Best question to ask an interviewer?

Has anyone ever interviewed for an AE or BDR role and asked the interviewer a question that blew their mind and helped you land the job? If so, what was it and what was their response?

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89
Sandbagger31
Member
18
VP Sales
"What is preventing you from hiring me today." It can come across pushy so be careful how you phase it. It should give you an idea on what they thought of you and what the rest of the process looks like. Also for a sales job its not bad to come off confident but not like a douche.
whathaveyousoldtomorrow
Opinionated
23
sales
I like, "do you have any concerns about me joining your team?" I am a woman so I use a softer assumptive close. 
H2S
Opinionated
7
Account Executive
I love this one ("questions or concerns") and I use it in every interview at every stage. It helps to get the buy-in from each interviewer and if there are any concerns you get a chance to address them. Sometimes those concerns are a great reason to follow up after the call with supporting evidence to help ease those concerns. 
SaaSsy
Politicker
2
AE
Same - I always preface with why I know I'm a great fit and then ask if they see concerns. Definitely want to address on the spot and most hiring managers like the confidence and seeing you think on your feet.
LindseyTruman
Good Citizen
1
Client Success Manager
I love that, I'm using that this week!

sharpshooter2
Catalyst
1
MAKING IT HAPPEN!
Love this
proudprospector
Catalyst
17
Business Development Representative
“Do you have any hesitations or concerns about my qualifications that I can address before we end our conversation today?” Same meaning different words 
Aurelius
Member
3
SDR
This one sounds great, I have an important interview on Friday. Wish me luck.

sharpshooter2
Catalyst
0
MAKING IT HAPPEN!
Excellent
EyeSee
Executive
0
BDR
This one sounds great!!!! Will use it from now on!
Dezzy
Contributor
0
Internal Service Manager for Dealership
GENIOUS! i love this- it leaves room for any misleading information or discomfort to be addressed and it also leaves a lasting impression, Ive had the "pleasure" of meeting a couple hiring managers that don't actually know how to ask the right questions correctly, then i feel what happens is that the whole situation is left to his/her/their feeling about how the interview went rather than the qualifications that are being met. its not too harsh not too soft, simply said, i love this i will use this thank you
SexyWexy
Contributor
1
Pro Development
great question but phrase it as "what hesitations or concerns....." as to make them give you a detailed answer rather than a yes or no.
TheChosenWon
0
IT Supposed Analyst
I agree. Ask open ended questions that force the interviewer to provide a detailed answer.
0
Enterprise sales executive
this is perfect! great closing/asking for the order type question.
Hotsaw
Politicker
5
VP Sales
Variation of the same theme, which is: for any sales job, you have to ask for the job at some point during the interview. It demonstrates your ability to go for the close. I wouldn't hire anyone for a sales job if they didn't ask for the job.
Sustain
Member
3
Actual Working Consultant
Agreed, I never hire anyone that doesn't go for the close.
Tapati0
Opinionated
4
Business Development Manager
I use this in my interviews. I word it a lot softer though. “Based on our conversation today I feel like I am a great fit for this role because of my background at x company and because I take initiative, am coachable, and build lasting relationships. Do you see any reason why we can’t move forward with this process?” Definitely have to feel it out though. I’ve had it backfire with some aloof HR people that didn’t expect me to ask for the job. 
JuicyKlay
Celebrated Contributor
2
AM
This is an awesome one!
funcoupons
WR Officer
2
👑
Careful with this one...it can put the interview on the spot and make them feel uncomfortable. Most employers interview prospective hires more than once, so definitely do not ask this in the first interview but I'd argue not to ask it at all.
SADNES5
Politicker
1
down voters are marketing spies
People that ask this go into the no pile for me. Pushy. If this is how they are selling themselves, they will sell product the same. No good.
UserNotFound
Politicker
3
Account Executive
My version of this is "Is there anything preventing me or giving you hesitation for me to move to the next step in this process?" 
SADNES5
Politicker
1
down voters are marketing spies
Much better question. It's objection handling.
They can say "oh you don't have a Standford MBA, we need that"
Sandbagger31
Member
2
VP Sales
I dont understand why you wouldnt want a Sales person to be good at selling. I am asking a direct question. Its not disrespectful, Im not being "pushy". If I am interviewing for a position I dont think its wrong to ask where I stand.

SADNES5
Politicker
0
down voters are marketing spies
Understandable, but you don't know your customer here. 

Asking for the sale is one thing, being brash is another. 

