17 International Sales Representative Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from an international sales representative, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

The international sales representative is responsible for the sale of products and services to customers in international markets. The jobholder works with customers in a defined territory to identify and qualify opportunities, develop and execute account plans, and close business deals.

The international sales representative must have a deep understanding of the products and services being sold, as well as the international markets in which the company operates. He or she must be able to build relationships with customers, understand their needs, and position the company’s products and services to meet those needs.

The international sales representative must be able to work independently and be self-motivated. He or she must also be able to work effectively in a team environment, as the job often requires collaboration with colleagues in other departments, such as marketing, product development, and customer service.

If you’re looking for a job as an international sales representative, you can expect to be asked a variety of questions in your job interview. Here are some sample questions and answers to help you prepare for your interview.

Are you comfortable working with people from different cultures?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have experience working with people from different backgrounds. Use your answer to highlight any previous experiences you’ve had working with international clients or customers and how you were able to overcome any challenges that may have come up.

Example: “I am very comfortable working with people from different cultures, as I have done so in my past role as an international sales representative for a software company. In this position, I worked with many foreign clients who spoke different languages than me. To overcome this challenge, I learned basic phrases in their language to use when speaking on the phone or during meetings. This helped our communication process and allowed us to build stronger relationships.”

What are some of the challenges you might face when selling to a new customer?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you adapt to new situations and challenges. Use your answer to highlight your problem-solving skills, ability to adapt to change and willingness to take on a challenge.

Example: “One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced when selling to a new customer is overcoming their skepticism about my company’s products or services. In these cases, I try to be as transparent as possible about our offerings and what makes them unique. I also emphasize that we have a proven track record of success with other clients in similar industries. This helps me build trust with potential customers and shows them that I’m confident in my company.”

How do you build rapport with potential customers?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you interact with customers and build relationships. Use examples from your experience to show that you have strong interpersonal skills and are able to communicate effectively.

Example: “I find it important to be friendly and approachable when meeting new clients or potential buyers. I always try to make sure my clients feel comfortable, so I smile and shake their hand when we meet in person. I also take notes during our meetings to ensure I remember key details about what they’re looking for and any preferences they may have. This helps me provide them with more personalized service later on.”

What is your experience with selling products or services that are new to the market?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you adapt to selling new products or services and whether you have experience with similar situations. Use examples from your previous work history to explain what helped you sell a product that was new to the market, including any challenges you faced and how you overcame them.

Example: “In my last role as an international sales representative for a software company, I had to introduce our newest program to clients who were already using our other programs. This meant I needed to educate customers on the benefits of upgrading their current system while also explaining why they should switch to our newer program. To do this, I created a presentation that outlined the differences between our older and newer systems so that customers could see the value in upgrading.”

Provide an example of a time when you overcame a sales challenge.

Employers ask this question to learn more about your problem-solving skills and how you overcome challenges. Use examples from previous jobs or include a time when you overcame a challenge in your current position.

Example: “At my last job, I was tasked with selling our company’s products to a new client. The client had already signed a contract with another company for the same product we sold. However, I knew that if I could convince them to cancel their contract, it would be beneficial for both of us. I called the other sales representative and asked him to meet me at a coffee shop. We talked for over an hour, and he eventually agreed to cancel his contract with the other company.”

If hired, what would be your primary focus as an international sales representative?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you have a clear understanding of what’s expected in this role. Your answer should include information about your primary responsibilities and how you plan to achieve them.

Example: “My primary focus would be on achieving sales goals, which I believe are most effectively accomplished by building relationships with clients. To do this, I would use my interpersonal skills to communicate clearly with clients and build trust. I would also make sure to understand their needs so I can provide solutions that meet those needs while also increasing revenue for the company.”

What would you do if you were unable to answer a question about one of our products or services?

This question can help the interviewer determine how prepared you are for the interview and whether you have researched their company. It also helps them understand what your thought process would be if you were in this situation. In your answer, try to show that you would take responsibility for not knowing the answer and would do research or ask someone else until you knew the answer.

Example: “If I was unable to answer a question about one of your products or services, I would apologize and explain that I am new to the company and will need some time to learn more about all of your offerings. Then, I would find out as much information as possible about the product or service they asked me about so I could provide an informed response next time.”

How well do you understand our company’s mission and values?

This question is a great way for employers to assess your knowledge of their company and how well you fit in with the culture. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention something specific about the company that you admire or relate to.

Example: “I have thoroughly researched your company’s mission statement and values before coming into this interview. I am very impressed by your commitment to customer service and quality products. These are two things that I feel strongly about as well, which is why I think I would be a good fit for this position.”

Do you have experience using sales tools, such as digital catalogs or websites?

