Interview Guides

Sales Manager Interview Guide

This interview guide for Sales Manager roles will help you to quickly identify which candidates should be on your shortlist. By asking these Sales interview questions and assessing answers against the indicators provided, which will help you determine better which are the high performing candidates.

To be effective, however, these Sales interview questions need to be utilised early in the recruitment process to ensure only high performing candidates make it onto your shortlist and attend the final face to face interviews.

Using Video Interviewing as your screening tool can ensure this. It allows you to make sure all candidates are asked the same key interview questions. Video Interviewing allows you to identify high performing candidates earlier in the recruitment process. This means you can be confident that all the candidates you meet face to face have the skills required to be successful in the role.

This guide was prepared by our Head of Assessment Design, Claire Crisp (BSc, MSc, C.Psychol).


  • Manages performance of sales executives
  • Owns delivery of team sales target
  • Oversees key client accounts
  • Prepares sales and forecasting reports

Key Competencies Required


  • Managing and Developing Others
  • Negotiation
  • Commercial Acumen


  • Client Development
  • Resilience
  • Creativity and Innovation

Interview Questions

Below are two Sales interview questions which will help you identify and eliminate those candidates who do not possess the managing and developing others and negotiation skills required to be successful in a Sales Manager role. To support these Sales interview questions, we’ve prepared a rating system to help you evaluate a candidates’ answer.

  1. To assess Managing and Developing Others- “Give me an example of a person you have managed who was underperforming. How did you address this?”
  2. To assess Negotiation- “Tell me about a time when you have had to negotiate heavily with a client in order to close a large sale. What approach did you take?”

How to assess: Managing and Developing Others  

A suitable candidate will empower and motivate others to reach their full potential. They will give constructive feedback and coach and develop others to improve their performance.  

Positive Behaviours54321Negative Behaviours
Addresses poor performance with team members head-onSkirts around performance issues with team members
Provides constructive feedback Provides minimal / unconstructive feedback
Asks questions and listens to others to ensure full understanding of a situationTalks at team members; fails to listen actively and openly
Offers sources of training and development to othersFails to identify or offer training and development opportunities
Coaches others in areas of poor performance Tells others what to do; does not help others’ address poor performance

How to assess: Negotiation

A suitable candidate will take their time to negotiate and reach an effective outcome. They will identify and remove barriers and ensure they reach an outcome which is satisfactory to both parties.

Positive Behaviours54321Negative Behaviours
Identifies and removes barriers to agreement Allows barriers to affect negotiations
Maintains a firm position within negotiationsGives in easily when in negotiations e.g. offers heavy discounts quickly
Focuses on achieving a result which works for both partiesSeeks to win; disregards the need for ongoing relationships
Takes the time required to reach an effective outcomeRushes negotiations; moves too quickly

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