Demonstrating Grit in the Field

  By Henry Glickel

Category: Articles

In a 2013 TED Talk, Angela Duckworth explains that a significant predictor of success is grit or “passion and perseverance for very long-term goals.”  In sales, you’ve got to be gritty.  You can’t just plug along until you make the sale.  Strength and tenacity are needed to achieve success.  From a client viewpoint, persistence can show dedication and purpose on your part.  And hiring managers want people like this to join their team.  Use the following 10 questions to analyze and prepare to show how you have demonstrated grit in the field.  Because no matter how you describe it—persistence, perseverance, or passion—it is of significant value to a sales team.



  1. A client calls and says it is urgent that he speaks to your boss. However, your boss has told you he is in a meeting and cannot be disturbed. What would you do?


  1. .Are you assertive?  Tell me about a time when you have demonstrated your assertiveness at work. How did you feel about the situation when it was over?


  1. Describe a highly repetitive activity you currently perform.


  1. Describe an experience when you had to persevere through a difficult time or 

situation.  What impact did it have on your outlook?


  1. Describe your first experience with failure. What did you learn from it?


  1. Is it sometimes difficult to get an immediate yes from customers. What do you do in these situations?


  1. Have you ever had occasion to make a special effort when the end result would benefit the customer? If yes, can you tell me about that? If no, what role does client satisfaction play in your work performance?


  1. How comfortable are you expressing your viewpoint during meetings? Please give me a recent example of when you did so.


  1. Is it ever acceptable to be somewhat pushy or step on people’s toes in order to get something urgent accomplished. Have you ever had to do this? If yes, please describe the situation.


  1. Think of a recent technical problem that you faced. Did you set out to solve it with a hypothesis or did you try a battery of solutions to find the best answer? Could you tell me about this experience?

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