Sales interview questions: The 10 most common questions and how to answer them
Selling yourself is crucial in a sales role, particularly when responding to sales executive interview questions. Employers will expect you to pitch yourself as you would their products.At Reed, we have worked with thousands of candidates seeking sales careers, from beginners to experts in head of sales or sales and marketing director roles. Therefore, we have a good idea of the sales interview questions you are likely to encounter and how to respond to them.This blog post is also a valuable resource for sales talent acquisition managers who are looking for sales interview question ideas to identify the best candidates.Whether you are searching for sales manager interview questions, sales director interview questions, or sales executive interview questions, we have compiled our top 10 sales interview questions and provided guidance on how to answer them.Sales interview questions and answersWhat do you know about our company?This is the most frequent question in a sales interview. The interviewer wants to assess if candidates have researched and understood their organization prior to the interview.What kind of answers should candidates give?Candidates need to be prepared to answer interview questions. If a candidate is not able to answer such questions, it may give the impression of being unprepared for making sales calls.To answer this question successfully, it is essential to do research and prepare. One should examine the company website of the business they are applying to and look at their social media presence, including platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. It is important to note that if the company has a B2B focus, LinkedIn will likely be a valuable tool.What kind of responses should you look for as an employer?You should look for candidates who have a good understanding of your business, what drives it, and how it aligns with their values.Ideally, candidates should provide examples of their research, mention sales leaders, refer to their LinkedIn posts, and explain how their values align with your company's culture. Additionally, they could suggest ways to enhance product sales directly to customers through social media.When responding to sales interview questions, candidates should be well-informed about your company and offer constructive suggestions based on their research.How do you feel about making cold calls?This is an important question because cold calling is a critical skill for the job, especially for sales advisor positions. The interviewer will want to know about your experience, confidence, and personality. It's essential to be clear and concise in your response and to highlight your strengths in these areas.What kind of responses should candidates give?When you're asked this sales interview question, you need to demonstrate that you're sociable and comfortable starting a conversation. It can be advantageous to provide examples of when you've done this successfully in the past.Additionally, you can emphasize that even though the outcome of a cold call can be unpredictable, researching the person and business you're reaching out to can make a significant difference.What responses should you look for as an employer?Employers should look for candidates who can confidently, amiably and optimistically respond to a particular question. The ideal answer to the question should always be "yes," even if the task is new to the candidate. The interview serves as the candidate's opportunity to showcase their skills and sell themselves to the employer.What are your strengths as a sales representative?One of the key questions to ask during a sales interview is about the candidate's strengths as a sales representative. It provides the interviewee with an opportunity to highlight their past accomplishments and how they can be applied to the new role. This question can help to identify the main aspects of their experience that align with the requirements of the position.What kind of responses should candidates give?During a sales interview, candidates should not only highlight their past accomplishments but also talk about the skills and traits that helped them achieve their goals.For instance, if you succeeded in reaching your targets by making hundreds of cold calls per day, then you should mention this as a testament to your work ethic.Similarly, if you designed an effective email campaign to target specific people, this interview question provides an opportunity for you to explain how you did it and how your strategies could benefit your potential employer.What responses should you look for as an employer?To look for candidates who can confidently promote themselves and provide specific examples of how they have excelled in their previous roles is crucial. During the interview process, candidates should express their passion for problem-solving, their ability to empathize with potential customers, and their expertise in closing deals.It is important to understand that a candidate's past experience can be a good indicator of their future performance. As a hiring manager, asking sales interview questions can help you assess the candidate's approach to meeting your organization's sales targets.What drives you?When it comes to questions to ask in a sales interview, hiring managers are interested in understanding what motivates a candidate to work in sales and what specifically excites them about the job and the company.What kind of responses should