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BDR Interview Questions: Example Questions and Topics to Help You Prepare

RepVue Team
RepVue TeamMar 6, 2024

If you’re preparing for a Business Development Representative (BDR) interview, it’s important to know what questions to expect. These interviews are designed to assess your skills and fit for the role. By preparing ahead of time, you can increase your chances of acing the interview and landing the job.

Some common BDR interview questions include those related to your skills and ability to do cold outreach. You may also be asked about your communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and your approach to teamwork. It’s important to be prepared to answer these questions in a clear, concise manner, highlighting your strengths and demonstrating your value as a potential hire. You may also be asked about your understanding of the company’s products or services. However, since this information will usually be a part of training, these questions are typically designed to test your habits and work ethic related to preparation.

To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common BDR interview questions, as well as tips for how to answer them effectively. By familiarizing yourself with these questions and practicing your responses, you’ll be well-equipped to impress your interviewer and stand out from the competition.

Understanding the Role

As a Business Development Representative (BDR) — or a Sales Development Representative (SDR), depending on the company — you are the first point of contact between potential customers and the company. Your primary responsibility is to qualify leads and set meetings with them for the sales team. You may be new to sales, so here’s a quick overview of the key responsibilities of a BDR and the key performance indicators (KPIs) that determine success in this role.

Responsibilities of a BDR

As a BDR, your responsibilities include:

  • Prospecting: This involves identifying potential customers and generating leads through various channels such as email, social media, and cold calling.
  • Qualifying leads: Once you have generated leads (via your own research and sourcing), or had them handed to you by your team, you need to qualify them to ensure that they are a good fit for the company’s products or services. This involves understanding the customer’s needs, pain points, and in some cases, budget.
  • Scheduling meetings: Once a lead is qualified, the next step is typically to schedule a meeting between the lead and an account executive.
  • Maintaining CRM Status and Notes: It is essential to keep the customer relationship management (CRM) system up to date with accurate information about the leads.

Key Performance Indicators

The success of a BDR is measured by the following KPIs:

  • Number of qualified leads: This is the number of leads that have been qualified and passed on to the sales team.
  • Meetings booked: This is the number of meetings scheduled with Account Executives (AEs)
  • Activity level: This includes the number of calls made, emails sent, and meetings scheduled.

Essential Preparation for BDR Interviews

Preparing for a BDR interview is crucial to landing the job. To ensure you make a good impression, you should research the company and understand the product or service they offer. Here are some preparation strategies to help you ace your BDR interview.

Researching the Company

Before your interview, research the company thoroughly. Look at their website, social media pages, and any recent news articles. Take note of their mission, values, and goals. Look them up on RepVue to see how other sellers rate the company. This information will help you understand the company’s culture and how you can fit into it.

Don’t forget to research SDR/BDR salaries to know what you should expect!

It’s also important to go one step further and research the company’s competitors. This will give you insight into the industry and help you understand the challenges the company is facing. You can use this information to demonstrate your knowledge and interest during the interview.

Look for any information that you can find on what’s important to that company. Has the CEO or another exec recently done an interview or podcast? If so, read or listen to it. 

Pro tip: If it’s a public company, listen to their most recent quarterly earnings call. See if you can note three things that are interesting to you, and potentially relevant to the role that you’re interviewing for. 99% of candidates for an SDR role won’t do this — and it’s a great way to set yourself apart.

Understanding the Product or Service

Take the time to learn about the features and benefits of the product or service. This will help you speak about it confidently during the interview.

It’s also important to understand the target market for the product or service. As a BDR, part of your job will be to identify potential customers and this will help you demonstrate that ability.By doing your homework, you can demonstrate your knowledge and interest in the company and position yourself as a strong candidate. 

Don’t be intimidated by this process, however. A BDR role is usually an entry-level sales role, so you’re not expected to be an expert on the company or the industry. In fact, you should feel comfortable mentioning areas that you learned about but don’t fully understand. 

You could say something like, “In my research on [Product], I noticed that it seems to be mostly for [Audience] — but I didn’t quite understand why they would have this problem?” 

If you’re worried that a question like this might hurt you because you’re admitting that you don’t fully understand something, the opposite is true. A question like this tells the interviewer that not only have you done meaningful research, but you’ve also thought about it critically, and you have enough confidence to ask questions to try to learn more. This is exactly the kind of person that most companies want to hire for a BDR role.

Behavioral Questions for BDR Interviews

Behavioral questions are a common component of BDR interviews. These questions aim to assess your past behavior and how you handle specific situations. The interviewer wants to know how you will react in different scenarios and how you will use your skills and experience to overcome obstacles.

Handling Rejection

One of the most important skills for a BDR is the ability to handle rejection. The job involves a lot of cold calling and email outreach, which means you will face a lot of rejection. 

