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Sales development representatives play a critical role in the sales process by building your pipeline with leads. The primary responsibility of an SDR is to reach out to new prospects who might be interested in your product, qualify the leads and get them in front of their product expert. This is definitely not an easy job.

Finding the perfect SDR isn’t any easier. SDRs need to be motivated, resilient, and adaptable along with many other soft skills which can’t always be taught. So how do you find the perfect SDR in a 30-minute interview?

The Interview:

Here at Alleyoop, we live and breathe Sales Development. We hire new SDRs almost every week and if you ask us, we’ve pretty well mastered the SDR interview. Here are our top 5 questions that we make sure to ask every candidate.

1. Tell us about yourself. Give us your 2-minute elevator pitch.

With this first question, not only are we hoping to make the candidate feel more comfortable with us, we are getting to know them. This question gives us the ability to evaluate what they feel is their most important trait.

It’s important to specifically say “2-minute elevator pitch” for a couple of reasons. Firstly, as an SDR, you give an elevator pitch to every dial that connects. It’s a critical skill in the SDR role. Secondly, this is the first question of the interview and the candidate’s nerves may be high. By specifying this short amount of time and using a common industry phrase, you help them reign in those nerves and stay on topic.

2. What interests you about inside sales and being an SDR?

The SDRs world revolves around lead generation which makes them incredibly important to your sales process so it is important to make sure the candidate understands the role. It can be a challenging job and it’s critical the candidate is motivated and hungry for the position.

The last thing you want is a candidate who doesn’t really understand the demands of the role, takes the job, and within 3 weeks, they are no longer interested or motivated to perform the task.

3. What do you do when you have a bad day on the phone as an SDR?

Every sales job can be an emotional rollercoaster. There are always going to be good and bad days, as well as good months and bad months. Staying steady and pushing through the bad days is crucial to your success and growth as an SDR.

This question will help you see if they have it in them to push through the bad days and come back stronger the next? If the candidate can’t push through the bad days and stay motivated, this role may not be for them. Finding this out in the interview process is important.

4. If we asked your best friend to describe you in 3 words, what would they say?

The answer to this question shows their level of self-awareness along with demonstrating how others think of them.

Many people ask this question in a different way. They ask the candidate to describe themselves in three words. For us, it’s important that we ask for their friend’s perspective rather than how their own. We have found that we are more likely to receive an honest answer this way. The candidate’s worry of feeling judged is removed because it’s their friend’s opinion not theirs.

5. SDR roleplay

This allows you to see them in action without practice. It is important to lay out the situation by giving them a realistic example of who they will be calling and the objective of the call. This will give you the opportunity to see how well they adapt and handle objections just like they will experience on the job.

After the roleplay, give them feedback and see how well the candidate handles it. Are they able to take criticism? After…try again. See if the candidate is able to take your feedback and apply it to the roleplay.

This may be the most critical part of the interview process as you will learn so much about them and their sales skills.


If the candidate can answer these questions and make you feel confident in them you may have found yourself the perfect SDR.

Your interview process is just as important as the candidates you’re interviewing. If you’re asking generic questions rather than tailoring the interview to the role, chances are you are not getting the best out of the candidates your HR team has worked so hard to put in front of you. Utilize our top 5 SDR interview questions and land yourself the best possible SDR for your team.

Get more tips on running a world-class SDR team by keeping up with us on LinkedIn.

Nicole Graham

Head of Client Development | Alleyoop

Nicole has been a successful Account Executive in a variety of industries. As the Head of Client Development, she focuses on hiring and coaching our internal SDR team to grow Alleyoop.

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