sales interview

How to Answer ‘Why Sales?’ Prep for the Ultimate Response

Sales is a notoriously tricky profession. It’s high-stress, fast-paced, and often requires working long hours. So why would anyone want to enter sales?

For many people, the answer is simple – money. Sales jobs tend to pay very well, especially if you’re successful. But that’s not the only reason someone might want to enter sales.

Some people are natural salespeople. They love the challenge of the hunt, the thrill of the close, and the satisfaction of a job well done. They’re also usually very outgoing and enjoy working with people.

If you’re interested in a career in sales, you’ll need to be able to answer the question “Why sales?”

It’s all very well, focusing on experience and your educational background in your sales interview. Still, it doesn’t always get to the core of why you want to be in the profession.

Some hiring managers don’t even care about your sales career history. Instead, they want to know if you have sales skills and if your personality will fit with the established team.

The ‘why sales’ question is certainly a common one, but how you answer it can make or break the chance of a second interview. And for the love of God, don’t just say, “because I love sales” – there has to be more than that.

So why is this interview question such a crucial one to be considered of all the sales interview questions you may come across? Find out below.

Why is the ‘Why Sales?’ Interview question so Important?

When it comes to sales jobs, they all have one thing in common: to use your sales skills to convince someone that they need what you are trying to sell them through various means and techniques. Mastering this gets you paid and helps you smash your monthly sales quotas.

In a sales interview, you are essentially having to sell yourself to the hiring manager, and the ‘ question is necessary for reasons such as:

  • The question proves whether you can sell yourself. If you can’t articulate to the hiring manager that you are the best person for the sales position, you will have a reasonably hard time selling the product you have been asked to sell.
  • It proves whether you have done enough research on the company compared to other candidates you may be up against. When interviewers ask the question, respond with a clear answer, speaking to your own strengths and how your skills contribute to the company you are interviewing for. Prove that you are a salesperson with the company’s interests in mind.
  • It helps the hiring manager understand what your motivations are. By understanding your motivations, whether to make more money, improve your career path, or learn from other sales team members, the interviewer can know what drives you and understand if your motivations match that of the company. The last thing a sales manager wants is to hire someone just to establish that they aren’t a perfect fit, for whatever reason.

A high-level approach to answering the “Why Sales?” question

I interview countless sales representatives, and it can be pretty obvious when I ask the question if the candidate’s response is genuine or not.

Before your sales interview, it would be good to write out some of the most common sales interview questions you might come across and think hard about how you would respond. For example, typical interview questions might include:

  • What do you know about our company?
  • Tell me more about yourself.
  • Give me an overview of your career progression to date.
  • What are your career goals?
  • How do you generate, develop, and close sales opportunities?
  • How do you stay abreast of industry trends?
  • Do you consider yourself a team player?
  • How do you manage yourself when confronted with challenges in sales?

When thinking of the “why sales?” question, really think hard about what makes you interested in sales? If you struggle to think of many reasons, perhaps sales isn’t the right career path for you, and that’s ok.

Consider your answer to be the thirty-second sales pitch selling yourself. Develop your ‘pitch’ in a way that helps you stand out against your competition. Consider a concise explanation that articulates what attracts you to sales in general and what is it, over and above all the other job seekers, that make you good at it?

You want to keep your answer short, no longer than one minute. You will get to discuss other points when the interviewers ask different questions. To get some ideas, consider the following:

  • Do closing sales make you excited and proud of what you do?
  • Are you passionate about the product and/or service you are applying for?
  • Do you love the development and/or sales progression that selling can present to you?

When crafting your answer for the sales interviews, consider each company individually to understand what makes them tick. Check out the website, visit company review pages like Glassdoor and look at their Linkedin page. If you want to get a real insight into the company, reach out to some of the existing sales team and ask them precisely what they like about it.

Make sure you understand the commission structure, and if you don’t, it’s an interview question you can ask on the job interview. Yes, you are allowed to interview the hiring manager and the company! But, let’s face it, if the commission structure is good, it does help make the sales pitch for ‘why sales?’ much more appealing.

Lastly, you must be as honest as possible when crafting your response. For example, your ability to achieve success greatly depends on how YOU answer the ‘why sales?’ question. If you just use someone else’s answer and one that doesn’t resonate with you, the interviewer will most likely be able to see through it. And, definitely, don’t lie about sales results; it won’t come across well.


The “why sales?” question is often used in job interviews for sales positions to screen candidates. By taking the time to prepare your answer. Being honest about why you want to pursue a career in sales, you’ll be able to successfully answer this question and land the job you want.

What is your answer to the “why sales?” question? Leave your reply in the comments below! 

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