Top 18 Sales Associate Interview Questions and Answers

Updated on: April 2, 2022

So your resume and other job application credentials have finally led you to an interview for the sales associate position.

What is the next step from here?

Since it took a lot of hard work to get an interview, you must make sure that you pass this step.

But, interviews are no joke; they need to be taken very seriously as an interview does not guarantee a job.

What guarantees a job is preparation for an interview.

From the time that the buildup of a meeting starts with the real questioning and answering, everything is significant.

The stress of a conversation can often make you feel that you are unprepared even though you know your work inside out.

Apart from this, you may be apprehensive about getting past the interview stage, and this can be a downer for many of us.

But it does not have to be such a harrowing experience.

You can eliminate most of your fears by planning and preparing for an interview. Anticipated questions and how to answer them is one of the most important things.

While you may be able to provide a long answer to a question asked of you, don’t bother going into tedious detail. Stay focused.

Related: Sales Associate Resume

18 Common Sales Associate Interview Questions and Answers

1. Tell me about yourself?

I am a self-starter, energetic, and extroverted individual. I am a sales graduate and am fluent in English and Spanish. I like interacting with multicultural people and have good convincing power.

2. What do you believe are the essential characteristics of a sales associate?

Sales associates need to have comprehensive information about the products that they are endorsing. They should also be able to handle their time efficiently and possess exceptional communication skills. Additionally, sales associates should have mathematical accuracy and the ability to think quickly.

3. Which skill do you believe is the most important to be a successful sales professional? Why?

While there isn’t just one skill that makes sales associates successful, I believe that the ability to adjust one’s approach to different types of customers and the situation is crucial.

That is because one comes across many different cases in a day (many of them not pleasant), and one needs to be able to handle them all efficiently.

4. What do you like and dislike about the sales process? How do you handle the dislike part?

I love the buzz that challenges provide me with. It is a great feeling to achieve your targets and make customers happy. What I don’t like about the process is that sometimes, the pressure gets a little too much to handle because one is working in an environment that is very fast-paced.

But I know that one cannot possibly like everything about a job, but the job needs to be done. I take frequent timeouts and ensure that I don’t get frustrated.

5. What are the three core competencies a successful sales associate must-have?

Customer service, communication, and persuasion.

6. What is ISO 9001?

It is an internationally accepted document that guidelines the quality policies for consumers and sellers.

7. What have you done to improve your knowledge of sales techniques during the last year?

I participated in on-the-job-trainings and was actively involved in various workshops aimed at promoting new and upcoming sales and marketing strategies.

8. Why did you choose this field?

I like meeting new people and am good at convincing them. I always wanted a job that allows me to meet people of different backgrounds on a daily basis. Therefore a sales associate position sounded ideal for me.

9. Do you have any experience in cataloging, inventory keeping, and shelf stocking?

Yes, in my previous role, I was responsible for all three. I also earned the ‘most creative display award’, thanks to my unique and practical ability to display the merchandise to be sold attractively and appealingly.

10. How do you maintain an updated knowledge base of the products you are selling?

During my free time, I go through various product catalogs to update my knowledge regarding the same.

11. What initiatives do you take to retain clientele?

I am adept at practicing high-quality PR  able to keep a contacts book and send out greeting messages on Christmas and Easter to remain in contact. I also send out promotional messages when a new product is launched or to revive sales of an old product.

12. Do you have any experience in handling Cash registers?

Yes, I am well versed in handling tills, cash registers, cash drawers, and POS.

13. What general tasks have you previously performed in the role of a sales associate?

Since I was the first point of contact, it was my responsibility to interact with customers and make sure that their needs were met concerning locating items and assisting them through the purchase process.

14. Do you have experience facing a problematic client?

Once a lady arrived, when I was at Macy’s cosmetics section. She asked for a skin product that could conceal dark spots. I guided her accurately based on her skin type. She came back five days later with the product seal opened and the bottle half-used and claimed a refund.

Also, I handled her tactfully by explaining various seasonal factors affecting/resisting dark spot treatment. She ended up buying a booster product to support the action of the previous cream and left the store quite happy.

15. Why did you want to work in the sales arena?

I have an inherent skill that makes it easy for me to convince people to buy things and apply for services. Wanting to put it to good use, I decided to work as a sales associate and have been quite successful so far.

16. What has been your highest success as a sales associate?

My biggest accomplishment has been a success in satisfying all customers assigned to be a 100%, and zero complaints in the last five years. I deem a happy a customer as return business!

17. What skills, apart from customer service, do you believe are important to be successful as a sales associate?

The gift of gab is what works best. Apart from good communication skills. It is important for sales associates to be knowledgeable about the company’s products and their features so that they can demonstrate them efficiently. Being well-organized, with a great ability to cross-sell products and services is also important.

18. Have you ever found yourself to be in a situation where your mettle as a salesperson was tested?

Oh yes! There was a time when the customer to whom I was giving a demonstration knew more about the product than I did since he had worked for the company. He kept throwing very difficult questions at me, expecting me to fail. Thankfully, I had just finished training and was almost as well-versed about the product as he was and managed to not falter!

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