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Sales Engineer

For the interview

A positive opener to start

What is your proudest achievement as a Sales Engineer?

How did you choose a career in Sales Engineering?

Behavioral Questions

  • What kind of work environment do you work best in and why?
  • This is a great chance to imagine how a candidate will fit into your current team, as well as to assess their adaptability and figure out if any adjustments would need to be made if they were hired.
  • When working to multiple deadlines for different clients, how do you ensure you stay motivated and organised?
  • Sales Engineers will usually work with multiple separate clients, meaning their organisation and time management skills need to be sharp. This answer will give you an idea of their skills in these areas.
  • When working with a difficult client, how do you ensure you remain calm and professional?
  • Not all clients will be easy to form a relationship with, this question aims to test a candidate’s ability to manoeuvre this situation and represent your business in the correct manner.
  • If you were working with a stakeholder from another team and weren’t receiving adequate communication from them, how would you deal with this?
  • Sales Engineers often have to collaborate with different departments, knowing that they can keep this communication flowing and move projects forward in a professional way is a good sign in a candidate.

Soft Skills

  • If you were running late to an offsite client meeting, how would you handle this situation?
  • Here you are looking for a candidate’s problem solving and people skills. Keeping the client updated on their estimated arrival time as well as representing the business in a positive way is essential here.
  • When receiving constructive feedback from clients on our product, how would you make sure this was properly recorded and utilised?
  • If a client has experienced problems or has improvements for a product or service, it is important this is taken on board. Knowing your candidate can action this feedback is essential.
  • If you were set a target which you felt was unrealistic, how would you deal with this?
  • Knowing your Sales Engineer has the confidence and negotiating skills to speak up and set realistic targets is a great perk.
  • How do you prepare for an introductory call with a new client?
  • This is one of the most important interview questions for a Sales Engineer as it will test their preparation, organisation and research skills. An ideal candidate will mention researching the client as well as preparing a strong agenda for the meeting.
  • When researching this role, what USPs did you find that you would mention to a potential client?
  • This would again test the candidate’s research skills. While the answer shouldn’t be too in-depth during an early-stage interview, knowing they can pick out a few technical points to explain (And sell) will show the candidate is up for the challenge of Sales Engineering.

Hard Skills

  • Which sales tools or software are you most comfortable with using?
  • Here you’ll get an idea of how similar the candidate’s workflow is to your current processes and you'll get a clear understanding of what they’ll need to be onboarded on.
  • What skills do you have that you think make you a good fit for this position?
  • This gives the candidate the opportunity to show off the skills they are confident in, as well as give you an idea of how deeply they understand their role.
  • Have you taken any training to help further your skills in sales engineering? 
  • Here, you’ll get an idea of what specialised skills or abilities the candidate has which they can bring to the role. You’ll also discover their dedication and motivation to further their career.
  • When giving a client a product demo, how do you ensure they are engaged and following your process?
  • This will give you an insight into the candidate’s past experience. They should be able to list some specific sales techniques, whether this is encouraging questions or something more technical.
  • Have you ever worked with remote access software? If so, how confident are you with this?
  • It’s worth asking this question if this will be something that your company offers or is looking to offer, as you’ll get an idea of if they will need to be trained in this.

Operational / Situational Questions

  • Imagine you are giving a product demo to a client and the product stops working, how would you deal with this situation?
  • The candidate should be able to calmly walk the client through a troubleshooting process and provide feedback to the relevant teams on fixing whatever error occurred. This tests both their communication and troubleshooting skills.
  • Tell me about a time you’ve had to work with a product that you weren’t initially knowledgeable about. How did you get to grips with the product?
  • Here a candidate can walk you through their research process and give you an insight into their previous work experience. This is especially important if your business offers a particularly complex product or service.
  • Do you have experience reaching out to potential clients or customers in order to organise product demonstrations or form a relationship with them? If so, what is your process?
  • If a candidate is comfortable with expanding your network and spreading the word about your product or service, this is an incredible opportunity to bring a talented salesperson onboard.
  • Do you have experience with training a sales team on difficult or complex products? If so, how do you ensure that your team fully understands and can pass this information along properly?
  • This is an important question for bigger teams who will be working with complex products. If a candidate has experience with providing training to teammates this is a huge boost of confidence in this area.
  • Describe a time where a client call hasn’t gone as well as you expected? How did you cope with this and what steps did you take after the call?
  • Working with several stakeholders means that from time to time mistakes will be made. Knowing your Sales Engineer can deal with this is a great relief.

Best Sales Engineer Interview Questions

Sales Engineer Interview Questions

A good Sales Engineer can truly turn your sales strategy around. Working to simplify complex concepts and turn them into easy to understand selling points, they can ensure that potential clients and customers truly understand the benefits of your products and services. 

Since this role has such a direct impact on your revenue, it’s important to hire the right person for the job. The essential skills for a Sales Engineer are:

  • Excellent communication and negotiation skills.
  • Technical understanding of your industry, products or services.
  • Ability to work with different departments to produce a comprehensive sales strategy. 
  • Strong mathematical skills.
  • Fluency with MS Office.
  • Excellent networking skills.
  • Strong problem-solving ability.

Depending on your client base you may also need to confirm that the candidate has a driving license and is willing to travel.

