answers
If you want to apply for the role of a sales assistant, consider going through the following interview questions and sample answers for reference:
1. Tell us about the most successful sale you made
Employers want quantifiable information about how qualified you are as a sales assistant. Questions like these help them assess your sales abilities. Consider providing a step-by-step breakdown of what you did to close the sale and if possible, provide metrics or numbers. For instance, you can add that your sale led to a 25% increase in company revenue that quarter.
Example: 'My most successful sale was the time when I took over a customer from a colleague who suddenly quit the company. Without delay, I contacted the customer and informed them about the situation along with my background so that they would be comfortable working with me.
I already knew the former colleague had a hard time getting the client to commit to purchasing one of our high-end laptops. While speaking to them, I realised that the customer was someone who did not like acting in haste. I decided to give them sufficient time to reflect on the purchase along with my contact details, in case they need any help. Within a week, the customer called me back about the laptop and I was able to close the sale successfully.'
Related: How To Write An Assistant Sales Manager Resume (Plus Sample)
2. How do you keep up with the latest industry trends in sales?
Driven salespeople always stay ahead of their peers. As a sales assistant, it is important that you are aware of industry trends and new opportunities in your field. Through this question, employers also evaluate whether you take steps to expand your professional knowledge and grow in your field.
Example: 'There are three ways in which I keep myself updated about the latest trends in sales. First, I participate in company-sponsored training on new sales processes and strategies. Besides educating about industry trends, training also provides the opportunity to interact and network with seniors and experts from sales and marketing. Second, I attend trade shows, read industry publications and follow sales experts on social media to maintain industry knowledge. Finally, I am also planning to get a diploma in sales and marketing for better career prospects.'
Related: 12 Effective Sales Tools To Become A Better Salesperson
3. What do you do when there is a sales slump?
Businesses have both high and low periods. A sales slump is a period of slowdown in business due to circumstances beyond the salesperson's control. Employers want to know how you handle difficult work situations, including slow sales periods, that can affect morale and any expectations of business growth.
Example: 'As a sales professional, I have found that although it may seem like a difficult task to get out of a slump, preparing a clear plan of action can help. This can include a day-to-day guideline of tasks to generate leads and bring more business. Connecting with some of our top customers, with whom the company already has an established relationship, is also another way to deepen loyalty and promote our products. Finally, listening to inspirational sales leaders through podcasts, videos or webinars also helps a lot.'
Related: 63 Meaningful Quotes About Sales To Motivate Your Team
4. Sell me a pen
This is one of the most common interview questions for sales professionals. It is also a creative way of testing a salesperson's skills. How you respond to this simple question can determine how well you sell.
Example: 'If you are looking for a pen with smooth flowing ink, I have the perfect one for you. In fact, this pen is so much more than bulk-purchased pens. Besides being lightweight, it has a lovely surface which makes it feel better in your hand. Plus, as you can see, it also has a simple yet attractive design. If you purchase it today, we are also offering a 20% discount on this product. Would you like to try it?'
Related: 'Show Me How To Sell A Pen' Interview Question (With Tips)
5. According to you, what are the most important skills to succeed in a sales position?
Sales can be a demanding job. Hence, recruiters want to assess whether the candidate knows which competencies and skills can help to advance their career as a sales assistant. Besides some of the essential sales skills, employers also want to know whether you can be creative and think differently.
Example: 'A sales assistant requires three key skills which are product knowledge, confidence and the ability to listen and communicate properly. All of these are customer-facing skills that can help them ask the right questions to gauge the customer's needs. These skills allow them to pitch better and ensure they satisfy the customers.'
Related: Top 25 Sales Skills (With Examples And Tips)
6. How do you handle angry or unsatisfied customers?
Recruiters want to understand how you manage difficult customers and work under pressure. It is essential that your answer reflects that you remain calm and patient during crises like these. Interviewers also notice whether you are aware of the company's return policies and procedures to guide customers properly.
Example: 'As a sales representative of the company, my first duty is to apologize to an aggrieved customer. Next, I ask them whether they want to return the product and if they agree, I ask them the reason behind this. To remedy the situation, I inform them about the company's return policy and ask how I can assist them in the next steps. Finally, I strive to be calm throughout the interaction so that the customer is happy with the process.'
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