Salespeople or sales representatives are the people committed to ensuring your animation studio is profitable.
They strategically attract animation clients by identifying their needs, offering your animation services, and fostering strong client relationships that guarantee their trust in your animation company.
In a nutshell, companies and businesses hire salespersons to reach their ultimate established goals efficiently.
Therefore, your animation studio must hire the right sales candidates. Doing so implies interviewing different sales candidates and determining what each can accomplish and whether they’re fit to work for your animation company or not.
When hiring the most competent candidate, there are particular questions you’ll have to ask. These questions reveal different qualities and skills among your candidates that may or may not be needed by your animation studio.
While the interview questions may often vary based on the candidate’s answers and professional experience, we’ve compiled a list of the best 13 interview questions animation studios should ask sales candidates.
Before diving into their professional work experience, you will need to get to know your candidate.
Interviews typically start with general questions which present you with an overview of your sales candidate: their personality, professional aspirations, knowledge of your animation studio, and experience in the field of sales or animation so far.
General questions give you room to express any comments and questions surrounding the sales candidate’s curriculum vitae, resume, demo reel, or portfolio. These questions will also allow you to immediately assess their communication skills, which are crucial in sales.
1) “Tell us about yourself.”
Start on one of the most general questions asked. The first question must make you learn more about your potential sales representative other than what’s indicated on their resume.
It gives you a look into their personality, personal and professional relations, work ethic, ambitions, and hobbies.
This question also gauges how suitable the candidate is to the culture of your animation company.
2) “What made you want to apply for this sales position in our animation studio?”
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This question helps you assess your candidate’s level of understanding and enthusiasm for the position, the responsibilities that come with it, and your animation studio.
Pay attention to whether their response reflects the skills and qualities required for the job or not. While the candidate answers this question, note how well they’ve researched your animation studio and the different animation services offered.
This question also lets you observe whether the candidate exhibits a specific interest in becoming a sales representative for your animation studio. Plus points for the candidate with some experience or basic knowledge in sales as this would be beneficial for your animation company.
Their experience and information on sales and animation don’t need to be wide or in-depth as you can provide training to improve their skills.
3) “Where do you see yourself in the next five years?”
Asking your sales candidate where they see themselves in the future determines their level of commitment to their chosen career path and determination to accomplish the goals of your animation company.
Through this question, you can observe their professional goals, such as what positions they envision themselves leading and what skills they wish to have obtained as a sales representative over time.
4) “How do you stay motivated at work?”
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Being a salesperson can feel overwhelming with the hectic workload of answering and sending emails, generating leads, attending client meetings, and dealing with many rejections. That is why you should hire a sales candidate who knows how to deal with the stress and the pressure while remaining optimistic.
Optimistic salespersons can stay motivated to accomplish their tasks. They are dedicated to constantly doing the best for your animation business.
This question showcases not only a salesperson’s commitment to excellent performance but their ability to handle hardships and unexpected failures that may come with the job.
It allows you to observe the strategies they employ that drive them to success. Do they take days off? Or do they immediately shake it off and bounce back?
5) “Tell me about your strengths and weaknesses as a salesperson.”
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This general question directly gives you the pros and cons of hiring a particular candidate. Take note of the skills they take pride in and whether they fit the position. Plus points if the sales candidate supplies it with experience.
While this question demonstrates what the candidate can offer the animation studio, you should also ask this to gauge how aware the candidate is of their abilities and limitations.
Find out where your candidate falls short and if it’s a skill that they’re willing to improve on or if they have turned their weaknesses into strengths.
Finally, their answers here can also help you pick out the arrogant candidates. An arrogant candidate would often oversell their strengths and downplay their weaknesses.
A competent sales representative has to exhibit the various technical skills and functions that make up their tasks. Proficiency in these skills ensures their ability to efficiently perform their responsibilities and secure animation clients for your studio.
Sales candidates with experience are often asked technical questions. It primarily allows you to confirm and analyze their experience in past sales positions.
6) “What are your favorite and least favorite parts of sales?”
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Once they answer, you should ask follow-up questions to help you understand their approach toward weak points, especially if they’re crucial in the sales process. You can ask how they prepare for the difficult stages in the sales cycle or how they simplify their process.
This question will also foster more productive and targeted training sessions to help your animation business bring out the best in your sales representatives.
7) “How would you keep up to date on the demands of our target market?”
While target markets change per industry, your candidate’s response to this question will demonstrate their ability to adjust and stay on top of an ever-changing segment of people to keep them satisfied.
A sales candidate who perfectly answers this question for your animation studio should be alert and innovative in responding to the demands of the animation industry over time. Look for the sales candidate who references reliable websites and news sites, magazines, and newsletters on animation.
8) “What can you say about the role of social media in sales?”