candidates give?Candidates who aspire to join a particular company should try to align their responses to the company's goals. While salary and bonus are significant motivational factors, it is essential to expand the answer beyond that.To ace sales interview questions, candidates should emphasize their ability to exceed their quotas and strive to improve their personal best results.What responses should you look for as an employer?As an employer, it is important to identify candidates who are enthusiastic and driven. When asking this question, you need to make sure that the interviewees are being truthful and genuine.Candidates should be able to identify two to four things that are important to them in a work environment, which should not primarily be about money. Instead, they should talk about topics such as their career goals, diversity, company culture, work environment, targets, personal motivators, and teammates.By doing so, you can gain valuable insights into their values and what drives them, which can help you make informed hiring decisions.What are you looking for in your next job?This question is similar to the ones asked in other job interviews and is aimed at evaluating if you have the qualities required for the position. It is a crucial question for sales positions such as a sales executive or sales advisor.What kind of responses should candidates give?In this scenario, candidates should use their knowledge of the company's culture, management style, and tools to provide an appropriate response. It is also advisable to address the hiring company's standards, goals, and work environment in your answer. Consider incorporating your personal interests to showcase your enthusiasm for the role.What responses should you look for as an employer?The responses you get should be clear and concise, indicating the candidate's specific goals, such as better job satisfaction, more learning opportunities, or a collaborative team environment.Based on their answers, you can evaluate whether they are a good fit for your organization and how they can contribute to your team's growth.It is essential to pay close attention to the interviewee's responses to make an informed decision.What do you dislike about sales?This question is designed to test the candidate's critical thinking abilities. Other common questions asked in sales interviews include describing weaknesses and sharing examples of conflict resolution in the workplace.These questions aim to assess the candidate's communication and problem-solving skills.What kind of responses should candidates give?Anyone who is asked a sales interview question about what they dislike in sales should be honest and candid in their answer – but be sure to balance the negatives by talking about what you enjoy about the job.There are positives and negatives in every role and field, so being honest is important, but this is another chance to talk about why you applied for the position.What responses should you look for as an employer?It's a well-known fact that sales can be a high-pressure industry, and this is a typical response to this question. However, it's essential to look for candidates who can cope well with pressure.When asked about their opinion on sales, the ideal candidate should discuss both the positive and negative aspects. Although they may mention their negative experience, they should offset it with more positives. If someone tells you that they don't like the sector, they may want to consider changing their career path.What are you seeking in your next role?This question aims to evaluate a candidate's proactive attitude and growth mindset, as hiring managers seek people who can contribute to their team.What kind of responses should candidates give?When answering this sales interview question, it's crucial not to spend too much time discussing the negatives of your current job. Instead, concentrate on the experience and skills you've gained and how you're looking forward to using them to progress in your career.What responses should you look for as an employer?Focus on the opportunity at hand and what they can bring to the role is important to the interviewee. Hiring managers want to hear about how candidates can benefit the company and how the role can offer them a new challenge or adventure. The interviewee should highlight how they can apply the skills they have acquired in their previous role to achieve goals for the potential new one.As an interviewer, you should be attentive to the interviewee's response and look for any signs of trouble in their previous position. If they are leaving their current job because of a bad relationship with their manager or because of a pay issue, it is important to explore these reasons further to ensure they will be happy working as part of your team.In addition, the interviewee should provide insight into what attracted them to your company and job role. This information can help you evaluate the effectiveness of your talent acquisition strategy.Tell me about a time you achieved or were proud of yourself?This is a classic asked question in sales job interviews as it helps the interviewer gauge your motivation to succeed and also gives them an insight into your greatest achievements.What kind of responses should candidates give?Candidates should follow a structured approach to answer about problem-solving skills.They should start by describing the situation they faced and the challenges they encountered. Then, they should explain what they were assigned to do and what