Interview questions for Sales Administrator

We analyzed 157 interview reviews for Sales Administrator from various job sites, social network groups and forums.

Here are the most frequent job interview questions asked by HR managers during initial phone or onsite interviews. This list does not include technical or factual questions.

10 frequent non-technical questions for Sales Administrator:

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
How would you handle a customer with difficult behavior?
What is your greatest weakness?
Tell me about your work experience. What was the most interesting?
Tell me about a time you had a conflict at work. How did you handle it? What have you learned?
What was the biggest mistake you made in your most recent job? How did you handle it?
What types of people do you find it difficult to get along with?
What is your ideal work environment?
What experience do you have in this field?
What did you do in your last role when your workload was enormous?

According to our research, hiring managers looking to fill Sales Administrator role ask soft skills interview questions 77% more frequently than for other roles.

Sales Administrator interview question statistics

1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?top question

How to answer

This question belongs to a family of behavioral, or even more precisely, reflective questions.

The interviewer wants to see whether you are reflective about yourself, whether you are ambitious and strive to grow as a professional, whether you like to learn and develop your skills.

They are also looking for your ambitions to fit the career path opportunities related to the position you are applying for.

  1. About Yourself

    Presumably, you are interested to grow professionally.

    Think about the possibilities that may lie ahead for you: take a personality test (I recommend 16Personalities which is based on Myers-Briggs test), research the internet on what career paths are possible with your skills and current job.

    What challenges do you like overcoming?

    For example, if you are applying for a software tester position, you may find it fascinating to master automated testing in full and eventually become a software engineer, or you may be a natural trainer and love coaching other people which may lead you to become a QA team or department lead, or you may be more interested in understanding business aspects of requirements which may logically lead you into a Business Analyst position.

    However, if you are happy just where you are and want to further your current skills, that is also fine as long as there is a growth path for you that can be imagined and described.

  2. About The Company

    Research the company to learn what career opportunities may be available in the department you are applying to, and what the trends are in the company in general.

    • Is the business expanding, are they opening new locations, or starting new projects?
    • Or are they heavily automating and cutting staff?

    Let’s say you are applying for a UX designer position for a brand-new product.

    In the future, if the product becomes a success - which is what the company hopes for - the company will hire more designers and you may become a lead designer, or you may become a product manager.

    On a side note: If you train your mind to be open to opportunities you will be amazed at how much this world has to offer to you!

  3. About The Fit

    And, of course, try to see where the perfect fit lies between your own potential and aspirations, and the company’s trends and hopes.

    However, beware of the risk of showing too much excitement for future opportunities compared to your attitude towards the current position.

    If you aren’t really excited about the position you are applying for and you demonstrate this lack of enthusiasm, the interviewer may conclude that you are not a good fit for the current position.

    Try to find a source of excitement in the current position as well, otherwise, you may be doing yourself a disservice by applying to a position you will find boring in 2-3 months.

Pro Tip

This question gives you a good opportunity to showcase your Key Selling Points (e.g. “As I am very good at delegating tasks, I can easily see myself leading a team of software testers in the future…”), and end your statement by asking about current initiatives and goals at the company.

It is generally NOT a good idea to say something like:

“Oh, I cannot imagine what happens to me tomorrow, let alone in 5 years”.

This will show you as a person who is unimaginative and not forward-thinking enough to grow with and be a good fit for the company.

2. How would you handle a customer with difficult behavior?

How to answer

People skills are highly valued in every company, and even so much more so in a company that deals with difficult customers occasionally. It is important to show how you can manage difficult personalities.

  1. About Yourself

    Look back on your experience. Have you worked with a difficult or disruptive person? Remember how you diffused the situation and how you turned things around.

    • Do you have certain principles, or methodology, to deal with difficult people?
    • Do you have strong people skills, are you good at conflict resolution?
    • Are you high on emotional intelligence? Can you give an example?
  2. About The Company

    • What have you found about the company and its culture?
    • What have you learned about how the employees value each other?
    • How do they treat their customers?
    • Knowing their line of business or industry, what can be some examples of difficult customers?

    Do your research.

  3. About The Fit

    A question like this asked in an interview, may be an indication that difficult customers, or other difficult stakeholders, may indeed be something that you will probably encounter in this company, and it is important for the interviewer to know that you will be able to handle this challenge with good grace.

    If you can give an example of how you handled a difficult person in the past in a situation similar to what this company may require from you, this will strongly increase your chances of showing yourself as a good fit.

Pro Tip

One methodology for diffusing a difficult situation is called “the triple A” approach:

  1. Acknowledge - what the other person is feeling,
  2. Apologize - for the way the other person is feeling,
  3. Admit - that there was an issue that you are working on to get it resolved.

If it is a customer, it would add that extra touch if you added another "A" to your approach by Asking for the customer's contact information so you can update them of any progress on their issue.

