Do you prepare for your telesales interviews, or do you just wing it? And I’m talking about interviewers as well as the candidates here. I hear and see examples of both every single week. This guide will act as a short cut for you no matter whether you are looking for telesales interview questions to ask a candidate because you are recruiting or conversely, if you are the candidate and you want to prepare yourself on the telesales interview questions that you might get asked.
Moreover, it will contain some answers as well. Not word for word answers but they will give you some guidance so you can answer them in your own style.
One other thing that may help you is our ISM certified Telesales Training programme which may bolster and look good on your CV.
With that out of the way, let’s get to the telesales interview questions and answers.
General Interview Questions
Some job interview questions are relevant for any position, including telesales positions. Here are some general questions you might ask at the beginning of the interview to break the ice and get to know each candidate a bit better:
1. Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
This is the candidate’s elevator pitch. It should include critical facts like their name, background, career achievements and what their current situation is.
2. How did you learn about this position?
Did the candidate learn about the job from a current or previous employee? Have they been fans of the company for a long time?
3. What made you want to apply for this position?
What draws the candidate to the company and the Telesales Role, specifically?
4. What is your biggest strength?
What strengths does the candidate bring to the table? Are they relevant to telesales?
5. What is your biggest weakness?
What weaknesses does the candidate share? How are they working on improving them?
6. Can you tell me about your previous job and why you left?
What does the candidate’s last job say about their experience? What does their reason for leaving say about their work ethic or character?
7. What are your salary requirements?
Is it feasible to meet or get close to meeting the candidate’s salary requirements? Do they specify a payment type (hourly, salary, Sales Commission, etc.)?
8. What are you looking for in a new position?
What stands out about the candidate’s reason for finding a new job? Do they seem committed to growth, or do they struggle to stay at a company long-term?
9. What is your most outstanding professional achievement?
What does the candidate’s achievement say about them? Is it relevant to a telesales job?
10. What is your preferred work environment?
Does the candidate’s preferred work environment align with the environment at this specific company?
11. What are your long-term career goals?
Do the candidate’s career goals seem relevant to this telesales job? Will a career in telesales help them grow?
12. Do you have any questions for me?
The candidate should have at least a couple of relevant questions. They might not be genuinely interested in the job if they have nothing to ask.
Background and Experience Questions
Along with general Sales Interview questions, it’s also a good idea to ask about a candidate’s experience — both with sales more broadly and with telesales specifically:
13. Can you tell me about your sales experience?
Does the candidate have prior sales experience? Do they have other experience that carries over to sales?
14. Have you ever worked in telesales before?
Does the candidate have telesales experience? Do they have experience that carries over to telesales?
15. What do you like the most about sales?
Does the candidate’s response seem genuine? Do they seem passionate about sales?
16. What do you dislike the most about sales?
Are the candidate’s dislikes understandable? Do they seem incompatible with the job?
17. Can you tell me about your go-to sales strategy?
How do the candidate’s strategies align with the techniques used at the company?
18. What makes you qualified for this position?
What skills or training contribute to the candidate’s ability to do this job?
19. What’s the best sale you’ve ever made and why?
How significant is the candidate’s best sale? How does it match up against current employees’ sales?
20. What do you do when a sale gets declined?
How does the candidate handle disappointment? Can they bounce back quickly?
21. How do you establish long-term relationships with your clients?
Does the candidate understand the value of relationship-building in sales?
22. Can you tell me about a time when you made a mistake during a sale? How did you overcome it?
How does the candidate handle mistakes? Do they address them right away? Hide them?
Does the candidate’s sales strategy align with the company’s preferred approach?
24. What kinds of telesales do you have experience with? B2B? B2C?
How much sales experience does the candidate have? Are they familiar with different types of sales? B2B Sales and B2C.
25. How do you manage and meet your sales quotas?
What strategies does the candidate use to stay motivated and achieve their goals?
26. Have you ever not met a sales quota? If so, what happened?
Does the candidate make excuses for not meeting goals? Do they learn from their mistakes?