their goals were. Next, they should discuss the specific actions they took to address the problem, and provide a rationale for each step. Finally, it is crucial to describe the outcome of their actions and the impact they had on the situation.To make sure the answer is clear and effective, it is important to take a step-by-step approach and provide detailed explanations throughout the response.What responses should you look for as an employer?As a hiring manager, it's important to look for instances where a candidate demonstrated determination and reaped rewards as a result of their actions. If the interviewee can back up their responses with data, it will greatly enhance the quality of their answers.How would your coworkers describe you?This sales interview question assesses a candidate's self-awareness and cultural fit with the organization.What kind of responses should candidates give?You can talk about how your colleagues often praise your perseverance or how goal-driven you are. Additionally, emphasize how you enjoy working with your team and collaborating with others, and that you thrive in a positive and friendly work environment. Remember to double-check for any spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors before submitting your answer.What responses should you look for as an employer?For this question, employers will want to hear how someone will adapt to their culture, and how they can adjust to the environment around them. Being part of a team and getting along with other team members is essential.How did you close your biggest sale?It's highly probable that you will face this question, whether you're asking interview questions for sales executives, sales directors, or sales managers. This is a great chance for candidates to showcase their skills and explain how their previous work has resulted in measurable achievements.What kind of responses should candidates give?To answer this question effectively, you could share a story about how you successfully assisted a customer who was hesitant to make a purchase and explain the methods you used to persuade them to do so.What responses should you expect as an employer?It is important to ask for a specific instance of success that is backed up by data and information on how the outcome was achieved. This question provides a valuable opportunity to gain insight into the candidate's skills and knowledge.Reed has a successful track record in finding sales professionals who enhance company performance. Our specialists also have the experience and expertise to help those sales professionals advance their careers. Contact us today.
Interview questions to ask candidates - and what their answers mean
A good interview should be planned using a mix of different question types. They should always be adapted to the specific qualities you’d like a candidate to show relevant to a particular role. These questions should give you insight into their strengths, weaknesses and how well they will fit into the team. Here is a selection of the main types of questions to ask when interviewing.The standard competency questionThese are the most common type of questions to ask when interviewing, and will usually start with the phrase along the lines of “can you give me an example of when you…”. They can be adjusted to suit whichever skills you’d like the candidate to tell you about, for example, delivering excellent customer service, resolving a conflict or influencing a senior stakeholder.Competency style questions are good for when you want to find out about specific competencies or skills the candidate has, and how they have used them to resolve previous situations. Good candidates will often plan responses to these, and should give clear, thought-through examples.Look for evidence in their answers that they can give you a clear situation, the task at hand, the action they personally took, and the (positive) result of that action - the STAR method.The follow-up questionFollow-up questions allow you to get more detail, and look beyond the glossy prepared answer, which, although sounding impressive, may cover up a lack of detail or personal involvement. Asking good follow-up questions allows the candidate to engage on a higher level, and have to think on the spot a bit more, as they might not be as prepared for one of these.The curveball questionIf you really want to test a candidate’s ability to think on their feet, throw in a curve-ball or two. These can be completely unrelated to the job, but may be an extension of something on their CV or relate to current affairs that you’d like them to comment on or explain to you. It will test their decision-making under pressure, and the ability to articulate an unprepared response, which can be very important in some jobs.The hypothetical situation questionSome love and some hate these, but they can be seen as a very good example of testing rational thought and logical reasoning quite quickly. Such questions are normally along the lines of asking the candidate to imagine they are in a certain situation, and then asking them to make a decision, based on information and parameters provided.The “describe yourself” questionThese can come in many forms, and you can ask candidates to imagine what their previous boss or co-workers would say about them, or just to sum themselves up in a few words. This will show whether a candidate can empathise with another person’s point of view and express it, or their ability to give a succinct answer when only a few words are required.
