How to Crush an SDR Interview

Here’s the secret: sales interviews aren’t just interviews, they're auditions. To be successful and stand out, you need to treat the interview process as a sales process. 

by Andrew RanzingerLast updated: 04/17/2021
Confident young man in a purple suit

Image by: Zahir Namane

Imagine you’re already an SDR, your interviewer is a prospect, and your product is yourself. Show them through the way you interview that you can sell yourself. 

Jerric Ramos has a great post on preparing for an SDR interview. Here are a few of his tips for making a job the first deal you close:

1. Do your research.

Prepare for the interview like you would prepare for a sales call with a prospect.

Go through the website, do some Googling, and make sure you understand as much as you can about their product, industry, target client profile, and competition.

Interviewers will often ask questions that gauge whether you’ve done your homework.

2. Be ready to talk about your “Why.”

Sales can be a difficult job. Unlike other careers, it has a large performance-based pay component. Because of that, hiring managers want to know that you are highly motivated.

Why do you want to make money and be successful? Have a compelling answer ready to share with the interviewer.

3. How you sound and look is just as important as what you say.

Your first interview will be over the phone, and making calls will be a big part of your job, so how you sound on the phone is critical.

How you sound is just as important as what you say. Smile (people can hear it in your voice), speak calmly, and be enthusiastic. 

For the in-person interview, your body language will be a big part of your evaluation. Dress well, walk tall with your shoulders back, don’t slouch in your chair, give a firm handshake, and make eye contact.

4. Pitch yourself.

If you can’t sell yourself, how are you supposed to sell a product?

When an interviewer for a sales role asks you to “Tell me about yourself,” they aren’t looking for you to recite bullet points from your resume.

Prepare a compelling story about why you are drawn to sales and why you think you’ll be successful in the role. 

Don’t be arrogant, but don’t be modest either. Talk yourself up. You’re in sales now!

5. Support your claims.

Be ready to give specific examples for why you think you’ll be successful in the role. If you have previous sales experience, you can discuss that. If not, draw on other examples.

At the end of the day, success in sales comes down to hard work, a good attitude, and the art of persuasion—and we’ve all been in situations where we had to demonstrate those. 

Did you work at a summer camp as a counselor? Talk about the challenges of getting 30 teenagers to cooperate with each other for a week.

Have you worked waiting tables? Talk about the long hours and how they taught you to keep a smile on your face even when things got tough.

6. Close the interviewer at the end of the interview.

This interview process is a sale, and you’re trying to get them to buy. 

End by reiterating why you think you’d be a good fit for the role, and ask a closing question that is direct but not presumptive. 

  1. "Do you have any concerns about me in this role?"
  2. “What are the next interview steps?”
  3. “When will I know if I’m moving forward?”

All show that you are interested, engaged, and eager without being pushy.

7. Send a thank-you note.

This is a good idea for any interview, but especially for a sales role. Keep it short and sweet—thank them for their time, and reiterate why you’re excited about the opportunity.