Sales and marketing interview questions (with answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 25 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Sales and marketing professionals work across a wide range of industries, using their skills in communication to promote and sell products and services. If you're considering a career in marketing or sales, presenting yourself in an interview is one of the most critical hiring stages. As a role that requires strong industry understanding, specific skills and expertise, interviews are ideal for potential employees to assess your skills. In this article, we share some sales and marketing interview questions employers may ask you and some answer examples to prepare you for the interview process.

What are typical sales and marketing interview questions?

Sales and marketing interview questions are tools that interviewers use to get to know you better, allowing you to talk about your experience and confidence in a sales or marketing environment. Like most interviews, initial questions in a sale and marketing interview can typically cover general topics to get insight into the kind of person you are. Once you and the interviewer establish a rapport, questions about the technical and skill-focused side of these roles provide information about how suitable you are for a specific position.

The questions interviewers ask you in a sales and marketing interview may vary depending on the role you're applying for and the kind of person they want to hire. For example, a company hiring for entry-level marketing roles may ask less about your experience than they would if you were applying for a head of marketing job. Interviewers may also have differing priorities for the person they'd like to hire, affecting interview questions. For example, a business keen on cultural fit may ask more working style questions than an employer looking for a particular skillset.

Related: How to conduct an interview (with tips and advice)

General interview questions

General questions are the foundation of most interview processes. These questions are less specific to your role and provide information for the interviewer on you as a person. For example, an interviewer may ask about your personal goals, what you like about the company or how a manager would describe you. Some examples of general interview questions include:

  • Can you tell me about yourself?

  • Can you walk me through your CV?

  • Where do you see yourself professionally in five years?

  • What do you know about our organisation?

  • Why do you want to work with us?

  • What did you enjoy most about education?

  • What makes you interested in this job?

  • What trends have you noticed in our industry?

  • What's your greatest academic or professional accomplishment?

  • What traits set you apart from other applicants?

  • What's something you've learned recently?

  • Why are you interested in sales and marketing?

  • What are three words that a manager might use to describe you?

  • What core values do you think are important to this role?

  • What kind of workplace are you looking for?

Related: How to prepare for an interview

Experience and background interview questions

Experience and background questions provide interviewers with insight into the skills and expertise you can bring to a specific role. These questions may focus on how you've handled past projects, your use of techniques or methods and scenarios you've experienced. Some examples of experience and background interview questions for sales and marketing roles include:

  • Can you describe a time you failed at a task, how you reacted and how you recovered from failure?

  • What makes you excited about coming to work in the morning?

  • What do you enjoy most about working in a sales position?

  • What kind of work do you find most enjoyable in a marketing role?

  • Have you used social media for sales purposes and can you tell me how?

  • What questions do you ask potential leads?

  • Have you ever turned away any prospects and if so, why did you choose to make this decision?

  • What method do you use to gauge how qualified a lead is?

  • How do you feel about collaborating with a wider marketing team?

  • Have you worked with outsourced marketing services and teams before?

  • What kind of person do you prefer to sell to and why?

  • Can you tell me about a time you successfully implemented a new system or process in a working environment?

  • Can you tell me about a time you motivated your team?

  • Have you ever worked with difficult prospects and how did you handle them?

  • What feedback has had the most impact on your role as a salesperson?

  • Can you describe an event you've prepared and tell me how you overcame a challenge in the process?

  • How do you ensure you consistently meet your goals?

  • What marketing campaign are you most proud of?

Related: Fun interview questions (with 30 example questions)

In-depth interview questions

In-depth interview questions challenge and test an interviewee to understand how qualified they are and their capabilities. These questions often encourage problem-solving and critical thinking or demonstrate skills essential for the role. Examples of in-depth interview questions include:

  • If we hired you for this role, how would you spend your first month on the job?

  • How do you handle difficult or combative customers?

  • How much time do you spend building relationships with customers or clients?

  • Do you approach a short and long sales cycle differently?

  • How do you remain positive and focused on difficult days?

  • How do you handle feedback and amends from managers?

  • Can you tell me about the time you won over a difficult lead and your steps to achieve that result?

  • Can you sell me something?

  • Can you give me an example of how you'd market this product?

  • Can you tell me about a time you handled a challenging customer over the phone?

  • How do you ensure rejections don't affect your performance?

  • How do you tackle learning and understanding new areas of marketing?

  • How do you build trust and rapport with your team?

  • Do you think it's more important to sell one product immediately or sell more products in the long term?

Related: 'Why Sales' Job Interview Question

Workplace specific interview questions

Alongside more general and industry-specific interview questions, an interviewer might also ask practical questions to gauge whether you're a good fit for a particular working environment. For example, if you're applying to work remotely, you may have questions about your working arrangement at home. Some examples of workplace interview questions include:

  • Where will you be working when you're at home?

  • Will you be working in an office space?

  • Are you happy to travel to the office regularly for meetings and other requirements?

  • Do you have the equipment necessary to work from home?

  • Do you have access to childcare during your remote working hours?

  • How do you feel about working in an open-plan office?

  • Can you concentrate when working in an open-plan sales environment?

  • Do you work best in a quiet or collaborative environment?

  • Ideally, how many days a week would you like to work from home?

  • Is your ideal workplace professional and formal or friendly and casual?

  • Are you willing to wear a uniform or meet specific dress code guidelines?

Related: How to search for remote work on Indeed

Sample answers for sales and marketing interview questions

Proper preparation and planning can help you to answer interview questions effectively. Thinking about what an interviewer is likely to ask can help you decide on your answers to common questions. Here are some examples of how you could answer some common interview questions:

How do you stay positive after a bad day of sales?

Answer: 'I know that not every day is going to be top of the charts when it comes to sales, but that motivates me all the more to achieve my goals the day after. While I used to let a bad day stress me out, I know that a bad day doesn't mean a bad week – and adjusting my attitude has been valuable in pushing me to try new techniques, attempt new methods and improve my selling skills. I make sure I learn my lessons from poor-selling days to adjust and adapt for the next day, to grow as a salesperson continually.'

What do you enjoy the most about working in marketing?

Answer: 'I enjoy the ability to get to know a product, understand its audience and use that information to create campaigns that are targeted, effective and as focused on a specific market as possible. For example, in my last company, we launched a product for an entirely new market and I took my time to understand the differences in the features, benefits and target demographics of that product to appeal better to the audience. By taking that time, I was able to create a social media campaign that was extremely effective in this new market.'

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