Employers may ask this question to learn more about your experience with technology and how you use it in your sales process. If you have experience using these tools, share what you know about them and how they can help you complete your job duties. If you don’t have experience using these tools, explain that you are willing to learn how to use them if necessary.

Example: “I’ve used several digital catalogs and websites for my previous employers. I find that these tools make it easier for me to access information quickly when I’m on the road or meeting with a client. For example, I once had a client who was interested in one of our products but wanted to see more details before making a purchase. Using my digital catalog, I was able to show her all of the product’s features and answer any questions she had.”

When was the last time you attended sales training and what did you learn?

Employers ask this question to make sure you’re committed to your career and want to improve yourself. They also want to know that you’ve attended sales training in the past, so they can be confident that you’ll attend more if hired. When answering this question, try to think of a time when you learned something new or improved an aspect of your sales process.

Example: “The last time I attended sales training was at my previous job. My manager brought in a speaker who talked about how we could better connect with our clients by learning their culture and values. This helped me understand why some of our clients were hesitant to buy from us and gave me ideas on how to overcome those challenges.”

We want to increase our sales in a specific region. What strategies would you use to target that area?

This question can help the interviewer understand your sales strategies and how you plan to increase their company’s sales. Use examples from previous experience or explain what you would do if you had no prior experience in that region.

Example: “I have a lot of experience working with clients in Asia, so I know many different ways to target this area. In my last role, we were trying to expand our business into China, but we didn’t have any contacts there. So, I researched some companies that could be potential partners for us. We ended up partnering with one of those companies, which helped us get started in China.”

Describe your experience with international shipping and logistics.

This question can help the interviewer understand your experience with international shipping and logistics. It can also show them how you might handle a specific situation in this role, such as an international shipment that needs to be delivered on time. In your answer, try to describe a situation where you used your knowledge of shipping and logistics to complete a task or project successfully.

Example: “I have worked with international shipping and logistics for several years now. I’ve shipped products internationally using air freight, ocean freight and trucking services. I am familiar with the different types of shipping documents needed for each type of service and how to fill out these forms correctly. I know what information is important to include on these documents so that my company can track shipments efficiently.”

What makes you stand out from other candidates for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their company. Before your interview, make a list of the skills and experiences that qualify you for this role. Focus on what makes you unique from other candidates and highlight any transferable skills or knowledge you have that will help you succeed in this position.

Example: “I am highly motivated and driven by results. I know that if I work hard, I can achieve my goals. In previous positions, I’ve consistently exceeded sales quotas and met deadlines. My ability to stay organized and multitask has also helped me meet these goals. I’m confident that I can use these skills to be successful in this position.”

Which foreign languages do you speak?

Employers may ask this question to determine if you have the language skills necessary for international sales. If your job requires you to travel abroad, they may also want to know that you can communicate with locals in their native languages. When answering this question, list any foreign languages you speak and describe your level of fluency.

Example: “I am fluent in Spanish and conversational in French. I took both classes throughout high school and college, so I’m confident in my ability to communicate with others in these languages. While working as an intern at a marketing firm, I had the opportunity to work on a campaign targeting Spanish-speaking consumers. This experience helped me develop my Spanish-language skills.”

What do you think are the biggest challenges of selling internationally?

This question can help the interviewer understand your perspective on international sales and how you might approach challenges. Use examples from your experience to explain what you think are the biggest challenges of selling internationally, and also how you would overcome them.

Example: “The biggest challenge I’ve found in selling internationally is that it’s difficult to build trust with foreign clients. In my last role, I had a client who was hesitant to buy our product because they didn’t know much about us. To overcome this challenge, I researched their company extensively so I could learn more about their industry and show them that we were knowledgeable about their needs.”

How often do you travel for work and how do you handle being away from home?

Traveling for work is a common part of an international sales representative’s job. Employers ask this question to make sure you’re prepared to travel often and can handle being away from home. In your answer, explain how you plan to manage frequent travel. Share any strategies you have for staying connected with family while you’re away.

Example: “I understand that traveling for work is a regular part of this position. I plan to use my vacation days as much as possible to stay close to home when I need to be. However, I am excited about the opportunity to visit new places and meet new people. I know that working internationally will give me many opportunities to experience different cultures.”

There is a problem with a product and a customer is unhappy. How do you handle it?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you handle customer service issues. It can also show them your problem-solving skills and ability to think critically. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation where you handled a customer service issue successfully.

Example: “I once had a client who was unhappy with our product because they said it didn’t work for their needs. I asked them what they were hoping to get out of the product and if there was anything we could do to make it better. They told me that they needed more features on the product, so I spoke with my manager about adding those features. We ended up making some changes to the product, which made the customer happy.”


17 City Council Member Interview Questions and Answers

Back to Interview

17 Inspection Engineer Interview Questions and Answers