The interviewer may ask you questions such as:

When answering these questions, it’s important to show that you have a positive attitude and are resilient. You can mention specific techniques you use to stay motivated, such as taking a break, talking to a colleague, or focusing on your long-term goals. It’s also important to demonstrate that you won’t take this type of rejection personally.

Meeting & Overcoming Challenges

Goals are set high for SDRs and BDRs, and you’ll be expected to achieve them. You won’t always (or ever) have a say in what your quota targets are though, and that can be difficult for some people.

You can expect a question like:

  • How do you handle ambitious goals that are assigned to you?

Here you could say something about how you are used to ambitious goals and how you break it down into smaller goals in your head so it isn’t as daunting. Talk about focusing on what is in your control, which in this case is activity volume. 

Do some math. Use the whiteboard. Work backwards from the goal by calculating the conversion rate at each step in the lead flow funnel, and determine how many activities per day it will take to hit the goal. Then focus on hitting that activity target. 

If competition motivates you (in a healthy way), here’s a great place to discuss that and how it can be an asset to you. Did you enjoy competing in sports or gaming? If so, you can mention that. Many companies like hiring people who are driven to excel and who thrive on competition.

Team Collaboration

Another important skill for a BDR is the ability to collaborate with your team. The job involves working closely with sales reps, marketing teams, and other departments. The interviewer may ask you questions such as:

  • Tell me about a time when you had to work with a difficult team member. How did you handle it?
  • How do you ensure that your team is aligned and working towards the same goals?

When answering these questions, it’s important to show that you are a team player and can work effectively with others. You can mention specific techniques you use to communicate with your team, such as regular check-ins, using project management tools, or scheduling team-building activities.

Additional Questions to Expect in BDR Interviews

What do you think our ideal customer profile (ICP) is? 

Sharing your take on the company’s ideal customer profile (ICP) can give the employer great insight into if you have done any research prior to the interview. The best candidates usually have a general curiosity in the business and will get an idea of who the company sells into. A good way to do this is look at their website and see if they have their customers listed on there. 

What was the average deal size at your last company?

A lot of companies might be interested in this metric — if you’ve had a prior sales role. It will give them a good idea of how big of the deals you are comfortable with and if you are a good fit. 

Can you tell us about one of your biggest wins?

Definitely spend some time thinking about this one beforehand. How you respond is important. It will be a red flag for the hiring manager if:

  • You can’t think of any wins in your career
  • Your responses are templated, your stories are vague
  • Your responses lack energy

(This question comes directly from our interview with an executive at Elastic. Go check it out to learn more about answering this question.)

Why do you want to sell our product or service?

This is obviously your chance to kind of do a little bit of selling. Show them why you think their product is great and maybe bring up a few use cases you can see it being useful for or maybe a market segment they weren’t thinking of before.

How do you feel about cold calling?

They want to see your resilience here, and know that you aren’t afraid of hearing a no. You could also mention something about how you plan to move up to AE, but you understand that you’ll likely still make cold calls in that role. This will show them that you are ambitious. 

Questions you should ask 

Two key questions that everyone should ask, but most people don’t:

  1. Can you tell me about the interview process? How long is it, how many steps, etc?
  2. Is there any reason that you think I wouldn’t be a fit for this role? Is there any reason that you could see why I wouldn’t move through to the next stage in the process? 

These are great questions to ask, and will give you a chance to demonstrate your ability to book a meeting.

Post-Interview

Congratulations, you have completed your BDR interview! The next step is to follow up with the interviewer and evaluate any potential offer that may come your way.

Follow-Up Best Practices

It is always a good idea to send a thank you email to the interviewer within 24 hours of the interview. This shows that you are interested in the position and appreciate their time — and that you understand the importance of follow up in a sales role.

In your email, express your gratitude for the opportunity to interview and reiterate your interest in the position. You can also take this opportunity to ask any follow-up questions you may have or provide additional information that you forgot to mention during the interview.

If you do not hear back from the interviewer within a week, it is acceptable to send a polite follow-up email to inquire about the status of your application. Keep in mind that the hiring process can take time, so be patient and respectful of the interviewer’s schedule. If you’ve asked about the process, then you should politely reference that information in your question.

Evaluating an Offer

If you receive an offer, take the time to carefully evaluate it before accepting or declining. Consider factors such as the salary, benefits, work schedule, in-office vs remote expectations, and company culture. Be sure to ask any questions you may have about the offer, such as the start date and any additional training or onboarding that may be required. Also ask whether there is a ramp-up period and how quota and goals are managed during that period.

It is also important to understand the terms of the offer. If you have any concerns or questions about the offer, do not hesitate to ask for clarification or negotiate the terms.

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