Industry and Company-Specific Questions
In addition to getting to know each candidate and learning about their experience, you also need to find out what they know about your company and the sales world. The following questions can help you figure this out:
27. What can you tell me about our company?
Has the candidate done their homework? Have they taken the time to learn about the business?
28. What can you tell me about our products or services?
How much research has the candidate done? Do they know what the company sells?
29. What do you know about our target customers?
Does the candidate know whom they’re trying to reach when they place sales calls?
30. Do you know what kinds of sales we make here?
Does the candidate know if they will be making B2B or B2C sales calls?
31. This job requires you to work independently often. Is it easy for you to self-motivate and work on your own?
Does the candidate seem capable of working alone?
32. This job requires you to work as part of a team. Is it easy for you to collaborate with other salespeople and sales managers?
Does the candidate seem like a team player who knows how to work with a group?
33. This is a high-pressure work environment. How well do you respond to pressure?
How well does the candidate handle the pressure of a telesales job?
34. This is a competitive work environment? Do you feel you perform better or worse when competing with other salespeople?
Does the candidate seem to embrace healthy competition or shun it?
35. How do you stay informed about the latest updates in the sales sector?
Is the candidate committed to learning about the telesales world? Do they go above and beyond to stay informed?
36. How do you think the most effective sales strategies have changed in the last X years?
Does the candidate understand telesales techniques and how they’ve changed or improved?
37. What do you think is the biggest issue holding back salespeople in our field?
Does the candidate seem to understand the strengths telesales reps need to develop?
How well does the candidate understand the latest sales trends and their effectiveness?
39. Which sales trends/techniques are the least effective?
Does the candidate grasp different trends and their benefits/drawbacks?
Of course, you must ensure the person you hire has at least some knowledge of the telesales industry. These telesales-specific questions can help you assess each person’s understanding of the job and what it entails:
40. Why do you want to work in the telesales field?
What interests the candidate about the telesales field? Do they seem invested in this industry?
41. What is the difference between telesales and telemarketing?
Does the candidate know that telesales is about closing a deal and telemarketing is about building brand awareness?
42. What is your greatest strength as a telesales professional?
Does the candidate have telesales-specific strengths and skills?
43. What is a telesales professional’s most critical skill?
Does the candidate have telesales-specific strengths they admire or want to develop?
44. What do you like the most about telesales?
Does the candidate know enough about telesales to know what they like about the field?
45. What do you like the least about telesales?
Does the candidate know enough about telesales to know what they don’t like about the field?
46. How will you improve our telesales strategy?
Is the candidate committed to continuous learning and development?
47. What factors contribute to a successful telesales call?
Does the candidate know how to connect with a prospective client and convert them to a paying customer?
48. What is the biggest obstacle telesales representatives must overcome?
Does the candidate know how to make a sale even in a difficult situation?
How well does the candidate respond to rejection? Do they take things too personally?
50. How easy is it for you to stick to a telesales script?
Can the candidate follow the rules and stick to the assigned script, or are they tempted to deviate?
51. Do you know the difference between B2B and B2C sales?
Does the candidate know that B2B stands for business to business and B2C stands for business to consumer?
52. Have you ever made cold calls before?
Is the candidate comfortable with cold calling? Does it matter if they’re not? What’s the best Cold Calling Tips that they use?
Situation-based questions give you valuable insight into how a candidate will handle issues that often come up in Telesales. You can run a Sales Role Play and here are also some of the best questions to ask during the interview:
53. Pick any item in this room. How would you sell it to me over the phone?
How strong are the candidate’s sales skills? Do they have potential?
54. Imagine a scenario where you have to put a client on hold, but they’re resistant. How do you handle this situation?
How persuasive is the candidate? Do they seem equipped to handle reticent prospects?
55. Telesales can get monotonous. How will you deal with the repetitive nature of the job and avoid letting it affect your work?
Is the candidate capable of handling repetitive work?
56. Imagine a situation where a potential client rejects your sales pitch. How do you respond?
Does the candidate have a solid strategy for gracefully handling rejection?
57. Imagine a situation in which a customer gets angry with you over the phone. How do you respond?
Can the candidate manage an angry prospect or customer without losing their cool?
58. Let’s say you get critical feedback from a manager after completing a sales call. How do you respond to and apply their feedback?
