An effective interview question digs into a salesperson’s skills, knowledge, experience, personality, and motivation. It helps reveal whether your prospective candidate will be a good fit for the role. Overall, hiring managers agree that a lack of soft skills among candidates can limit an organization’s productivity.

Here are five questions that will help find the most qualified salesperson to fill an open position:

How do you organize your day?

Asking this question provides an understanding of how a prospective candidate approaches problem-solving. The more detailed the answers are, the more detailed that the employee will be when completing tasks and especially when following up to close a sale. Persistence is a great quality for a salesperson to possess.

Explain the steps you take, from the beginning of the sales process to the end.

A candidate’s response to this question will illustrate how the candidate approaches and maintains client relationships. This shows how well the candidate understands and considers the sales process. It also illustrates how they organize their thoughts and communicate complicated concepts. Determine if the answer summarizes the sales process: prospect, connect, research, present, and close. These are key points to look for in an answer.

What motivates you? 

This question is an opportunity to provide insight into an applicant’s character. It will help determine if the applicant is motivated by goals or by being one of the highest performing sales reps. This is an indication if the prospective candidate will be a good fit in the company and what motivates them. Details about being goal-oriented, money-motivated, self-managed, and passionate about sales are all good traits of successful salespeople.

Describe a time when you had a difficult prospect, and how you handled that situation to win the sale.

When answering this question look for details as to how the candidate can overcome challenges. Pay close attention to the actionable items stated and the results of each of the steps taken. Also, the answer to this question is an indication of a candidate’s ability to communicate with clients and team members.

Have you consistently met your sales goals? 

The candidate’s answer to this question determines if an individual consistently drives results and improve an organization’s bottom line. Determine if the answers provide specifics such as exceeding sales goals by a certain percentage and achieving a monthly bonus in commissions. Granted salespeople can have a bad month from time to time but having the ability to remain flexible and implement a new sales strategy when applicable is essential.

As a candidate, surviving a sales interview is one of the toughest hurdles to overcome…but it doesn’t have to be impossible. A great salesperson is emotionally intelligent, quick on their feet, and eager to improve. As a hiring manager asking a variety of questions will reveal the best candidate for the job based on thorough and honest answers. A good salesperson is an individual that will go above and beyond to be successful and continues to set the bar high to meet sales goals.