Seven types of interview bias and how to avoid them
We might want to think that our choices are logical and that we have complete control over them – but the reality is that we are always affected by cognitive biases.What are biases?The brain cannot properly assess every new piece of information it encounters, so it’s designed to make quick decisions about people, situations, and objects. While these mental shortcuts are a necessary survival skill, making fast decisions without careful evaluation can be a bad thing and lead to opinions that are unfairly biased.Types of interview biasesWhen it comes to doing interviews, you can do your best to be objective, but biases can creep in. That’s why it’s so crucial to be aware of the different types so you can identify and actively avoid them. Here are seven different types of common interview biases:StereotypingA stereotype is a simplified opinion about a specific group of people, based on a fixed set of characteristics that we think are typical of that group.It is a serious problem in interviews, as the interviewer can make a judgement about a candidate that is not based on their skills or ability but on an initial stereotype.Gender and racial biasGender or racial bias is when the interviewer has a belief about a certain gender or race, thinking that the job is not appropriate for someone of that gender or race.Interviewers should never let gender or racial bias affect their hiring decisions, not only from an ethical standpoint, but they may also face legal consequences for discrimination.Confirmation biasConfirmation bias is where the interviewer may ask questions or make suggestive statements that prompt the interviewee to confirm what they believe they already know about them, based on their CV or application.It also relates to how people pay more attention to information that supports their existing beliefs, prefer to interact with people who have similar views, and are unwilling to listen to different opinions.It’s important to be aware of this bias - if people are being hired because they have the same views as their line managers, it can hinder growth and innovation across the business.Recency biasRecency bias is when an interviewer tends to remember and favour applicants that were interviewed more recently.You may have interviewed many candidates in any given day and each one can seem to blend with the next. This is when you may fall victim to recency bias and subconsciously favour candidates towards the end of the interview process. The problem is that the best person for the job could be someone you interviewed right at the beginning of the day or halfway through.Similarity biasAlso known as affinity bias, similarity bias is when an interviewer makes hiring decisions based on similar physical attributes or shared interests that are either discussed during the interview, or shown on a candidate’s CV.For example, an interviewer may ask the potential employee if they had a good weekend, and the interviewee could reply with something like: “I did thank you, I went for a hike with my dog”. If the interviewer is also a fan of hiking and dog owning, then whether intentional or not, the interviewer will view the candidate more positively, even before any skills or work-related information has been obtained.Halo biasThe halo bias is when one positive characteristic dominates all others. For example, if the person interviewing sees that the applicant went to a prestigious university on their CV or had previously worked for a very well-known brand that they admire, they may focus on that and ignore negative traits.Horn biasContrary to the halo bias, the horn bias is when a negative characteristic dominates all the positive skills and abilities. For example, a candidate may have made a spelling mistake on their CV and the interviewer can’t forget about it, giving too much weight to the error and ignoring the many positive qualities they have.How to avoid bias when interviewingKeep interviews uniformAsk every candidate the same questions – ensuring they are relevant to the skills and abilities of the interviewee - and document their answers correctly. Taking notes as you go will prevent opinions and bias from sneaking in.Provide training to interviewersAll interviewers should receive training in diversity and inclusion and learn how to identify and avoid their own unconscious biases. This will provide a more equitable system for all potential employees and help hiring managers discover their own hidden biases.Have a diverse group of interviewersIf there are multiple interview stages or you are using a group of interviewers, make sure the group is diverse to allow for a more balanced decision to be made. Each interviewer will have different biases, so together the bias is lowered.Limit personal chatsSome small talk is necessary when greeting an interviewee but keep it brief. Engaging in personal chats can lead to similarity bias.Use a standard scoring systemCreate a standard scoring system and apply this to all interviews. Referring to this later will ensure each candidate is assessed fairly and on an equal basis.Record and re-play remote interviewsIf you are doing remote interviews, record them (with the candidate’s consent) and re-play them in a different order to avoid recency bias.
