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Tricky interview question: It’s the last hour of the month and you haven’t met your sales target. What do you do?

An interview for a personal financial consultant role at a bank in Singapore was all going well until the following happened…

The question

The interviewer first asked: “You have two weeks of the month left and you have not met your sales target. What do you do?”

Then he asked a trickier one: “You have reached the last day and last hour of the month and you still have not met your sales target. What do you do?”

The candidate’s reply

For the first question, he answered: “Constantly making more appointments by calling and seeing more potential customers in the branch”.

“Then, on the tricky last question, I just smiled. In the back of my mind I knew I was going to fail this interview.”

How he would have responded in hindsight

“In sales we don’t wait for the last day and last hour. It’s about proper planning and having enough customers to ensure that at the end of the month, the sales target is achieved.”

How would YOU have answered?

Use the comments box below to suggest a better response to the interview question above.

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Comments (11)

  1. I would review how much I miss this month and why. Then ,I will plan ahead for next or future months in how to catch up the missing sales this month.

  2. Question whether the sales target is reflective of market conditions. You made more money than anyone else in your team and still haven’t met target – so target is problem itself. either that or resign

  3. business planning is most concern bout this..M.O.R is useful ..you have to accept the fact that there are sometimes like this thing happens..everyone has it’s flaws..you exert more effort and believe that you can..you have goodwill to the customers…then there no such thing to be asked…

    moises s. mendoza Reply
  4. When you are going through Hell. Keep going. WC

  5. Dun work in bank la as pba..Waste time, they only accept pretty girls more Than guys..if pple put in effort for the interview n nv get it .. Wats de point…

  6. Just give it a last shot go back to 5 people who said yes first and could not make it due to some genuine reason, see if the situation is now in your favor, even if you don’t achieve your target than but still if can convert one no to yes you will feel you achieved everything and you gave a fight till the last min. :)

    Beenoo Assnani Reply
  7. Try until the last minutes. You are a combatant, not a commander.

  8. Basics 101 – manage your pipeline especially when doing sales (or any other job). Just as achieving 150% of target is commendable, it doesn’t mean you can clock in 50% the following month.

  9. First Q
    – i will plan to sleep with my client…
    2nd Q
    – I will plan to sleep with my manager….

  10. I would discuss with the manager to look into the Sales Process. It is obvious that somewhere it has gone wrong.

    I would say some could keep meeting target however, Nobody could meet or exceed target all the time. In fact, it is a good time to look into crisis management.

    Do you look for a quick 1 time quick fix or a lasting long-term solution? That the manager has to decide on that.

  11. keep it to the recuriter. they not gona hire you anyway. coz he dot even know what is the answer. make sure he read ur CV first

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