We live in a consumption driven world. Buying something, be it a car, a handbag, or even a strawberry ice cream on a hot August day, is the greatest form of pleasure for many people. A dopamine rush, a short-lived feeling of happiness. Once it perishes, we go on and buy something else. But who do we buy from a new car, an insurance plan, a house, or an advanced computer software? We buy it from the sales people, who make money by selling products, services, dreams, or illusions… No wonder sales is one of the most popular career fields, with millions of employees working in it, just in the English speaking world. Can you also get in?
Interviewing for any sales job, you will face several tricky questions. Perhaps the most tricky one is the role play, such as “sell me this pen“, or “try to sell me your mobile phone“. But there is one question you will get in nine out of ten interviews for any sales job, and that’s the dreaded “Why are you interested in sales?” question (or another forms of it, such as “Why do you want to work in sales?”, or “Why did you choose a career in sales?” which is practically the same thing).
Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to the question. My list includes some obvious choices, but also some unconventional answers for people who prefer to stand out in their interviews, saying something else than the rest of the job applicants will say to the hiring managers. Do not forget to read also my notes below the answers, where I give some additional explanations to the question, and to some mistakes you should avoid while answering it.
7 sample answers to “Why are you interested in sales?” interview question
- I am interested in sales because I find it the best fit for my strengths and personality. I feel like a fish in a water pitching someone. I’ve always enjoyed convincing people to do this or that thing, be it my family members, friends, or colleagues at work. And I’ve been pretty successful in my efforts. What’s more, I do not find it hard to deal with rejection, and simply move on to another customer. I would go as far as saying that I have a natural salesman in me, that I was born for this profession. And I cannot really imagine doing anything else for a living.
- I love one thing about sales. Sky is the limit really, for an excellent and hardworking sales representative. It is not uncommon to see the best sales reps from companies earning more than the top managers do earn, simply because they earn the majority of money from sales commissions. I do not like the model with a fixed monthly salary, earning the same as the next guy, though I put in twice as much effort each month. I like to get what I deserve, and one can definitely get it in sales. That’s the main reason for my choice.
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- I’ve been working in sales for ten years now, in all kinds of settings. A retail store, an ISP provider, a call center. Now I’d like to move to B2B sales, because I feel that I’ve gained the necessary experience to make something happen. I have experienced all sorts of situations with customers, and dealt with every possible objection and complaint. Why would I change my career field now, starting from scratch, instead of benefiting from everything I’ve learned up to this point of my life? That’s why I’m interested in sales, and especially in your job offer.
- To be honest, I do not have much choice. I’ve been an entrepreneur for seven years, and I’ve never really focused on formal education. But my small firm went out of business because of the pandemic, and I have to look for a job now. The competition is stiff out there though, people fighting for jobs in every sector of economy. And with my resume, nobody is going to invite for an interview for some managerial or engineering position, simply because I lack the formal qualifications. Sales is my only real option for a well-paid job. And I believe I know what it takes to sell something, because each entrepreneur needs to be a good salesman, either selling their product, or their skills…
- I’m interested in sales because I believe it is the best choice for a fresh graduate. You learn the most important skills in sales–interpersonal skills, conflict resolution, persuasion, understanding different personalities and sales techniques. And one can earn very well in the field. Having said that, I do not know if I stay within the filed for my entire professional career. Maybe I will later progress to management or marketing, or whatever, but I feel that an entry level sales job is the right start for my professional career.
- Money is the answer. I do not want to be a mediocre individual living a mediocre life. I dream big, and I want to enjoy lavish lifestyle. Sure, I won’t become a professional soccer player now, or a rock star. But I can still earn big on commissions, as long as I try hard enough, put in the effort, improve my sales techniques, and so on. I honestly do not think that there’s a field of employment that offers better possibilities than sales, for someone with my education. Hence it is an obvious choice.
- To be honest, I do not really have any preference. What matters for me is working for your company. I just love your brand, and have an utmost respect for what you do here, for the things you’ve achieved over the years. Sure, I cannot get in as an engineer, or a programmer, simply because I do not have the qualifications. But I can become part of your team as a sales representative, simply because I meet the basic job requirements. And once I am in, who knows what will happen? As long as I prove my skills and deliver, I can find myself having a managerial position here in five years time. Why not?
In nine out of ten interviews, talking about money (how much you want to earn, that you dream of big houses and cars, and so on) is a bad answer. In sales interviews, however, you can, and sometimes even should, talk about money.
Selling is a tough profession, and nothing is guaranteed. You may make fifteen thousand dollars one month, generating some crazy sales volume, and then barely two thousand the next month, experiencing a dry period and a series of rejections. And you will always have to put in the effort, contacting prospects, going to meetings, dealing with rejection.
Money earned in sales is well-deserved. And when you earn big on commissions, it means that you are generating huge sales volume for your employer. That’s why they want you to earn big, and it makes a perfect sense to show such an ambition in your interview, while explaining your desire to work in sales.
* Special Tip: Interviews for sales jobs are particularly difficult, and this isn’t by far the most difficult question you will face while interviewing for any decent sales job. You will face questions about prioritization, dealing with pressure, meeting sales goals, and other tricky scenarios that happen in the workplace. If you want to make sure that you stand out with your answers and outclass your competitors, have a look at our Interview Success Package. Up to 10 premium answers to 31 tricky scenario based questions (+ more) will make your life much easier in the interviews. Thank you for checking it out!
Honesty can take you a long way in this case
Maybe you apply for a job in sales, simply because you do not have another option. You’ve been running a small business for years, but things came to an abrupt end during the pandemic. You are left with nothing but debt.
And since you focused on running the business, you haven’t really progressed in your education, earned a degree, and whatever. Hence it would make absolutely no sense sending applications for managerial and engineering positions. Positive replies and invitations for interviews just wouldn’t come back.
In such a case, a sales job (any kind of a sales job), is an ideal choice for you. Because you can benefit from your experience with running a business, and you can still earn decent money, and perhaps maintain your lifestyle…
Focus on product, or their company
Another alternative is focusing on the product, service, or simply the company in question. Maybe you have a dream employer. Perhaps it is Amazon, Google, or some local non-profit with a worthy cause. You just love what they are doing, or the company culture, or the employee benefits, or anything else.
You want to get in, and you see sales as your gateway. Because you won’t have a chance applying for some other jobs with the company. That’s the reason why you went for it, and it okay to say so, as long as you do not see this job just as a means to an end. Sure, the place of work is your priority and not the position, but you still think that you have the right personality for sales, and can actually make something happen for your employer…
Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Check also 7 sample answers to other tricky interview questions:
- Tell us about a time when you successfully used persuasion to convince someone.
- Sell me this pen – role play.
- Tell us one thing about yourself you wouldn’t want us to know.