Common customer service interview questions for employers and candidates
The main three skills or traits employers are looking for in an interviewee are communication, enthusiasm, and problem-solving. These questions will help employers find the right candidates and interviewees to show their full potential:Tell me about yourselfEmployers will already have key information about an applicant from their CV and other documents, but this is your chance to get a deeper insight into who you might be hiring. People are more honest when speaking in real-time than in their cover letters or job applications.Candidates should refer directly to what is in the job description and make your introduction relevant to the role. The hiring manager also wants to know who you are as a person, but in terms of your professional background and values, rather than just your hobbies.What does customer service mean to you?There are times when candidates will apply to roles just to get their foot in the door at a company and will really have their eye on a different profession. This customer service interview question helps you evaluate the motivation of the applicant and see if they really want to work in customer service or are just using your role as a stepping-stone.A good candidate will be able to explain what customer service is, why it’s important to a business, and what they enjoy about it. Candidates who show passion, dedication, and potential are often more valued by hiring managers than those with a lot of experience and education because these traits show the longevity of employees.Describe a time when you’ve dealt with a difficult customer – what did you do?Scenario-based questions help employers understand the candidate’s practical ability without having seen it first-hand. For this to be effective, they need to have real examples and be able to answer questions from their own experience. Hypothetical answers such as “If I were in that situation I would…” don’t show their experience or ability, only their theoretical understanding of customer service.Candidates should be aware that any experience you have with conflict resolution, in a retail role, for example, can be applied here. Those with customer service experience should be as specific as possible and answer honestly in case of any follow-up questions. If the customer being difficult or rude was their fault, being honest about it will show their accountability and self-awareness.What do you know about our company/product?Any candidate who hasn’t done some initial research will most likely not get the role. If they don’t know what they’re applying for, they may leave once they find out.Employers don’t expect a detailed description, only that the interviewee has an idea of what the company does, what the specific product is, and how that relates to the role. This is a chance for an applicant to share any thoughts or opinions they have about the company, potentially highlighting what made them want to apply in the first place.Using the job description, checking out their website, and even calling their customer service line to see how they work, are good methods of researching a company. Preparing for an interview by doing research shows both interest and professionalism and will boost the candidate’s chances of receiving a job offer. It’s even better if the candidate is already a customer because they can give real feedback and will have a deeper understanding of the product/service.Tell me about a time when you delivered excellent customer serviceCustomer service competency questions often use situations where you’ve interacted with a customer. These are chances for interviewees to show off their achievements and demonstrate their knowledge of what excellent customer service is while using examples from their experience. Through this question, employers can evaluate their best performance, and ask follow-up questions such as what skills they think contributed to this, and what the outcome was.What skills do you think are essential for someone in customer service?For customer service advisor questions, soft skills are the most important to mention, e.g. communication skills, patience, empathy, listening, and more. Advisors are there to inform and help customers in a way that is clear and concise, honest, and polite – even in stressful situations. Working well under pressure is important because customer service advisors may need to talk to several difficult people and stay professional. Usually, the skills candidates mention as most important are the ones they recognise in themselves the most.What is your biggest weakness?Self-awareness and self-assessment are skills in themselves. This might be the most common customer service interview question because it usually reveals to employers several areas besides the candidate’s weaknesses: how they see themselves, and how they are working on reducing their own weaknesses to improve themselves.Interviewees must be honest and avoid the trap of saying “I’m too [something positive]” because this sounds insincere and indicates a fixed mindset instead of a growth mindset – indicative of someone who welcomes new challenges. Candidates answering honestly about self-improvement shows employers that they are still developing and can become more valuable employees later, even if they don’t have the right skills or experience yet.
Body talk with Judi James: an interviewer’s masterclass for winning talent
Watch the webinarHave you ever wondered what your body language as a hiring manager tells interviewees about your organisation?Job interviews aren’t just about what you say, they’re also about how you conduct yourself in a nonverbal way. This isn't just the case for the person looking to secure the job, but also you, as the person in charge of conducting the interview.Join leading communication and body language expert, Judi James, as she explored the importance of body language and behaviour when conducting job interviews – both remote and face to face, offering hiring managers essential tips and advice.Non-verbal cues are part of a hiring manager’s overall impression of a candidate, but just as important is the ‘statement’ they make with their own body language. In an interview setting, it’s crucial for hiring managers to be aware of their body language, in addition to what they say or do, to ensure the first visual impression of the business is positive and welcoming.In this fireside chat with Reed, Judi, who is regularly invited by the media to comment on general elections and royal occasions, discussed how hiring managers can positively shape their own body language and actions during job interviews, to get the best from their interviewees.Our speakerJudi James, Body Language Expert and AuthorJudi James is a leading communication and body language expert whose expertise is sought-after in broadcast, corporate and public relations circles. She regularly appears on a number of high-profile TV and radio programmes across many channels.Judi has appeared on BBC News, Sky News, CNN, Big Brother, Big Brother's Bit on The Psych and Bit on the Side, The Extra Factor, BBC2's Newsnight and she also covered the 2010 general election for 5 News, with a regular nightly spot.She has written 26 fiction and non-fiction books covering a range of subjects such as how to make an impact in business, charisma, boosting confidence and lowering stress levels in the workplace. Her work also includes flirting techniques, job interviews and even tips on how to win a poker game. Popular titles include The Body Language Bible and You're Hired.
