17 Inside Sales Interview Questions You Should Be Asking (for Candidates)

July 21, 2011

FunnySalesCartoonInterviewDogSmellMoneyThe interview process by definition is an imperfect process.  You spend relatively very little time together and then get married.  Many inside sales teams are made of low-cost resources and so the interview process is even shorter.  For an inside sales candidate, there’s nothing worse than being a week into the job and then saying “man, I wish I would have asked a lot more questions during the interview process!”  Of course, for the hiring manager, making a mis-hire is very costly.  Over the last 10 years I’ve interviewed hundreds of inside salespeople and I’m stunned at how poor the questions are that candidates ask.  Here’s a list of 17 questions you should be asking when you’re going for that next inside sales job:

  1. If I get the job, what will earn me a "gold star" one year from now?
  2. How am I measured as an inside sales rep?
  3. What other inside sales team pose the greatest threat to this company and why?
  4. What’s your Lead Gen/Demand Gen process?
  5. Tell me what your company does around sales enablement?
  6. What’s one thing that’s key to your inside sales team success that somebody from outside the company wouldn’t know about?
  7. What is your vision for the inside sales team?  (this is a good question to ask EACH interviewer to see if they’re all on the same page) 
  8. In order to retain high quality talent, what do you guys do to keep it fun for the inside sales team?
  9. What do you love best about the culture of the inside sales team here?
  10. What characteristics does the ideal inside salesperson possess here and what is the strategy to attract that talent?
  11. What challenges am I likely to face?
  12. How does your company utilize scripts or outlines if at all?
  13. What’s the inside sales process here look like?
  14. Tell me about the coaching your inside sales reps receive on a regular basis
  15. What are the most common complaint inside salespeople make about your company culture?
  16. What inside sales metrics (forward looking and resulting) are going to be most important to you?
  17. How good of a fit do you think I am for this inside sales role?

If you ask these questions, you’ll not only impress the interviewer with your thoughtfulness (most candidates are NOT asking these questions) but you’ll have a better idea if you want to be an inside salesperson for their company….or not.


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