How well does the candidate respond to criticism? Do they take it personally?
59. Imagine we’re getting close to the end of the quarter, and you haven’t met your sales quota. What will you do to get caught up?
Is the candidate capable of buckling down in high-pressure situations?
60. Sometimes, telesales reps are met with suspicion. What would you say to a potential client to put them at ease?
Does the candidate know how to handle various types of people, including those who are suspicious?
61. Take a look at this sales script. What would change about it?
Does the candidate know what makes a strong sales script?
62. Let’s say you’re on a call, and the prospect seems moderately interested. How do you close the deal?
How well does the candidate win people over and encourage them to try a particular product or service?
63. Image you’re talking to a prospect and can tell they’re losing interest. How do you get their attention and draw them back in?
Can the candidate catch people’s attention and interest them in a product or service?
64. Can you tell me how you make up for the lack of face-to-face contact in telesales?
How strong are the candidate’s verbal communication skills? Do they know the value of voice inflection, appropriate pauses, etc.?
Culture Fit Questions
Before hiring a new telesales rep, you must ensure they fit in with your company culture. These culture fit questions can help you choose the best candidate:
65. What gets you excited about coming to work each day?
Does the candidate seem like a motivated, positive professional? Will they improve the environment at the company?
66. What keeps you motivated to continue making sales calls, even on days when you receive a lot of rejection?
What motivates the candidate? Do they seem capable of staying positive even during challenging times?
67. What can your sales manager do to best support you?
Does the candidate know what they need from others to do their job well?
68. How would you describe the culture at your last job?
Is the candidate familiar with the concept of company culture? Can they describe a company’s culture adequately?
69. What did you like or dislike about the culture at your last job?
Does the candidate know what makes a positive or negative company culture?
70. What do you know about our company culture?
How familiar is the candidate with the company and its values?
71. How do you stay organised?
Does the candidate value organisation? Is it vital that they do to be part of this company?
72. What steps do you take to ensure you meet your monthly or quarterly sales quota?
Does the candidate value goal-setting and achievement?
73. Would you describe yourself as an introvert or extrovert?
Does the candidate know their strengths and weaknesses? Is introversion or extroversion more valued at the company?
74. How do you think this job will challenge you?
Does the candidate value being challenged? Are they aware of where they have room to grow?
75. What steps do you take to continue improving your telesales skills?
Does the candidate value continuing education? Do they strive to improve in their chosen field? What Sales Training Courses have they taken in the past?
76. How do you identify gaps in your sales strategy?
Is the candidate good at building relationships with colleagues and customers?
81. How do you persuade others to see things your way?
Can the candidate be persuasive without being manipulative?
82. How do you handle talking about sensitive information?
Does the candidate know how to be discreet when needed?
83. How do you handle working with people who aren’t good communicators?
Can the candidate work with people who struggle to communicate?
84. How would you describe your communication style?
Is the candidate self-aware?
85. How do you respond when communicating with someone who’s frustrated or angry?
Is the candidate able to manage difficult emotions?
Legal and Ethics Questions
When asking interview questions for a telesales role, you should also consider laws and ethics. Here are some specific legal and ethical questions to ask:
86. What do you know about the UK’s telesales and telemarketing laws?
Is the candidate familiar with the regulations regarding telesales? Is their information accurate and up-to-date?
87. What best practices ensure compliance with UK telesales laws?
Does the candidate know to do basic things like finding out who has consented to receive calls and identifying themselves right away?
88. Which regulatory bodies set rules and guidelines for telesales professionals?
Is the candidate familiar with organisations like the ICO, Ofcom, and CTPS?
89. Have you ever witnessed a colleague do something illegal or unethical while on a call?
Does the candidate have a good sense of right and wrong?
90. How would you respond if you witnessed illegal or unethical activity?
Is the candidate willing to speak up when they see something illegal or unethical happening?
Try These Telesales Interview Questions Today
Deciding which telesales interview questions to ask can be tricky at first. If you use this list of interview questions and answers for inspiration, though, you’ll have a much easier time figuring out what to ask your candidates and how to choose the best person for the role.