How to interview a Sales Engineer

Since they will essentially be a spokesperson for your company, as well as ensuring that your services are communicated effectively, asking the right interview questions for a Sales Engineer is critical.

We’ve put together a list of Sales Engineer interview questions that’ll help you assess different skillsets in your candidate. These questions are best utilised at the start of the interview process so that you can decide whether to proceed to the next steps.

How to open the job interview

If you want to accurately assess the cultural and skill fit of a potential hire in your team, it’s best to start off by putting them at ease.

Interviews are nerve-wracking, whatever your role or seniority, so preparing some laidback interview questions for your Sales Engineer will mean that you can fully experience their personality and skills. This section of the interview will only be a few minutes long, then you can get into the more technical side of things.

For the interview

A positive opener to start

What is your proudest achievement as a Sales Engineer?

How did you choose a career in Sales Engineering?

Behavioral Questions

  • What kind of work environment do you work best in and why?
  • This is a great chance to imagine how a candidate will fit into your current team, as well as to assess their adaptability and figure out if any adjustments would need to be made if they were hired.
  • When working to multiple deadlines for different clients, how do you ensure you stay motivated and organised?
  • Sales Engineers will usually work with multiple separate clients, meaning their organisation and time management skills need to be sharp. This answer will give you an idea of their skills in these areas.
  • When working with a difficult client, how do you ensure you remain calm and professional?
  • Not all clients will be easy to form a relationship with, this question aims to test a candidate’s ability to manoeuvre this situation and represent your business in the correct manner.
  • If you were working with a stakeholder from another team and weren’t receiving adequate communication from them, how would you deal with this?
  • Sales Engineers often have to collaborate with different departments, knowing that they can keep this communication flowing and move projects forward in a professional way is a good sign in a candidate.

Soft Skills

  • If you were running late to an offsite client meeting, how would you handle this situation?
  • Here you are looking for a candidate’s problem solving and people skills. Keeping the client updated on their estimated arrival time as well as representing the business in a positive way is essential here.
  • When receiving constructive feedback from clients on our product, how would you make sure this was properly recorded and utilised?
  • If a client has experienced problems or has improvements for a product or service, it is important this is taken on board. Knowing your candidate can action this feedback is essential.
  • If you were set a target which you felt was unrealistic, how would you deal with this?
  • Knowing your Sales Engineer has the confidence and negotiating skills to speak up and set realistic targets is a great perk.
  • How do you prepare for an introductory call with a new client?
  • This is one of the most important interview questions for a Sales Engineer as it will test their preparation, organisation and research skills. An ideal candidate will mention researching the client as well as preparing a strong agenda for the meeting.
  • When researching this role, what USPs did you find that you would mention to a potential client?
  • This would again test the candidate’s research skills. While the answer shouldn’t be too in-depth during an early-stage interview, knowing they can pick out a few technical points to explain (And sell) will show the candidate is up for the challenge of Sales Engineering.

Hard Skills

  • Which sales tools or software are you most comfortable with using?
  • Here you’ll get an idea of how similar the candidate’s workflow is to your current processes and you'll get a clear understanding of what they’ll need to be onboarded on.
  • What skills do you have that you think make you a good fit for this position?
  • This gives the candidate the opportunity to show off the skills they are confident in, as well as give you an idea of how deeply they understand their role.
  • Have you taken any training to help further your skills in sales engineering? 
  • Here, you’ll get an idea of what specialised skills or abilities the candidate has which they can bring to the role. You’ll also discover their dedication and motivation to further their career.
  • When giving a client a product demo, how do you ensure they are engaged and following your process?
  • This will give you an insight into the candidate’s past experience. They should be able to list some specific sales techniques, whether this is encouraging questions or something more technical.
  • Have you ever worked with remote access software? If so, how confident are you with this?
  • It’s worth asking this question if this will be something that your company offers or is looking to offer, as you’ll get an idea of if they will need to be trained in this.

Operational / Situational Questions

  • Imagine you are giving a product demo to a client and the product stops working, how would you deal with this situation?
  • The candidate should be able to calmly walk the client through a troubleshooting process and provide feedback to the relevant teams on fixing whatever error occurred. This tests both their communication and troubleshooting skills.
  • Tell me about a time you’ve had to work with a product that you weren’t initially knowledgeable about. How did you get to grips with the product?
  • Here a candidate can walk you through their research process and give you an insight into their previous work experience. This is especially important if your business offers a particularly complex product or service.
  • Do you have experience reaching out to potential clients or customers in order to organise product demonstrations or form a relationship with them? If so, what is your process?
  • If a candidate is comfortable with expanding your network and spreading the word about your product or service, this is an incredible opportunity to bring a talented salesperson onboard.
  • Do you have experience with training a sales team on difficult or complex products? If so, how do you ensure that your team fully understands and can pass this information along properly?
  • This is an important question for bigger teams who will be working with complex products. If a candidate has experience with providing training to teammates this is a huge boost of confidence in this area.
  • Describe a time where a client call hasn’t gone as well as you expected? How did you cope with this and what steps did you take after the call?
  • Working with several stakeholders means that from time to time mistakes will be made. Knowing your Sales Engineer can deal with this is a great relief.

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