36 Common SDR Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 11 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When you apply to be a sales development representative (SDR), you may receive an invitation to interview for the position. During interviews, potential employers ask questions to determine what your qualifications are and assess your ability to handle the responsibilities of the advertised role. Knowing and preparing answers to some common SDR interview questions can help you feel confident when you meet a potential employer in an interview setting. In this article, we provide a list of 36 common SDR interview questions and offer several examples of answers to help you prepare effectively for a job interview.

Related: 35 Sales Rep Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

General SDR interview questions

General SDR interview questions help hiring managers learn more about how your skills and qualifications relate to a job in sales. Employers use these questions to determine how well you might transition into a new role in their organisation's sales team. Here are some common interview questions employers may ask in an interview for an SDR position:

  1. Can you tell me about yourself?

  2. How much experience do you have in sales?

  3. What are your strengths and weaknesses as a salesperson?

  4. What's the most important career lesson you've learnt?

  5. Why are you interested in sales?

  6. Why did you leave your last position?

  7. What do you know about our company?

  8. What's your greatest skill as a sales development representative?

  9. Do you have any relevant certifications or other credentials?

  10. How did you learn about this position?

Related: 'Why Sales?' Interview Question (How to Answer and Examples)

Questions about experience and background

Interviewers typically ask questions about your background to gauge what experience and qualifications you have that make you a good candidate for a new SDR position. They may ask about relevant responsibilities you've had in other sales jobs or enquire about transferrable skills you have that relate to a position as a sales development representative. Here are some common questions employers ask about candidates' experience and background:

  1. What would you ask prospective clients or customers to gauge their interest in a product or service?

  2. What's your communication style when speaking with clients or customers?

  3. How do you approach cold calls when contacting prospects?

  4. How would you describe your customer service skills?

  5. Can you tell me about a challenging situation you've encountered and explain how you handled it?

  6. Have you ever had to work with a difficult client? How did you handle the situation?

  7. How do you manage stress in a professional setting?

  8. What's your favourite part about working in sales?

  9. What's your greatest career accomplishment and how did you achieve it?

  10. 'How do you successfully meet your sales quotas?

Related: 40 Sales Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

In-depth questions

Hiring managers often ask behaviour-related questions to determine how you might respond to situations as a sales development representative. Review this list to learn some common in-depth questions employers may ask during a job interview:

  1. What data analysis tools have you used in past positions and how did you use them?

  2. What do you do when a meeting with a prospective customer doesn't go as planned?

  3. How do you maintain a good work-life balance?

  4. Can you provide an example of a time you successfully overcame a challenge?

  5. How do you introduce yourself to prospective customers or clients?

  6. What are the most effective sales techniques you use to convert leads into customers?

  7. How do you build meaningful relationships with customers?

  8. How do you handle common objections from prospective customers during a sales call?

  9. What productivity tools do you use to manage your time effectively?

  10. Could you pretend that I'm a prospective customer and leave me a voicemail?

Related: Common Behavioural Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

6 SDR interview questions with sample answers

Review these common interview questions and examples of answers to help you prepare to interview for a position as a sales development representative:

1. How do you deal with rejection?

When you work as a sales development representative, you may sometimes face setbacks and rejection. When you respond to questions like this one, it's important to demonstrate your willingness to learn and show that you can handle an unsuccessful situation, see it from a new perspective and move forward on a positive note. Explain that you're open to receiving negative feedback and are able to accept your mistakes when necessary. A good sales representative handles rejection in a mature manner and demonstrates intelligence and persistence when working with new leads and customers.

Example: 'I've learnt not to take rejection personally and to remain professional in every situation. I try to end conversations on a positive note and do my work the best I can.'

2. What aspects of sales development do you enjoy the least?

Recruiters may ask this question to try to understand whether your goals and priorities align with the company's and with the objectives of the sales position. Use your answer to demonstrate enthusiasm and resilience, even when you're describing a less desirable aspect of the sales job.

Example: 'I usually don't enjoy the paperwork, but I understand that it's a necessary part of the job. I believe it's also a good time to reflect on what went well with a particular sale and what could have gone better.'

3. How do you engage a prospective customer?

Once you've researched and identified ways to reach out to a prospect, the next step is to engage with them. As a sales development representative, you're likely to spend much of your time contacting potential clients by email or phone. When a recruiter asks about your engagement techniques, demonstrate that you have a solid approach for getting around gatekeepers and reaching out to prospects to speak with them directly. Listen closely and respond engagingly during the interview process to show your potential employer that you have good communication skills.

Example: 'I believe listening is key. It helps me connect with prospects by talking about what interests them and offering any insights or experience I have on those subjects. Also, I ask questions to understand them better and determine how products or services could fit in their lives.'

4. How do you react if you can't meet the sales goals for a particular month?

There are often situations in which even the most effective SDR can't achieve their sales target. It's important to demonstrate to the recruiter that you don't panic if something is challenging and can execute plans to make improvements. Your response can cover the importance of proactively monitoring your performance and taking action to fix it. You can also demonstrate your willingness to learn and ask for help when necessary.

Example: ‘When I can't meet the sales target for a month, I stay focused and don't panic. I create a strategic outreach plan that may include reaching out to high-potential clients or finding new and exciting business opportunities to bring in sales in a short time frame. I create plans that focus on consistency and targeted task numbers.'

Related: 8 Tough Interview Questions and How You Can Answer Them

5. What's something that you've recently learnt?

SDRs often ask insightful questions or make personalised conversations with prospective customers. It's important to learn new tools, techniques and resources to get the best responses from prospects and to have meaningful communication with them. When you hear this question during an interview, it's best to respond enthusiastically and demonstrate your willingness to learn by sharing any helpful knowledge you've recently come across.

Example: 'I believe learning is a lifelong process. Recently, I took a certification course on the topic of sales analysis using PowerBI that taught me how to leverage PowerBI to analyse the key performance indicators in sales data.'

6. Why do you want to be a part of this company?

This is a common SDR interview question that many hiring managers ask. Your response tells the recruiter whether you were proactive enough to research the company and its offerings before the interview. If you have done an in-depth study, you can devise a personalised response that showcases your knowledge of the company and sets out how you would fit into its environment.

Example: 'I've always felt excellent customer service is a crucial part of any winning sales strategy. The reputation your company has for maintaining and nurturing long-term client satisfaction has always impressed me. I also appreciate your mission statement and believe in the company's goals.'

Related: Interview Question: 'Why Do You Want to Work Here?'

SDR interview tips

Here are some tips to help you prepare for a sales development representative interview:

  • Practise your answers. Before the interview, practise your answers to some common questions. This can help you become comfortable answering questions so you can convey confidence during your job interview.

  • Research the company. It's helpful to research the company you're interviewing with so that you can use this information in some of your interview responses.

  • Use the STAR method. When answering questions during an SDR interview, use the STAR method to help you respond to in-depth behaviour-related questions. According to this technique, when answering a question, describe a situation, the task you had to complete, the action you took and the result.

  • Prepare your own questions. At the end of an interview, hiring managers often ask whether you have any questions about the position or the company. Prepare your own questions before the interview to demonstrate your interest in the position.

Read more: How To Use the STAR Interview Technique

Explore more articles