If you're not qualifying your customer (interviewer) correctly, it will reflect in your sell style.
Ladycloser
Fire Starter
2
Sales Executive
I ask this question in every interview and have never not been hired or promoted when using
TheChosenWon
0
IT Supposed Analyst
I disagree. I say go for it and don't be scared. You have to stand out from other applicants. Just blending in will get you overlooked and not selected for the job. Worst thing they can say is yes or no.
0
Enterprise sales executive
agreed. what sales vp doesn't want their people to ask this question?
TheRealTommyCallahan
Arsonist
1
President of Callahan Auto
My favorite question to ask. Works like a gem and always impresses them. They can see you want to receive feedback.
ventox35
Politicker
0
Sales Leader
Fantastic. Very black swan Chris voss-esque question
sellingsellssold
Politicker
0
SDR
I actually like this question, I would have to be really confident in the job to ask this. But I think it shows confidence which is key in sales. 
LindseyTruman
Good Citizen
0
Client Success Manager
Awesome! I'm always afraid to really push like that and come off overly confident...
sharpshooter2
Catalyst
0
MAKING IT HAPPEN!
I also have used, what does your intuition tell you about me joining your team? This one backfired a few years ago after I had a gap in my employment when my Dad was ill.
SalesWhisperer
Member
0
Division Sales Manager
But, importantly, you got the information. Then you can address it. Oh, I understand how your intuition could be telling you x. Let me give you a bit more context here...
34fifty
Valued Contributor
13
Team Lead
I could be wrong. But I use my questions not to impress but to identify potential red flags in the organisation i'm interviewing for. 
funcoupons
WR Officer
6
👑
You should - an interview goes both ways. It's an opportunity for both parties to assess each other. You do have to sell yourself in an interview, but a lot of people seem to forget the employer has to sell themselves to you, too.
34fifty
Valued Contributor
0
Team Lead
Absolutely!
stanrym
Valued Contributor
9
CEO
ask about the tech stack. i care a lot about tools they use 
JuicyKlay
Celebrated Contributor
3
AM
Same! If they're not rocking Outreach or SalesLoft and/or don't have a CRM, it's a no from me dawg.
sharpshooter2
Catalyst
1
MAKING IT HAPPEN!
I will use this as I have an interview this week with a SaaS company.
funcoupons
WR Officer
7
👑
What makes someone successful in this role? (Shows you're interested and would be committed to doing well.)

What is your favourite part of working here? (Time for them to sell you.)

Describe the company culture. (Shows you're interested in a good fit and their answer can help you determine whether you'll enjoy working there.)
ChiefGreef45
Catalyst
2
Account Executive
I've used the 2nd question as well.  Sometimes phrasing it like they would with me where they ask "Why Company X?"
JuicyKlay
Celebrated Contributor
1
AM
Good call! I always ask the second two but need to start asking about what makes someone successful. Thanks friend!
poweredbycaffeine
WR Lieutenant
6
☕️
"What can I do on day one that will make me successful at XYZ company?"
JuicyKlay
Celebrated Contributor
1
AM
Starting out strong! I love it!
SalesLlama
Good Citizen
0
SAE
This one has done well for me
whathaveyousoldtomorrow
Opinionated
5
sales
If I am scrambling for a question: "Is there anything we didn't cover I should know?" 
LifeConnoisseur
Member
0
Business Development Rep
That’s a solid one
BigSchwab
5
Associate Director
My favorite interview question: "You're sitting down a year from now with the person you hire for this role, me or someone else. What one or two things did this person do in the last year to blow your expectations away?" 

This pulls the interviewer out of evaluating you and thinking deeply about the future of this role (something most hiring managers haven't ACTUALLY thought through). It gives you insight to the core function(s) of the role and the metrics the company uses to evaluate performance (and a chance to make sure you SHINE in those core functions if you haven't already addressed them). It also reveals organizations that don't have a clear path to success in the role you're interviewing for (which should be a red flag). 

Every time I ask this in an interview the immediate response is "wow, that's a great question, I have to think about that." 
atlantasaleschick
Executive
0
Enterprise Account Exeutive
Great question!
paddy
WR Officer
4
Director of Business Development
I like to ask what their goals are to grow, within the company and/or personally. 
HarryCaray
Notable Contributor
2
HMFIC
You ask that to the interviewer?  Sounds like something that they'd ask the candidate.
BigCheese
Notorious Answer
3
Agency Recruiter
While interviewing candidates, I appreciate it when they ask deeper questions about the role, company, goals, etc. Shows initiative.

Interviews should never be one-sided.
JuicyKlay
Celebrated Contributor
1
AM
That's a good one! You can never go wrong having someone talk about themselves.
Chep
WR Officer
4
Bitcoin Adoption Specialist
At the end of the interview {If it went well and you really want the gig} Ask when can you start?
SADNES5
Politicker
2
down voters are marketing spies
The assumptive close. It's a tricky one. If it's a panel, no don't do this. It will 💯 sour one person. 