How to ask and respond to common project manager interview questions
Project managers are responsible for the daily management of project work and need to have the skills to handle the scope, schedule, budget, risk and quality of any project.Project manager roles can be very stressful and time-sensitive, so interviews for this kind of role can be challenging. Although every interview is different, it is likely that similar questions will be asked that focus on interpersonal skills, technical knowledge and examples from specific situations.Here are some common project manager interview questions that you can ask as an employer and how to answer them as a candidate.Tell me about yourselfEmployer: This is a common question to start most interviews, and it is a good way to learn more about a candidate’s background, previous experiences and skills they have learned from other roles. This question can also be used to try and learn more about the candidate’s personality and how they would fit in as a project manager at the company.Candidate: There are several ways to approach this question that will satisfy the interviewer. A simple and effective way to structure a response is to start with your current role and what you do, then move on to past experiences that are relevant to the role you applied for and finish with what kind of role you are looking for next and why you are interested in this opportunity.There are several ways to approach this question that will satisfy the interviewer. A simple and effective way to structure a response is to start with your current role and what you do, then move on to past experiences that are relevant to the role you applied for and finish with what kind of role you are looking for next and why you are interested in this opportunity.What’s your prior experience in this industry?Employer: It’s important to know if a candidate has experience in your industry because they may already have the knowledge and understand the methods that your company uses to manage projects successfully. If they don’t, try to assess if they have strong project management skills that can apply to your industry, such as using project management software or having a good knowledge of how the industry works.It’s important to know if a candidate has experience in your industry because they may already have the knowledge and understand the methods that your company uses to manage projects successfully. If they don’t, try to assess if they have strong project management skills that can apply to your industry, such as using project management software or having a good knowledge of how the industry works.Candidate: Being prepared to talk about the industry is essential. Make sure you can talk about any experiences you have had in the industry - from either a professional or academic perspective. If you don’t have any direct experience, talk about what you know from market research, what interests you about the industry and what you plan to bring to it. It may be helpful to mention any skills or knowledge that are transferable as well.Being prepared to talk about the industry is essential. Make sure you can talk about any experiences you have had in the industry - from either a professional or academic perspective. If you don’t have any direct experience, talk about what you know from market research, what interests you about the industry and what you plan to bring to it. It may be helpful to mention any skills or knowledge that are transferable as well.What was your most successful project?Employer: Scenario-based interview questions are a good way to understand how candidates have achieved success in different situations. This question will help to identify a candidate’s passion for their work, any proven successes as a project manager and how they measure success.Scenario-based interview questions are a good way to understand how candidates have achieved success in different situations. This question will help to identify a candidate’s passion for their work, any proven successes as a project manager and how they measure success.Candidate: This question gives you a great opportunity to show your strengths as a project manager. Focus on your role - what did you do to make sure the project stayed on track to meet the deadline? Think about the key decisions you and the team made that led to its success. Remember, projects can be successful not only for meeting goals and deadlines, but also if they introduced change and developed new strategies.This question gives you a great opportunity to show your strengths as a project manager. Focus on your role - what did you do to make sure the project stayed on track to meet the deadline? Think about the key decisions you and the team made that led to its success. Remember, projects can be successful not only for meeting goals and deadlines, but also if they introduced change and developed new strategies."Although you may be concerned about a career decision, or some possible skill gaps a candidate might have, be mindful to not rule anyone out or make any snap judgements before the end of the interview