Interview Question Guide

Sales Development Representative

Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) are generally responsible for moving qualified sales leads through the initial stages of the sales pipeline. SDRs focus on ‘outbound’ leads by identifying, connecting, and qualifying leads that have particularly high buying potential. Doing so requires them to research, proactively reach out, and develop knowledge of particular markets and customer segments. Context is important to consider when hiring Sales Development Representatives. Some key factors include prospecting volume, industry, and customer persona. This template contains interview content for a SDR who needs to do high-volume prospecting in professional services and technology industries.

Core skills for Sales Development Representatives


Relationship Building


Lead Qualification


Sales Closing




Business Acumen


Organizational Skills



How to effectively interview Sales Development Representatives

While it might seem difficult to figure out whether a candidate will succeed as a Sales Development Representative (SDR) in your company, a well-developed set of interview questions that tap into the core skills required to perform in a SDR role will go a long way in helping you decide. 

But where do you start? How do you develop a set of great interview questions? 

The best interview questions come directly from a job analysis. A job analysis is an evidence-based method that focuses on assessing key features of a particular role. These features describe both the job itself (i.e., tasks, responsibilities, and performance objectives), and the characteristics required of someone to perform successfully in the job (e.g., knowledge, skills, and abilities). A job analysis forms the basis of many HR practices such as compensation, performance management, and - you guessed it - how to interview and hire candidates. 

At Hireguide, we’ve done the job analysis work for you. We’ve used the method to identify a core set of skills associated with the Sales Development Representative role, and we’ve developed and validated a list of behavioral, situational, and work sample questions with answer guides that tap directly into those core skills. And that’s not all. We’ve compiled these questions and created a BD Specialist Interview Template for you that integrates other interviewing best practices. Skills-based interviews will not only help you make higher quality and evidence-based hiring decisions, but research also shows they enhance fairness and reduce bias in your hiring process. 

Example interview questions to ask

Question 1

We're going to do a short, two-minute enactment. Imagine I am a potential customer for [insert company’s product/service]. How would you run a cold call?

Answer Tips

  • Asks questions to learn about the customer's needs
  • Uses active listening skills (e.g., repeats identified needs back to customer)
  • Identifies whether the product/service is a good fit for the customer
  • Tailors the call to the customer's needs and focuses on the solution
  • Is warm, personable, and authentic

Question 2

Think back to a time you conducted research on a prospect/client to personalize a sales experience for them. How did you apply your research to personalize their experience?

Answer Tips

  • Identifies ways the product is suited to the client’s specific needs
  • Actively learns about the client by analyzing data accessible to them
  • Identifies and emphasizes features that impact the client in a positive way
  • Adapts their message in real-time by listening to prospect/client feedback
  • Consistently updates and tailors the sales process to meet client needs

Get more SDR interview questions and tips with a free Hireguide account