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17 Sales Development Representative Interview Questions To Ask Employer: Crafting Effective Questions That Impress

Sales development reps ask interview questions to an employer for two reasons.

  1. They try to learn to see if the position is a good fit.
  2. They know it’s a good time to impress and connect with the interviewer.

The winners of the jobs will consider both reasons when forming their questions to ask the employer. Don’t just form questions that evoke the information you’d like to have. Instead, you need to take a strategic approach to create questions.

Ideally, you want to ask questions that demonstrate your curiosity, interest, dedication to getting the position, and sales acumen.

You want to show you did your research. You want to get them talking with you so as to build rapport.

With so many benefits coming during this period in the interview, some might say the interview hasn’t even begun until it’s your turn to ask the questions. Usually, this is when the interviewer has let down their defenses and is less interrogative and more conversational, and open. This is your time to shine.

So, let’s go over how aspiring sales development reps can create effective interview questions to ask the employer, and 17 sales development representative interview questions to ask the employer on your next interview.

If you follow this outline, there’s a good chance you will stand out among your competitors for the job. Most SDRs just ask the basics like “Tell me about the salary” or “Will you be my manager?”. You’ll be on another level.

How To Craft Solid Interview Questions To Ask An Employer

Get ready to do some research. In order to craft interesting and conversation-starting interview questions, you need to learn a bit about the interviewer, the company, the industry, and the position.

While researching, you will create questions in 4 categories. Write the questions down on a notepad that you will bring to the interview. They’ll love seeing that you came prepared with questions written. No sales manager will give you points for having an ironclad memory. This isn’t a consulting interview.

The 4 categories of SDR interview questions to ask an employer:

  • About the industry.
  • About the company and team.
  • About the position.
  • About the interviewer.

These questions should be highly personalized and demonstrate that you did your homework, and therefore are serious about the position.

So, first, gather your materials. Find the interviewer on LinkedIn or the company website. Find any blog posts they have written or initiatives they have led. Learn about their position.

Then, read about the company and their product on their website, white pages, case studies, etc. All of these resources will give you the basic information you need to have intelligent conversations about the company and its software with the employer.

Now look over some industry publications or articles about current trends. Learn about their clients and their needs.

Lastly, pull out the application and find things that are unclear, or anything you want the interviewer to expound.

Going through this process not only helps you form good questions. It also helps you learn enough to sound intelligent when having conversations with the interview. Furthermore, armed with knowledge, you will perform better when they ask you questions.

Sales Development Representative Interview Questions To Ask The Employer

Questions About The Industry

When you ask about the industry, you signal that you are both interested and informed about the market in which the company works and sells. The best questions are based on research and have to do with something you actually read. Here are some you can use.

1. What is the most challenging part about selling into this industry?

This question shows that you are actually curious about what challenges you might encounter if you were to sell into the market. It shows you are giving this position serious thought.

2. In my reading, I noticed {trend X} and thought about how it might increase the demand for your product. What do you think about that connection?

Posing this question paints you as a curious person who is willing to do some digging and research to learn more about the industry. This is coveted in an SDR. Employers want reps who will take initiative to learn on their own and constantly search for new ways to position value to the prospects.

3. I’ve found that a lot of {the clients they serve} struggle with {Pain point A}. Have you ever thought about including a {problem-solving function} into your software?

To succeed using this one you have to be pretty inventive. You are actually pitching them something that might help their clients. But, it doesn’t have to be perfect. You aren’t an expert yet.

Even if it’s a totally insane idea that the product team would never consider, this question at least demonstrates to the interviewer that you are entrepreneurial, confident, curious, and informed enough on the product and market to make a suggestion. Those are key traits employers want in SaaS SDRs. Not to mention, if your idea is good, the interviewer will be blown away by your confidence and creativity.

4. From research, I know {competitor A} and {competitor B} are your main competitors. Are there any others? And how do you differentiate yourself from them?

This one shows you did your homework and are actually already thinking about how you are going to sell this product. This means you are more prepared than other interviewees. And to the interviewer, you come across as a smart individual.

Questions About The Company & Team

Asking about the company and team is a great way to learn about what you are getting yourself into. Plus, you can demonstrate your interest in the team and company.

1. Can you describe the company culture for me?

It's crucial to most companies that they hire SDRs who match the company culture, and this question demonstrates your awareness of this fact. Posing it shows you are considering whether the culture aligns with your values.

