7 Interview Questions To Find Rockstar Sales Reps

Sales reps can look great on paper, but when it comes down to having what it takes?

You’re looking for someone that can blow a quota out of the water.

These secret-sauce sales interview questions will separate regular reps from rockstar sales reps.

Before we dive into the toughest category of questions, aka the Magic Bullet Questions, let’s talk about what NOT to ask.

Don’t ask generic questions like “Why should I hire you?”

Don’t bother with logic-problems that are too difficult for candidates.

These 7 Magic Bullet Questions go deeper than the basic questions.

They’ll give you the honest and eye-opening responses you need to really judge a rep’s potential.

1. When I ask your former manager about your strengths and weaknesses, what am I going to hear?

This question will get some hearts racing.

If a candidate had a rocky history with their former employer, you’ll see it in their response.

Watch for how honestly they answer this question, even if it’s not entirely rosy.

Excellent performers will answer this one calmly, while poor performers will shrink from it.

Use this question to see whether a candidate has honesty and integrity.

It’s not about a perfect track record, it’s about the ability to be open, even when it’s uncomfortable.

2. Thanks for joining us today. Over to you.

If the salesperson is confident and is adept at handling meetings from start to finish, this one should be a breeze for them.

Look for sales reps that take charge, set the agenda, ask questions, and provide and schedule next steps at the end of the meeting.

Poor salespeople won’t handle this kind of autonomy well.

Why? They won’t feel confident about controlling the meeting. They won’t see it as an opportunity, and it will make them sweat.

3. Would you be willing to do a mock sales call with me right now?  

Again, confident candidates will take this ball and run with it to show you they understand how an effective sales process works.

To take this a step further, invite them to do a cold call on the spot. How they respond under pressure is what you’re assessing.

You’re not here to ruin someone’s day, but you are looking for an elite salesperson.

An on-the-spot sales call will show the candidates who are natural performers.

4. How did you prepare for this interview?

Professional salespeople will have done their homework on you, your company, and your product.

If the candidate can outline the steps they took to prepare for you, you’ve got a winner.

If the rep did not prepare for the interview, he or she won’t be prepared for real-world sales calls.

5. You’re really nice, but you’re not an absolute top producer, and I only have room for top producers.

Bold right?

This isn’t really a question, but an invitation to push back.

A weak performer will shy away and then politely thank you for your time.

A top performer will love responding to this question. They’ll flex their objection handling and give you a glimpse of their grit.  

Overcoming objections is key for top salespeople to close the deal. Let them show you their skills first-hand.

6. How do you think this interview is going right now?

This is another question that could throw a weak candidate off their game.

It will also reveal reps that know how to rise to the occasion.

Top performers will dive deep into this question, while poor performers will provide a more shallow, self-conscious response.

7. What do you know about me?  

This tells you exactly how much homework the candidate did and how they performed their research.

Savvy salespeople do the right amount of research to show you they came to play.  

Salespeople that aren’t conscientious will flail with this one. They might try to improvise, but you’ll see through it.

Preparation is absolutely imperative in sales. Knowing your target closes deals.

When hiring for a rockstar sales fleet, the interview questions can make or break you. Add these magic bullet questions to your next round of sales interviews and you’ll find the reps that will thrive. You’ll also know which candidates should be shown the door.

This is a guest contribution by Chris Orlob of Gong.io. Interested in contributing to the CloserIQ blog? Check out our guidelines here.

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Chris Orlob

Chris is the Senior Director of Product Marketing at Gong.io, the #1 Conversation Intelligence Platform for Sales. To keep tabs on the research and data we release on effective sales conversations, subscribe to our blog.