so you can get the full picture and give the candidate a fair chance."Scott Nevett- Recruitment Director, ReedDescribe a difficult project and how you handled itEmployer: The purpose of this question is to evaluate how candidates cope with challenges. Obstacles are common when managing projects, but you want to find out how they solved them in the past to understand how they deal with real-life situations. This question also gives an insight into the person’s project management style, and how they lead teams and resolve conflicts that may occur.Candidate: Facing unexpected challenges is a key part of being a project manager, so ideally you’ll have a few examples to pick from. The best way to answer this question is to first explain the situation and what the challenge was. Then, describe how you found a solution to overcome the situation. Next, tell what you did, and how you did it. Finish by sharing the result and what you learned from the experience.How do you prioritise tasks on a project?Employer: Knowing exactly what to prioritise is essential for any project. To be successful, a good project manager or project management office (PMO) is going to help manage small and large-scale projects that have an impact on the business and customers. This question will explore the candidate’s thought process and how they make time and task management decisions. It’s also worth finding out how the candidate would handle multiple projects at once.Candidate: When asked questions about prioritisation, providing examples of how you organise your day, plan your work and set deadlines shows the interviewer that you’re able to monitor and keep on top of work. According to the 2021 Project Management Report, 59% of project managers run between two and five projects at any given time, so make sure your answer includes a combination of deadlines, stakeholder needs and business-critical tasks.What tools/software do you like to use to help plan, track and evaluate a project?Employer: A project manager will use tools to plan, track and evaluate their work. Take the time to get a sense of how well the candidate knows different project management tools and how they use them.Candidate: It would be helpful to list the project management tools you’ve used in previous roles, from Trello to Basecamp to Asana. Mention what you enjoy about the tools, and how they could be improved – it would be a great bonus to find out what tools the company uses and start a conversation on that.How do you manage budgets for your projects?Employer: Most projects, regardless of the size, usually require some budgeting, which is why it may be useful to ask questions specifically about budget management. Asking questions about budgets allows employers to gain a deeper understanding of what experience the candidate has with project management processes.Candidate: The employer, more often than not, will want to hear examples of when you’ve managed a budget for previous projects. Try to talk about situations when you’ve given cost estimates, allocated funds, kept track of money spent, and how you’ve planned for unforeseen costs. If you don’t have much experience, share what you know about budget planning, or, if relevant, talk about budgeting in your personal life. Our specialist recruiters can help you conduct the perfect interview.Have you worked with remote teams?Employer: Because of the pandemic – and the rapid growth of digital project management tools – projects being done and worked on remotely have increased significantly. Knowing how the candidate has worked with people and resources remotely can show you how they adapt to changes in working conditions, and provides valuable insight into their leadership style.Candidate: Employers will want to know how you’ve successfully worked with remote teams. Often, they will want to hear possible challenges faced when working with a remote workforce, and how you dealt with any issues quickly and effectively. Showing how you’ve been flexible and adaptable to changes in working conditions – such as using communication software like Microsoft Teams – is also a huge positive for businesses in the current situation.How would you handle a difficult stakeholder?Employer: This question aims to gain clarity into a candidate’s stakeholder management skills and how they deal with issues. How they communicate with executives, project sponsors and stakeholders requires a different tone than what is used with team members – use this question to understand what approach they’d take to handle this situation.Candidate: Working with stakeholders is never easy, but it’s a vital part of being a successful project manager. Being able to showcase your ability to manage stakeholder needs is crucial. Focus on a previous example, describing the situation, before presenting your solution and the result will stand you in good stead. Your communication and negotiation skills will be an important part of your answer.If you are looking for the next top professional for your business or looking for your next role, get in touch with one of our expert consultants today.