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Sales Engineers Interview

31 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brown
Updated August 17th, 2018
Job Interviews     Careers     Sales    

Question 1 of 31

Why should we hire you?

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Why should we hire you?

The hiring manager wants to know that you want this job. Talk a bit about why you are a strong candidate and be sure to tie in the information you have gathered from their job posting or job description.

Ryan's Answer

"I feel that you should hire me because I offer precisely the experience that you are looking for (give a specific example). In addition to the skills that I have, I also offer a character and work ethic that would fit well with your organization."


What are your career goals as a Sales Engineer?

It's great to have a career related goal, whether that be a big or small one. It could be a promotion or an additional designation that you'd like to achieve. Talk a little bit about those particular goals with the hiring manager but be sure to tie it in to how this will also benefit the company you are interviewing with.

Ryan's Answer

"As a Sales Engineer I would eventually like to earn my way into a Management role where I can mentor and train other Sales Engineers. Being able to attend school again and complete an additional designation within engineering or technology is also something that would be of interest to me."


Are you able to solve complex problems? Give me an example.

Demonstrate to the hiring manager that you are able to take a difficult problem and seamlessly create a solution.

Ryan's Answer

"In my current position, I had a client who had very complicated need which made pricing a bit difficult to understand. I was able to create a workable spreadsheet that we used specifically for that client in order to ensure that no errors were made. This increased our productivity and the client was very happy to have such a seamless process on their end."


What are some obstacles you find yourself typically facing, in your previous sales positions?

Having obstacles in your career is completely normal. Tell the hiring manager that you are accustomed to overcoming obstacles and the type of objections you are used to facing.

Ryan's Answer

"The most common obstacles that I have found myself having would be objections on time and price. I find that these are the two things that people are least likely to want to part with. I overcome these objections through creating value in the product and displaying to the client, right away, that it will be worth it for them time wise and financially to give me the time out of their schedule."


How would you describe the corporate culture of your previous company?

What type of corporate culture do you come from and what type of culture are you looking for? The hiring manager should know, through your answer, if this company is a cultural fit for you. Draw on your pre-interview research as well.

Ryan's Answer

"The type of culture that I currently come from is based on independence and accountability. Although I really appreciate the countability component, I am actively seeking a role that offers more team work based opportunities. From my research, I understand that you offer this type of culture."


How would you explain the benefits of a product to a customer?

The hiring manager would like to know that you are able to sell a product to a client by referring to the benefits it will bring them. Take the interviewer through your typical selling process but do make it brief.

Ryan's Answer

"When I am selling to a client based on the benefits of the product, I first take the time to ensure that I understand what problem it is that I am trying to help them solve. I will tie their challenge into what the product can do to help them. Having the client agree with the connection of problem vs. solution is also really important."


Are you confident that you will be successful in the sales field?

Tell the hiring manager a bit about why you feel you would be good at this job. Draw on your previous results and experiences in your sales career. Be sure to let the interviewer know that you would really like the job.

Ryan's Answer

"Yes, after reading through the job description and getting to know your company's needs a bit better, I am very confident that I will be successful in a sales role with your company. In my previous position I successfully managed a $16M portfolio and consistently exceeded my sales targets. I would love the opportunity to do the same for your organization."


What do you know about our company?

Researching the company prior to your interview is a very strong way of showing your interest in the company and the role. Showcase the knowledge that you have gathered from your research.

Ryan's Answer



What was your most successful sales project you worked on?

Before your interview, think ahead to some of your proudest career wins. If you think of your favorite or most successful projects, is there a common denominator between them? Now is a time to brag a little bit about some of your big career wins.

Ryan's Answer

"I have had many successful projects in my career but my favorite one was the $5M project I closed with Company XYZ. They were my biggest client to date. I was tasked with managing the new software rollout and the deadline was tight. Not only was I able to meet all of the expectations of my client but I was also awarded top sales engineer of the year for the growth and profitability our company saw from that successful deal."


Why do you feel you would be a good candidate for this position and organization?

The hiring manager wants to know that you want this job. Talk a bit about why you are a strong candidate and be sure to tie in the information you have gathered from their job posting or job description.

Ryan's Answer

"I feel that you should hire me because I offer precisely the experience that you are looking for (give a specific example). In addition to the skills that I have, I also offer a character and work ethic that would fit well with your organization."


What engineering education have you received?

Having the right experience is really important but it is also important to show the interviewer that you have received the correct foundation from your education. Expand a little bit on your education by talking a bit about your relevant coursework and your grades.

Ryan's Answer

"I have a Masters' Degree in Engineering with a focus on Application Engineering. During the course of my degree I found that my best grades were in mathematical modeling. I graduated top of my class and received many scholarships throughout my college career."


What products have you modified to sell to a customer before?

Be sure to give specific examples of clients who have needed you to exercise your engineering expertise for them. Talk a bit about the process and what the outcome was.

Ryan's Answer

"I have modified a couple of products previously, in order to suit my customer's needs. The first product was a highly technical product called...(give example)...The client was very happy with my modifications and I was also able to train them on the proper use. I am very comfortable making modifications for clients."


What will you do if you get a target which is impossible to attain?

It can happen from time to time that your company's sales forecasts are a bit off. If this has happened to you in your career before, be sure to use that as an example. The hiring manager is looking for a reply that will show them that you have the tenacity to try rather than just deem the target impossible and give up as a result.

Ryan's Answer

"I have received very lofty sales targets before. Rather than treating the target as impossible, I will break it down a bit and tackle parts of it at a time. I like the challenge so would definitely treat the target as attainable unless proven otherwise."


What are your qualifications for this job?

Before your interview it is really important for you to review the company's job description in full. Have a complete understanding of the company's needs, the product you will be selling and what the "must-have qualifications" are from the job posting. Address those skills that you possess and add on any additional transferrable skills that you think would be important for the hiring manager to know about.

Ryan's Answer

"must-have qualifications"


How do you define success in your chosen career?

Are you able to understand what doing a great job really means? How do you measure and define success? You can use examples from your previous position as well.

Ryan's Answer

"I define success as a sales engineer through my results and my reputation. I have consistently exceeded my sales targets for the past 6 years and have great customer relationships as well. This is how I would define success."

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