Social media is an essential tool as the world shifts toward a more digital landscape. Its broad reach and algorithms undeniably impact the selling and marketing of different products and services.
You can use this question to find out which candidates include social media in the sales process and whether they are aware of the commonly-used platforms of animation clients.
So keep an eye out for sales candidates with experience on social media –– those who can identify its numerous functions and use it to the advantage of the animation studio, such as in researching prospects.
Salespersons are given numerous options in identifying and analyzing animation leads and prospects, especially with the presence of the internet. Observe whether the sales candidate is knowledgeable on the different websites to find clients, such as LinkedIn and the trending social media platforms.
Also, take notice if they have developed offline strategies in researching prospects before calling or meeting with them.
A good candidate must recognize personal or professional commonalities such as connections, groups, or even interests that they can use to their advantage during their sales calls or meetings.
But if your candidate lacks online experience, make sure that they are willing to adjust and learn.
9) “Tell me about your sales process.”
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This technical question simply determines whether the candidate is aware of the specific steps in the sales cycle and the various responsibilities of a sales representative. It also allows them to share their past experiences in executing or even perfecting the process.
Look for a candidate who exhibits a strong understanding of the process by clearly detailing the different steps. Additionally, asking this can also drive away a dishonest candidate who boasts about their sales but cannot enumerate the entire process.
10) “What do you aim to achieve during your first month as a salesperson at our animation studio?”
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This question will help you gauge your candidate’s ambition and determination to succeed by revealing what they can accomplish for your animation company as soon as possible.
What strategies can they develop and employ in offering your animation services? What numbers can they hit within the timespan? What would be the KPIs?
An ideal candidate will have prepared an action plan with goals that are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
Situational Sales Questions
While answers to the interview questions above can be supplied with real-life situations from your sales candidate, the following questions are tailored to assess your candidate’s skills in dealing with specific situations and circumstances as a salesperson.
Whether you’re interviewing an entry-level candidate or an experienced sales representative, it’s important to ask a couple of situational questions that will require the candidate to go off-script.
These questions will give you an idea of your candidate’s ability to manage their workload, work under pressure, and think on their feet.
11) “Would you ever turn down an animation prospect? If so, why and how would you do it?”
While it is the goal of a sales representative to offer the services of your animation company, some instances do call for them to turn down a prospect. Instances such as an irrationally difficult client or one that displays a conflict of interest are such reasons that permit salespersons to turn away prospects.
You must look for a salesperson who can identify such circumstances and pleasantly communicate the rejection to the animation prospect. You wouldn’t want to hassle and spend too much time and energy on a client that may not even be worth it.
12) “Tell us about a situation where you had to deal with a difficult client or coworker. How did you deal with the situation?”
The sales industry brings you face to face with a ton of difficult or even demanding clients. Sometimes circumstances may not be in your favor. Scenarios may arise, like the animator’s inability to meet all the client’s demands or a client suddenly requesting a refund.
By asking this question, you are testing your candidate’s communication skills and ability to solve challenging sales situations by revealing their level of creativity and critical thinking skills.
Their answer reveals how they manage their patience during unexpected situations and explain the steps they take to ease their client's frustrations, calm them down, or even change their minds.
13) “How would you bounce back from a losing streak?”
This question identifies how your candidate would attempt to break out of a sales slump. While it is normal to go through a losing streak, a competent salesperson always takes valuable lessons from their experience to improve their strategy and ensure another streak wouldn’t happen again.
When asking this question, you can determine how your candidate reacts to rejection and failure and what they do to bounce back. We advise you to note the candidate who analyzes their sales plan, pinpoints where they went wrong, and revises their sales strategies accordingly.
The interview is your chance to personally meet different sales candidates, gauge their skills and capabilities, test their knowledge in the field of sales, observe their ability to think practically and creatively, and ultimately determine whether they’ll be an excellent fit for your animation company.
You will need to interview some sales candidates to find the right salespeople for your animation business. As an animator, there are several interview questions that you can ask your sales candidate to make the most out of the interview.
First, get to know your sales candidate with general questions that showcase who they are, why they want the position, their ambitions and motivations, and how they evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.
Next, get into their experience in sales with more technical questions pertaining to their ability to keep up with the target market, their research methods, their process in landing a sale, their understanding of social media, and their strategies for your animation studio.
Lastly, catch their ability to think on their feet with situational questions such as whether they’d turn down a prospect, how they handle a difficult client, and what they would do to break a losing streak in sales. Don’t forget to ask follow-up questions. And that would conclude your sales interview.
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Each question has been classified to ensure you hire a well-rounded and competent sales representative for your animation studio.
Remember that sometimes the best candidates aren’t the ones with the most sales experience and knowledge. Most of the time, it is preferable to hire individuals who are new to the sales and animation industry but are willing to learn from their mistakes and be trained to handle challenging sales situations.