Q 31: What all qualities are needed to become a successful salesperson?
Description/purpose of the question: To check your awareness about sales and marketing, will normally be asked only when you are applying for sales and marketing profiles.
Common mistakes: ‘Sir, I think one should have good communication skills’. Yes, communication skills are important, but you should talk about the other skills that are also needed. Please be prepared to explain certain terms like negotiation and persuasion in case you use them as they are also essential skills for a salesperson.
Sample answer: I think in order to become a successful salesperson one should have the following qualities:
Communication skills, persuasion & negotiation skills, process and product knowledge, empathy (to understand customer needs), active listening, passion, eagerness towards learning and self-development.
I think the very first step is active listening. A customer might tell you a long story, but still you have to listen to him patiently. If required paraphrase (confirm your understanding with the customer like ‘if I understood you correctly, you mean xyz’). We should empathize with him if he is facing problems and try to give him a solution. Every customer wants to be helped and no one wants to be sold.
One should have immense product and process knowledge so that he can explain all the benefits of a particular product and at the same time handle all sorts of possible queries.
Negotiation and persuasion skills are also required so that you can convince your customer that you are giving the best solution to him.
Last but not the least I think communication skills, your passion and eagerness to learn new things play the most vital role. You might come across a couple of difficult customers , and a lot of time might get wasted while interacting with them without any effective results, but still the next customer has to be treated as a your first customer of the day. You have to help him with the same amount of energy that you had in the beginning of the day. All these would not be possible if you do not have passion in what you are doing. You have to learn from your own mistakes and always try to carry a smile on your face (non-verbal communication skills) while you are interacting with your customers, and all these will surely help people in their sales careers.
Q32: Why do you want to start working, rather you should go for higher studies?
Description/purpose of the question: To check if you are applying for his job as a stopgap, and would run away after sometime when you get a chance of higher studies.
Common mistakes: ‘Sir, I am a fresher and I want to support myself and my family financially’. Yes, this is a valid point, but everyone will give the same answer. Please try to think of some other pointers while answering.
Sample answer: As mentioned earlier, I have some specific goals. The day I joined this engineering college, I prepared a long term goal of getting a job. I started preparing myself accordingly, and also started preparing step goals to evaluate my position after every 2 to 3 months to ensure that I am always on track with respect to my long term goal. Today I am confident that I have the required skills (domain knowledge and soft skills) to get a job. I think you should choose a profession that is your passion and your strength, and that is when you will achieve success.
If I start working now, I will be able to utilize the knowledge gained over the past few years. If I get this job, I am pretty sure that I will be able to contribute as per my deliverables and also develop myself so that I can get promoted to the next level as soon as possible as per the company policies. Had I gone for higher studies, it would have taken 2 to 3 more years to complete the same, and then only I could have joined some company. Agreed that it would have added to my existing skillsets, but at the same time I would have lost out this opportunity of gaining work experience for these years and also promotion opportunities that might come my way. Moreover, if required I would enroll myself in some distance education courses so that I can learn while I earn.
To summarize, I have decided to prioritize work over studies now considering different factors like time, money and existing skillsets and think that it is a wise decision.
Q 33: Explain a situation when you had successfully completed sales, and what all did you do to ensure successful completion of sales?
Description/purpose of the question: To check if you have practical experience in sales. These questions will normally be asked only when you are applying for sales & marketing profiles.
Common mistakes: ‘No sir, I have never sold anything to anyone’. Many people might not have sold any product, but think of examples where you had sold solutions.
Sample answer: I feel that you need to have good sales skills in order to become successful in any profession. For example, even if someone is working in a non-sales profile, like a technical profile and he has come up with a better solution, he will have to sell his idea to his seniors, convince them and then only the new idea will be accepted and implemented.
I had a similar experience before. Once I had to sell a new idea. (“Talk about any new idea that you had proposed which got accepted. The approach should be (RADPAC: Rapport, analyze, discuss, propose, agree and close”).
Although I have never been involved in selling a product, I am sure, if someone follows the technique mentioned above, and if he has certain key qualities needed for sales, he will be successful in making a career in the field of sales.
Q34: How do you work under pressure?
Description/purpose of the question: To check your emotional intelligence, your capability to handle stress during tough times.
Common mistakes: ‘Yes sir, I have worked under stress’. Avoid one liner answers like these and give proper examples to justify your answer.
Sample answer: All of us are quite used to stress and pressure as we all have to go through stressful situations in our lives. A few of them could be competitive examinations, quitting certain hobbies that you had once liked due to studies, stress about project deadlines etc.
One should find out ways to handle pressure. For example, a daily ‘to-do’ list should help people in time-related stresses. A proper planning (primary and backup plans) also help people to handle difficult situations without much of a hassle. Lastly you should have hobbies, and spend at least half an hour everyday on them to maintain a work-life balance.
Q 35: How do you feel about doing repetitive work?
Description/purpose of the question: No matter how much passion people have for their work, they start getting bored after they have spent a year or two in their current job role and that starts impacting their quality of work. Companies want to check what all can you think of to ensure that the same level of enthusiasm remains even after you have spent a good amount of time @ your workplace doing the same thing.
Common mistakes: ‘Sir, I do not get bored easily’. Again very generic and not at all a good response. All of us get bored, and we all should develop ways to come out of boredom.
Sample answer: One can attain perfection, and also find out better ways of doing things if he has done that many times.
As per the competency theory of learning one has to move from the phase of unconditional incompetence to unconditional competence (Step1: I do not know that I do not know; Step2: I know that I do not know; Step3: I know that I know; Step4: I do not know that I know) and then only he can be called a master of doing that activity. This also boosts up his self-confidence.
At the same time, while doing the same thing again and again, he can come up with better ways of doing that thing, and this is what we call continuous improvement.
However, everything has its saturation point, and someone cannot keep doing the same thing endlessly. He will definitely start getting bored after he has exhausted all possible ways of improvement, and has done that activity for a very long time. In these cases he should take up some hobbies, take short breaks after every 2 to 3 hours, and keep on upgrading himself so that he can move to some other role.