Sales Development reps (SDRs) have a reputation for knowing what to say, which can be tricky to evaluate correctly during an interview. As a hiring manager, asking the correct questions is key to assessing the potential and seeing how the candidate will fit into your organization. Here are just a few examples of SDR interview questions that you can use in your next recruitment process.
In this article:
- Why do you want a career in sales?
- Why did you apply for the role with (company name)?
- Can you do a demo call with a colleague right now?
- Do you have any questions?
- Curveball question.
- Rate this interview and tell us how you could improve it?
- What hobbies do you invest time and money into?
- What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
- What’s a recent thing you’ve learned?
SDR Interview Questions Techniques Explained
SDR interview questions should be focused around prospecting and other SDR functions, but typically to get candidates to provide detailed responses to tough questions. Segregated sales teams call on SDRs to source revenue in a bespoke manner, and candidates need to show their energy, confidence, team-player skills, and coachability.
SDR Interview Questions
Why do you want a career in sales?
Although a classic and straightforward question, asking your interviewee why they want (or why they chose) a career in sales is a great opener, which should get them talking broadly. There are a variety of answers to this question, and you’ll get a good idea of how passionate your candidate is about sales. If they are instinctive, they will be able to talk about the current climate of the industry and possibly relate it to your organization.
Why did you apply for the role with (company name)?
TThis next question leads on from the first very naturally. Your candidate has said why they love sales, but now they need to tell you why they want to work in your organization. Interviewees should be well prepared for this one and have done their homework and research. Candidates who’ve done a basic check of your company’s website might likely fall through the cracks for a role that is based on personalized communication. What you’re trying to glean from them is something original and something which really tells you they would be a good fit for your organization. You’ll be able to gauge how they perceive your company, and again, their passion should come through about your product or service.
Can you do a demo call with a colleague right now?
Arrange for a demo call, whichever style suits the role; it would entail a colleague from another office or a second interviewer in the room. Get your candidate to prospect, and if they can pitch your product, even better. This will clearly show you who has done research on your organization’s product, and who has all the ‘sales’ characteristics you’re looking for. If your potential candidate is unable to do this comfortably, then it’s unlikely they will have the confidence to make calls on the job or will be able to handle pressure and show poise.
Do you have any questions?
This is another classic SDR interview question possibly used in every interview. What you want to be demonstrated is how much ‘homework’ your candidate has done. Answering a question that isn’t about the role, product, or culture might put you off your interviewee. Ideally, you want to hear several well-planned questions that will reveal a lot about what your candidate finds important in their job. Asking this question early in the interview negates the chance for your candidate to say something like ‘no, I think you covered it all.’
Throwing in a curveball question is a fun way to liven an interview and to see how your candidate reacts. It’s unlikely your interviewee is a bag of nerves because of the role they are applying for, but breaking the ice always helps to build rapport and relaxed people will often talk more and give you a better insight into their character. The whimsical question also lets you see how quickly your potential rep can respond, and how they think on their feet.
Examples might be: –
- If you had to be a kitchen utensil, what would you be and why?
- If you had $1,000 and you had to double it in a day, how would you do this?
Rate this interview and tell us how you could improve it?
This could be a telling question – will the candidate talk about how they think they have failed or what they can do to improve their side of the interview, or will they talk about how they think you could improve your questions, etc. Uncomfortable questions like this one force the candidate to sell themselves. Hiring someone who sounds self-entitled could be a headache for the team, but someone who sees strengths in others but can also elaborate on their own strengths is a winner.
What hobbies do you invest time and money into?
Asking what hobbies someone invests time and money into, and why, is an interesting alternative to the original ‘what hobbies do you have’ question. You will be able to evaluate the cultural fit of your candidate with your organization and team and open a discussion about the values of money and time. Sales reps are usually proactive and energetic, so this is likely to reflect on their hobbies.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Or a spin on this question; what is your greatest achievement? Ideally, your candidate will tell you something that meant a lot to them, show you their passion, and indicate what qualifies as hard work. They should detail what they had to do to achieve their goal, and hopefully, they will give an SDR work-related answer and a personal goal.
What’s a recent thing you’ve learned?
Part of an SDRs job is to ask insightful questions or make personalized communications with prospects. So, they often have to learn new tools, platforms, or techniques to get the best responses. By asking this question, they will hopefully tell you a great trick they incorporated into their role. They shouldn’t have any problems being enthusiastic and demonstrating their curiosity at work.
What time of day do you do your first-time calls? What sales mistakes have you made in the past? Please share your sales mistakes and thoughts in the comments section below.