Take a quiz

Take a quick quiz and check if you’re ready to answer this question at your next job interview:

Pick the best answer:

AIf the customer is rude and obnoxious, answer in kind and show him that he cannot push you around.

BListen carefully to what the customer is saying to really understand their concerns then repeat back to them what you heard to be sure you have it right, before attempting to help them with the problem.

CTell the customer that he should have known that the sale is final and there is nothing he can do to renegotiate the terms of the deal.

3. What is your greatest weakness?

How to answer

This question ranks as the most challenging for many people. Fortunately, Mr. Simon is here to help!

Interviewers ask this question to gauge your level of self-awareness, your honesty and openness, and your capability for self-improvement.

  1. About Yourself

    No one is perfect and your interviewer doesn't expect you to be perfect either.

    While it is good to be honest and open, it will not help you to put yourself down.

    What's important is to find a weakness that you have overcome or something that is not related to the position for which you are applying.

    For example, one of our clients admitted that he is not very good at public speaking and that he has recently become a member of Toastmasters International to improve. What a respectful answer and approach, in my view!

  2. About The Company

    Research the company (website, social media, etc) to learn about the company culture.

    What personal and professional qualities do they value?

  3. About The Fit

    It is important that the weakness you decide to talk about is not one that will prevent you from performing the job for which you're applying.

    For example, if you're applying for a front-end developer position, do not talk about how you are struggling to understand HTML code.

Pro Tip

Use this question to sell yourself!

It's important to show how well you've overcome a weakness by motivating yourself and learning a new skill to grow professionally.

Take a quiz

Take a quick quiz and check if you’re ready to answer this question at your next job interview:

Which of the following would be the best answer:

ASometimes I just work too hard

BI have trouble saying “no” when a colleague asks for help and I have my own work to finish

CI am a perfectionist

DI cannot think of a single thing

Now that you have read some of our recommendations, you may wonder: “Ok, so what’s next? I seem to understand these concepts quite well and they kind of make sense to me, but how do I make sure my answers are actually in accordance with these recommendations, and I will stand out as a strong candidate in my upcoming interview?”

Good question. Assuming you are indeed qualified and fit for the position you are interviewing for, the best thing you can do is make sure the interviewer sees this fit.

There are two ways how you can leverage Mr. Simon’s expertise to help you shine your best:

  1. Go ahead and practice with the Mr. Simon app - it is a completely free, fun and helpful experience!
  2. Request a mock interview with a real human career mentor. During the session we will help you identify your Key Selling Points to emphasize in the interview, and to present them in a way that strongly communicates your value to the company. The 1-hour session costs USD 79.99 and is supplemented by 2 weeks of support via email, free of additional charge.

To request the session, shoot us an email to coaching@mrsimon.ai and attach your resume and job description to expedite the process.

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4. Tell me about your work experience. What was the most interesting?

How to answer

This question lets an interviewer gauge what makes you tick and whether the job you are applying for corresponds with your areas of excitement and enthusiasm. Such a fit will earn you important points for being a viable candidate.

  1. About Yourself

    Review the details that you shared in your resume. Select the three to five best points to highlight and relate to the position to which you're applying.

  2. About The Company

    Carefully research the company and the job description.

    Find out what duties you'll be taking on to determine which of your top skills to emphasize. Try to find out what current challenges they are trying to solve by opening this vacancy.

  3. About The Fit

    Knowing the duties for which you will be responsible will help you identify which prior experiences to highlight.

    How well you connect your previous experiences with the job requirements can tell the interviewer how prepared you are for this role and how enthusiastic you will be about your job.

Pro Tip

Do not start your answer with "as you can see from my resume," even if you have listed those skills and qualities.

Instead, tell a story showing that you can solve problems similar to their current challenges and that you are enthusiastic about this.

You can best do this through constant practice of your STARs.

5. Tell me about a time you had a conflict at work. How did you handle it? What have you learned?

How to answer

Wherever you go, you will always have to work with people. This means that there is a greater chance for conflict to happen. This question helps the interviewer determine how well you would fit within the organization.

  1. About Yourself

    Think of the times you had to deal with conflict.

    • What were the different ways you were able to address the situation?
    • If you were the cause of the conflict, how did the other person talk you down from the conflict?
    • What were the key lessons you learned through your experience?
  2. About The Company

    Research the company and its culture.

    • What do they value?
    • Is there anything that you can find about how they deal with conflict resolution?

    Reading comments to their social media posts often prove helpful to see how they react to customers' complaints.

  3. About The Fit

    • What have you found out about the company’s culture and job description?
    • Are they looking for someone who can take charge and resolve conflict?

