Interview Question Guide

Sales Manager

Sales Managers are primarily responsible for hitting a company’s sales targets and achieving growth by effectively managing a company’s sales team. They do so by implementing a strategic sales plan that involves setting sales goals, monitoring progress, and updating goals to ensure optimal performance. Their primary goal is usually to expand a custom base in order to grow company revenue and help the company be competitive and innovate. Sales Managers are also responsible for a team of sales representatives. They hire, set objectives, coach, and manager performance to help them grow professionally and achieve success for the company.

Core skills for Sales Managers


Strategic Sales Planning


Critical Thinking


Analytical Thinking


Verbal Communication


Customer Relationship Management




Motivating Others

How to effectively interview Sales Managers

While it might seem difficult to figure out whether a candidate will succeed as a Sales Manager in your company, a well-developed set of interview questions that tap into the core skills required to perform in a Sales Manager 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 Manager 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 Sales Manager 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

How would you best organize your time to focus on existing versus new client relationships? Why?

Answer Tips

  • Considers the company’s values, targets and goals for its client base
  • Understands that both farming and hunting are important for sales
  • Uses CRM to plan and monitor relationships and inform time allocation
  • Identifies accounts of key value to nurture and set boundaries for new clients 
  • Capitalizes on current clients to get referrals for new clients

Question 2

Imagine a scenario where the sales pipeline you implemented is not as effective between different members in the team. How would you identify and address the issue?

Answer Tips

  • Considers whether reps are dropping inactive or dead leads that waste resources
  • Determines root cause (e.g. inefficiencies, bad pricing/product, poor support)
  • Reviews targets to ensure they are achievable and tracks progress
  • Coaches reps who need performance improvements
  • Uses initiative to try new creative sales approaches

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