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You are being interviewed by two heads of different departments for a sales position (2 vacancies), and they asked you whether you prefer to work in that department or the other one, the two departments sell different products but quite similar to a non specialized person. Basically you can fit one position or the other.

What is the best answer you can give?

Thanks

  • 2
    Really I'd just say "they are both GREAT" and not make a big deal of it. – Fattie Jun 14 '17 at 21:40
  • I exactly said that.. They insisted but I maintained my opinion, by leaving I was wondering if this was a trick question.. Because i came with only 1 position 1 job description in hand – Omar Jun 14 '17 at 21:44
  • You gave the best possible answer you could. But this part "sell different products but quite similar to a non-specialized person" probably means that you didn't do your homework enough. Why did they have different products that are quite similar? There must be a reason for this. No company makes different products just for the fun of it. If you're applying to a public company, you must read their annual report. If you're applying to a smaller company, you must read what the trade press says about their products and future trends. And if you don't know those answers, you should at least ask. – Stephan Branczyk Jun 14 '17 at 23:05
  • When did this happen? If this happened yesterday, I would do some quick research today. Then, I would contact the company and tell them I changed my mind. The product that will be making the most money in the future according to trends (or according to an educated guess), is the product you should want to sell. Not only that, but the department with the winning product is usually the one with the biggest budget and highest priority over who gets hired. – Stephan Branczyk Jun 14 '17 at 23:27
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As a sales person and someone who also interviews prospective sales people, I have an idea of their motivation for this question. They are looking for YOUR motivation to sell their products. Do you have a passion for the product line or services? Or, are you just looking to make some money?

First, I would ask a question. What are the commission structures for both positions? This shows you know what sales is about, making money. No matter their response to your question, your answer should be about how you can help them and want to learn from them. You can also ask which product is their 'bread and butter' or 'up and comer' or which they feel is going to lead them into the next phase of company growth.

Always respond with positive comments on both products, no matter which position gives you more financial gain or you have more interest in.

If you are really green and know diddly squat about sales, the products or the industry, always (and I mean always) express interest in learning about all sides of the industry, the company and what they are selling and how you can help them.

If I were interviewing I would also ask if moving between the departments at some point would be an option. I'm a stead fast believer that one must know everything they can about the business they are in to be able to sell it better.

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