    Tell a story of how you addressed conflict and how it turned a negative into a positive. Try to conclude with your lessons learned or methodology for approaching conflicts - this will show the interviewer that you would be able to apply your methodology to future situations.

    Use the STAR method to frame your story.

Pro Tip

A key to addressing conflict is listening, communication and emotional intelligence. Highlight these skills.

If you're able to, turn the question around and ask the interviewer if they have experienced the same thing. This will start a conversation, which is the goal of an interview.

6. What was the biggest mistake you made in your most recent job? How did you handle it?

How to answer

It’s important to know how to answer a job interview question about mistakes. They ask questions like this to learn how you handle challenges. They also want to determine your weaknesses, and decide if you have what it takes to do the job well.

It’s a chance for the interviewer to see that you can learn from your mistakes and use the experience to get better.

  1. About Yourself

    Do your best to tell a positive story about how the mistake was made, how you dealt with it and what learned from it.

    We all make mistakes from time-to-time.

    Answering some of the following questions will help you understand your own view of dealing with mistakes and their consequences. For instance:

    • How do you use a mistake to improve your abilities?
    • Are you self-aware enough to acknowledge failure and weakness?
    • Do you take smart risks?
    • How do you view success, failure, and risk in general?
    • Do you take responsibility for past mistakes instead of putting the blame on others?
    • If the situation repeats, what would you do differently? What would you do again?
  2. About The Company

    Before the interview, look over the job listing, research the company. Try to think of a mistake you have made in the past that is not too closely related to the requirements of the job you are interviewing for.

    What kind of challenges might you face if you get the job here?

  3. About The Fit

    It’s your opportunity to emphasize the skills or qualities you gained from your past negative experience that are important for the job you’re interviewing for now.

    Put a positive spin on your response by defining the “mistake” as a “learning experience” that led to your increased competency in the workplace.

    Talk about a specific example of a time you made a mistake. Briefly explain what the mistake was; quickly switch over to what you learned, or how you improved, after making that mistake.

    You might also explain the steps you took to make sure that mistake never happened again. Say that something you may have struggled with in the past has actually now became one of your strengths.

    Pick a story that ends with a compelling example of a lesson learned. Tell your story using the STAR method.

Pro Tip

Make absolutely sure that the interviewer understands that you learned from the experience.

Never blame others for what you did (however, if you were part of a team failure, you could relate this experience, just be sure to own up to your part in it).

Always be accountable for what you could have done differently in the failure.

Demonstrate that you’ve had the maturity to benefit from previous “lessons learned” and you can move on with increased wisdom and competency.

7. What types of people do you find it difficult to get along with?

How to answer

The workplace is loaded with a variety of different people with varying personalities.

That’s why people skills are highly valued in every company and it is important to show the interviewer how you can manage difficult people, especially if you are applying for a job that involves teamwork, or a lot of interactions with clients.

Your goal is to show that you can work with all kinds of people because you are more concerned with outcomes than personalities.

  1. About Yourself

    Look back on your experience.

    In what type of environment do you work your best?

    Contrast the corporate experience you like with ones that you don’t.

    • Have you ever worked with difficult people?
    • What qualities of them made it difficult for you?
    • Were they two-faced? Dishonest?
    • Maybe they used other people's ideas, presenting them as if they were their own?
    • Or they brought their personal problems to work and created a bad work atmosphere with their own frustrations? What approaches do you take communicating with a difficult person?
    • What were the key lessons you learned from the situations you had?
  2. About The Company

    Research the company to learn about its corporate culture.

    • How does it value its employees and how do they value and respect one another?
    • Is there anything that suggests that the corporate atmosphere supports excellent and outstanding behavior and discourages those behaviors that you find difficult or inappropriate?
  3. About The Fit

    For every job, it is important to have strong communication and problem-solving skills.

    If you can, give an example using the STAR method to describe a time you had a problem with a difficult team member and how you successfully reached an agreement with him for the benefit of the company.

    Remember that everything in this story should be told in a positive way.

    Focus only on the person you disagreed with professionally. By focusing on the work, you are demonstrating the work is what matters, not the personalities involved.

    Describe the approaches you took to overcome this kind of obstacle (listening, discussing, providing different perspectives, persuading etc.).

    Hiring managers want result-oriented people, so tie this together with a satisfying outcome and emphasize your lessons learned.

Pro Tip

Answering this question speaks more about you as an individual who is capable, despite some of the disagreeable people you may encounter.

Even if you prefer not to work with them, for the good of the company you will find a way to do so.

In the end this will make you appear positive and friendly, as someone that will try to find common ground with everyone.

8. What is your ideal work environment?

How to answer

Happy and motivated employees are great at work when compared to employees who are uncomfortable with the organization’s work culture. This means that work culture plays an important role in the performance of the employees.

Interviewers ask this question to understand your potential in the workplace and your personality; they want to uncover whether you’re the sort of individual who can excel in the type of environment they offer.

