I’m not a fan of questions during interviews (sales or otherwise) that try to stump the interviewee. Why? Because the purpose of an interview is to get to know someone, not try to make them look bad.
Sure you may say, “But how do I know how they’ll operate under stress?” You don’t have to ask an irrelevant gotcha question to do that. Instead you can ask about stressful times that the candidate had in the past. Find out how they responded. Maybe the situation wasn’t that difficult. That should tell you about the candidate’s tolerance for working under stress. You learn a lot about candidates who can calmly address the situation and develop a creative solution.
Just like in a sales call you don’t play stump the customer. In an interview for a sales professional to gauge sales performance, you don’t play stump the salesman. Some sales managers ask questions of prospective salespeople to sell them something during the interview. It’s often the pen that they use as an example. Instead of asking to sell them a pen, why not ask about how the prospective salesperson got sales appointments, managed their business, prepared for the sales call, and questioned the customer during the meeting. Those questions will get you much more useful answers to determine whether the person can sell or not.
Just in case you’re curious, here’s my answer to ”sell me this pen. ” It’s the #3 question