2. What’s been the team’s greatest {challenge or achievement} this year?

This shows you care about the team and its struggles and successes. It shows you are team-focused. Sales managers want a team player who will help their team members excel.

3. I read on your site that your company values ____ here. How do you encourage its existence?

Employers want to hire SDRs who will contribute to their core values, such as honesty, inclusion, etc. Show that you also think values of high importance by asking this question about a specific value you hold dear to your heart. If the value you found on their website is “getting freaking rich”, maybe cancel the interview.

4. This company is so young. And you’ve been here since the start. Can you tell me a bit about the origin story, such as why it was started and how?

Startup software companies want someone who is interested in the company and business in general, as SDRs need to have solid business acumen, or a desire to develop one, to succeed in the role. Plus, if you are talking with an early member of the team, they might shine at this question, excited to share their early years and the crazy times they had.

Questions About The Position

Use these sales development representative interview questions to ask the employer to show your interest in the position. Also, craft questions that show you have actually read over the application and understand it clearly. Lastly, take this opportunity to see if this job is actually going to be satisfying for you.

1. Can you tell me about the sales process and which parts SDRs handle?

Some SDRs are tasked with handling different parts of the sales process. So, ask this question to get an understanding of what parts you handle. Usually, it will be prospecting and qualification, but just make sure. Also, learn about the company’s total sales process, as this will enlighten you on what a future AE or CSM role could be like.

2. I read on the application that I would be responsible for {job responsibility X}, can you elaborate on this a bit?

Usually, there will be an aspect of the application or job description that you’d like to hear more about because it’s confusing or interesting. Use this question to get your interviewer talking, while also demonstrating your attention to detail.

3. What does it take to succeed in this position?

Sales employers usually want competitors who are eager to succeed. Show them you are this type of person by asking them exactly what the best SDRs do.

4. What are your main outbound prospecting strategies?

LinkedIn social selling, cold calling, cold emailing. There are a ton of ways to connect with prospects and nudge them into demos or presentations. Figure out which ones the company prioritizes. This will show you are already thinking ahead and imagining how to succeed at the job.

Questions About The Interviewer

Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, wrote, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.

These questions help you do exactly that. They are great for building a relationship with the interviewer. The more they enjoy talking with you, the more they will like you. And what’s more, fun to talk about than yourself?

Also, of course, the more they like you, the more they’ll want to hire you. It’s a great feeling walking out of the interview knowing you two connected, shared some laughs, and got to know one another on a personal level.

1. I’m curious, what inspired you to jump from {industry or position X} to {industry or position Y}?

This is one of the best questions to ask anyone. Since a career jump usually brings about a huge life change or change in ideals and values, you get some pretty awesome answers. They will likely share with you an interesting story.

So, through research find where they used to work. If you noticed a big jump, ask about it. For instance, if they moved from finance to SaaS sales, ask about what inspired them to make the move.

2. If I get the job, I’d like to one day move up in the company, can you tell me a bit about your progression up through the company ranks?

If you noticed that they were promoted through the ranks of the company hierarchy, ask them about how they did it. What are their secrets to success? This mainly serves as an ego-stroker, but it can also teach you a lot about your potential career path if you join the company, especially if they started as an SDR like you.

3. I noticed on the company website that you started and grew {Initiative X}. What made you decide to introduce this into the company? 

Sometimes the interviewer will be credited for starting an initiative or company mission. These could be volunteering activities, a company value, or an entire department or strategy. If you find this information, ask about it. It will lead to great conversations.

4. What do you love most about working here?

Give them a chance to really sell you on the company and its people. They will reflect on the good parts of the job. And you’ll get a personal review of the experience of working there.

5. Are there any books or publications you’d recommend to learn more about the industry?

Last but not least, ask for some recommended reading. This shows you are eager to learn in order to be the best SDR possible. Sales employers will respect and appreciate your thirst for knowledge.

To get started, here on the top software sales books.

Bottom Line

Take advantage of the time you have to ask questions to your employer. Before you get there, come prepared with 5-10 questions from the above categories. Make sure they are well-researched, open-ended, and interesting. If you do this, you will come away from the interview satisfied with your performance. And the interviewer will leave thinking, “Gosh that person was curious, smart, interesting, and wholly enjoyable to talk with.”