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Do you love to win or hate to lose? (Interview question)

Whenever I'm asked to interview someone who's going to join our sales team I always ask this question.


The right answer (according to me) is "hate to lose" because I know this person is going to do everything they can to make sure that doesn't happen. It's the more maniacal and irrational choice to some, but I think it's what sales reps need to succeed.


Do you agree with my "correct answer?" If not, why is "loving to win" better?

Do you love to win or hate to lose more?
Attached poll
*Voting in this poll no longer yields commission.
19
Tres_Comas
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
I've been asked this question during at least 3 different interviews. I always answer hate to lose and then follow up with "years from now you rarely remember your wins but your losses will always follow you". I don't know if that's necessarily the 'right' answer but I've been offered the position on all three of those.
murphmobile
Praised Answer
+1
Regional Sales Manager
Can you speak at my wedding please? That brought a tear to my eye.
sahil
Notable Contributor
+15
Deepak Chopra of Sales
Love this. But psychologically shouldn't we try to shift away from that mindset?

Feels unhealthyย 
Tres_Comas
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
Couldn't agree with you more.ย 
TheAnswer
Contributor
+2
Sales Learning & Development Director
love it!

Dealsonwheels
Opinionated
+1
Technical Sales Executive
You are so right. There are a couple losses (THANKS LEGAL) that to this day piss me off when I think about them randomly. like now. thanks for ruining my morning, Take_it_to_em
Tres_Comas
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
๐Ÿ˜‚
Sales4what
Opinionated
+4
Co-Founder & VP Sales @ PLURiTy
It should be both. This is an interesting interview question, when I was asked this question I said I love to lose, my reasoning when they asked why โ€œbecause if I lose it means I have more to learn and couldโ€™ve handled it betterโ€
UncleBob
Opinionated
+3
Account Executive
Not sure there is a right or a wrong answer. It would depend on how you qualify your reply. I would go with Love to Win, being the more positive response and back that by with a quote from Nelson Mandela, "I never lose. I either win or learn".
exec
Catalyst
+5
Account Executive
i answer this with - I learn from losses but thrive off of wins... hate has a negative connotation that implies the loss lingers. I've learned from maturing in sales to never make the same mistakes twice and cut your losses quickly or they will get in the way of focusing.
SpiderHam
Opinionated
+3
Manager, Sales Development
I think more important than the answer to this question is how they support their answer. I'm OK with them choosing either, but I want to see that they can support their side of it. Wouldn't want to potentially lose a good rep just because they said they love to win.
lightsout33
WR Officer
+4
Senior Manager
It's the most important question I ask when I'm interviewing someone. I think loving to win can lead to complacency. People who hate to lose also hate failing a team usually.
CadenceCombat
Tycoon
+13
Account Executive
Canโ€™t it be both?
AchieveDreamsTogether
Good Citizen
+1
SDR
I've had this question several times and I really really hate it. I value both equally. The "right" answer is hate to lose - think about HOF athletes - they all despise losing. However, it's the same thing. If you aren't losing you're winning. If you aren't winning you're losing. So what is it that you're hoping to gain from the question? Do you view it as a good indicator of future success?
PHXtoATL
Sales Executive
My thoughts exactly.ย 
Ox1319
District Sales Manager
I don't necessarily like the either/or side of this.ย  I always clarify that I absolutely HATE coming in 2nd place.ย  Dead last means you're playing the wrong game.ย  That doesn't bother me as much because it likely means things out side of my control were in play or I'm just not meant to do what I am doing and need to make bigger change.ย ย 

2nd place means I could have DONE something different within my control to win and that drives me nuts.
MambaMentality
Good Citizen
+1
Enterprise Inside Sales Rep
In my previous role I was a sales manager and I would ALWAYS ask this question. For me there was no right or wrong, I just wanted to understand how the person thought. For me, ultimately I found it as a little way to get in their head to see how they thought. Plus if I hired them it helped me understand how to motivate them.
daddy
Fire Starter
+2
Major Account Manager
I love to win. Ive learned to take a loss as a learning lesson and don't make the same mistake twice.ย 
TheAnswer
Contributor
+2
Sales Learning & Development Director
Hate to lose man...it hurts to lose
Grinder
Client Executive
Hate to lose = learn to win. ย Sales is a journey that is not a straight line. Nobody bats .1000. ย Take it in stride and use it to get better....but I still hate to lose!
Jo
JordyA
Good Citizen
+1
Director of Enterprise Sales
The big losses stay with me more than the big wins.
swerve
WR Lieutenant
+4
Account Executive
I still lose sleep over one deal I lost in FY21, despite having a solid year overall.ย 

HATE losing.
SlanginSaaS
Opinionated
+1
Strategic Account Executive
What about a love hate relationship with losing?ย 

For instance I hate to lose, it's in my blood as a competitor. However, part of me also loves to lose. Now hear me out... I don't actually LOVE to lose, but I do love it. Why? It lights a fucking fire under my ass like never before. Losing also provides the opportunity to reflect and grow so while that fire is lit under my ass, I am setting myself up to ensure the win at my next at bat.
SalesPharaoh
Politicker
+8
AM BDR
The only time I hate to lose is when the customer opts for a shitty solution after boasting i want quality I want the whole 9 yards and goes for a company that already uses my solution and is reselling it to them but with cheaper and shittier solutions.
Yanka
Regional Sales Manager
I donโ€™t sit on my losses to busy looking forward to the next win. My wins are always memorable for a company because they help the overall organization support the team for the next big opportunity based on what we learned and the customers we gain. Learn from the losses but focus on the next opportunity so you can win faster.
AK_47
WR Lieutenant
+3
Sr. Director of Sales Development
I will say my top reps "hate to lose" and pair it with a "whatever it takes" mentality.
Haast
Notorious Answer
+9
Account Executive
I personally feel like interviewers are always looking for the answer of love to win, as hate to lose has a negative attitude connotation and sales leaders are inordinately obsessed with attitude. BUT i feel like the people who really hate to lose ultimately are better sales people, they tend to stay more paranoid and get ahead of potential issues rather then just staying optimistic as a strategy (OaaS).ย 
5
Any advice on how to best answer the โ€œTell me a little about yourselfโ€ question during a sales interview? ๐Ÿค”
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