  1. About Yourself

    To describe your ideal work environment, you need to make the answer fit both your professional and personal preferences.

    • What inspires and motivates you?
    • What kind of work environment helps you to be at your best?
    • What talents can you reveal when you are comfortable?
    • What aspects of your character can increase your professional opportunities?
    • Are you flexible enough to adjust to different environments without any issues if needed?
  2. About The Company

    Your answer should reflect the working environment of the business you’re interviewing with, so it’s important that you research the company thoroughly.

    Head over to their website and read their mission statement and other hints at their culture.

    Look on LinkedIn for any contacts you may have that know about the company (or even better, that actually work or worked there) and reach out to them for insights. Read feedbacks on websites like Glassdoor.

    • What goals does the company have?
    • Does it have formal or informal structures?
    • What does it value in its employees?
  3. About The Fit

    Work environment not only means the culture of the company but also refers to the physical place where you will be working.

    In addition to considering the type of company you will be working for, you should also think about things such as the size of the office, the size of your future team, and what you see around you, when you are in for the interview.

    Make sure that your vision aligns with the company’s existing cultural and physical environment.

    Regardless of the size of the company, you should be able to tell the interviewer why that company fits what you are looking for.

    If you are applying to a larger company, you might want to emphasize that job security is important to you.

    If your prospective job is with a smaller company - state that knowing everyone’s name allows you to feel connected.

    To convince them that you’re the ideal candidate you should focus on your aspirations for future and professional growth.

    Also, mention your teamwork skills. Say that it should be the place where you can work with different people to produce the best results possible.

    Ensure the interviewer that you are someone who knows exactly what you want.

Pro Tip

If you want to leave a lasting impression of yourself, don’t build your answer just with the company, its website information and its manner of operations.

Try to be unique and stay away from clichés.

9. What experience do you have in this field?

How to answer

This question may help you convince the interviewer how smoothly you would fit into the position to which you are applying. It's your chance to WOW them! Be sure to focus on the experience that is relevant to the company and position.

  1. About Yourself

    Start with defining your Key Selling Points you want to emphasize for this position.

    • What job experiences brought you to those points?
    • What were the job titles and the most relevant responsibilities?
  2. About The Company

    Do your research of the company and the requirements for the position.

    • What is the company looking for in terms of experiences and qualifications?
    • What problems are they trying to solve with this position?

    Highlight 3-5 key required experiences or skills from the job description.

  3. About The Fit

    Which of your Key Selling Points match with the required experiences or skills? Can you think of an example story showcasing this match?

    Nowadays, every hiring manager wants results, so think in terms of specific achievements and try to structure your example accordingly.

Pro Tip

When telling your story, remember to talk about your STARs!
S - What was the Situation?
T - What was your Task?
A - What Action did you take?
R - Talk about the Results.

10. What did you do in your last role when your workload was enormous?

How to answer

We all have times when the workload gets heavier than normal.

Asking this question, the interviewer is looking for employees who can react effectively to an increase in workload required in this position. They want to know that you will not become overwhelmed if workloads unexpectedly become enormous.

The answer to this question shows how well you work under pressure and how well you manage a stressful situation.

  1. About Yourself

    • How do you approach problems and stress?
    • Are you adaptable?
    • How do you prioritize your tasks?

    Maybe you organize them by which ones you can complete independently and which ones you need help with?

    • Do you take sufficient breaks, so you do not exhaust yourself?
    • Do you communicate your approaches with your managers or teammates?
  2. About The Company

    Research the company, its corporate website, its tone and mission, social media accounts.

    • What do they value in their employees?
    • What are their current goals?
    • What will your responsibilities be in this position?
    • Will your workload be higher than you used to have?
  3. About The Fit

    Tell how you managed your work responsibilities in your previous jobs using the STAR method.

    Provide an example of an event that happened previously in your career, including a description of what caused the issue, how you addressed it, and what the results were of your intervention.

    How will you react if an enormous workload happens in this new job?

    The interviewers must see the fit between you and their company, so your task is to highlight your best traits.

    In your response, include specific problem-solving and time management skills that helped you to handle the heavy workload and will help you to overcome these obstacles in the future.

    For example, if you applying to a software implementation team, describe how you were able to handle an unanticipated increase in your workload through strategic planning, teamwork, and by increasing the work pace.

    Explaining how you thought out a plan of action and worked together with others to ensure all contingencies were addressed is a good way to answer this question.

Pro Tip

In any case, try not to appear like you were in any way discouraged or stressed out by the challenge of an unanticipated increase in workload.

Rather than elaborating upon how difficult the situation was, simply provide a straightforward account of how you helped to efficiently and effectively resolve it. Tell about your lessons learned.

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This page has been updated on November 9, 2022.

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