If it's a 1-1 and you've established great rapport, sure. Shoot your shot.
salesboi22
Politicker
1
Head of Growth
Agreed, would probably not go well in a panel situation. No one wants to say yes on the spot in front of their peers.
JuicyKlay
Celebrated Contributor
0
AM
100% using this next time I want/will get the job
Machine
Politicker
2
Enterprise AE
What are the characteristics of your most successful reps? 
JuicyKlay
Celebrated Contributor
1
AM
Used this last week! Turns out they’re just like me 😂 
Machine
Politicker
1
Enterprise AE
Perfecto! 
sellthemetal
Personal Narrative
2
Mid Market Manager
"What is one question you wished I has asked today, and what would have been your answer?"  Works when you are interviewing people as well.
SussDR
Contributor
2
SDR
If I was asked that as an interviewee I would say, when would you like to start, and respond with now. Then I’d walk to a random desk and start dialling. Power move
kAMIkAZZI
0
sdr
lol
JuicyKlay
Celebrated Contributor
0
AM
Wow that is deep!
0
Enterprise sales executive
fabulous! i'm using this one next time. thank you!
Shidisco
2
Director of Business Development
What is the single biggest challenge facing the team/department today? What is the company doing to address it? 

What is the last change you implemented based on employee feedback?
CuriousFox
WR Officer
0
🦊
I like these
lindseyboggs
Good Citizen
1
Sales Development Manager
"How does this role's success help you to get to where you want to be?"
SADNES5
Politicker
1
down voters are marketing spies
What does your ideal candidate look like? A "purple squirrel" candidate looks like X in this role?  (HR peeps know this phrase specifically).
Can I hot on any of these points when they answer. 

JuicyKlay
Celebrated Contributor
1
AM
Great call! Using this next time.
swizard
Celebrated Contributor
1
Sales Evangelist
What would you ask if you were in my role today?
Salespreuner
Big Shot
1
Regional Sales Director
How'd one be successful in this role and what's the Y+3 year career map look like?
steakalldayerryday
Opinionated
1
AE
What does an average rep W2?
Captain_Q
Arsonist
1
Sr. Account Executive
Always ask for the job.
Queen_of_the_funnel
Opinionated
1
Director of Sales Development
How did you become a part of XYZ organization? What has your journey looked like here? Was this a position you thought you would be in when you initially started? 
Argonaut
Good Citizen
0
Enterprise Account Executive
Ooooooo, Yes! This is a great set of layering questions that will make the interview think. You might not get a straight answer, but they'll leave with those questions top of mind. You need to rock the boat a little, do some DQing, and establish that you value the role but don't need the role - just like a sale.
playercoach
Personal Narrative
0
Director of Business Development
I do the same but frame it differently. If the interviewer is provided I check their LinkedIn profile prior to the interview. I ask them questions specific to their prior experiences that led them to the current company.

Lets them know you did your homework and shows interest in them and the company.
rmpavlik1
1
VP marketing
I ask, "Do you see any concerns in my background that I can address while we're together?" At least you're able to answer rather than being silently eliminated afterward...
Charito
Fire Starter
1
Senior Account Exec
Check out the article reverse interview by Elena Verna. Some great insights. 
jrridings
Big Shot
1
Account Manager-Strategic Product Sales (Wholesale Internet and Voice Services)
“Walk me through what my average day would look like”
Blackwargreymon
Politicker
1
MDR
I could be wrong.
msbiz
Member
1
Enterprise Account Executive
I use "What can I clarify to make hiring me an easy decision?"
G00ND0CKS
Personal Narrative
1
CSM
I have a lil salesman in my blood, so I usually go for the close at the end of each interview.
"If you had to pull the trigger on the hire today, would I be your choice?"

Its strong, and should only be brought out if the vibe is vibing, but if the VP or whoever you're meeting with has sales written in his/her DNA, he'll /she'll admire your chops.
playercoach
Personal Narrative
1
Director of Business Development
I always close with the question "do you have any hesitation about selecting me for the position and is there additional clarity about my experiences that I can offer you to ensure I am a good fit for your team?"
lloydotu
1
Sales and Marketing Development Rep
wow! reading all the comments here is so inspiring!
rharris415
Contributor
1
Founder
Most of the questions listed on this thread are actually not that great.

Why?

1. They are generic, standard, and stale and BORING!
2. This means you will get generic, standard, and stale replies.
3. They are self-centered around you, the candidate.
4. Because they are all about you getting the job.
5. They actually don't give you the answers you are really looking for around good leadership, culture, a good company, and how all of that comes together.

Here are a few things to remember:

1. You are interviewing them more than they are interviewing you. Even in a bad economy.

2. You are looking to find out if they are the right kind of leader you want to work for.

3. You are looking to find out if they are the right kind of company culture you want to be a part of.

So, here are the questions that will tell you what you really want to hear.

1. Aside from me hitting my goals, what else would the perfect candidate do to help you achieve your overall goals?

2. If you could change 3 things with the snap of your fingers and they would be fixed tomorrow morning. Aside from every rep hitting goal, what would they be?

2a - Follow up, "What is preventing this from happening now?"

These questions make you stand out.
These questions make them think harder because they have never heard them.
Their answers tell you about their leadership, their culture, and their ability to get something done within the organization.
goose
Politicker
0
Sales Executive
Is it unreasonable to ask “what’s the catch?”   If I’m interviewing and it sounds great I might say “nothing is this perfect, what’s one or two difficult things?”
GDO
Politicker
0
BDM
I always ask about what kind of people are successful in the company. 
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