Will is a fresh business school graduate. He interviews for a Lead Sales Expert job with the coolest mobile phone company in town.

The interview is going really well and Will is confident he'll get the job. Until...

A hand throwing a pencil into the air and catching it.

The interviewer rolls a pencil towards Will: "Will, sell me this pencil."

What do you think happens next? Does Will freeze? Stutter? Sweat? Or approach the question with confidence?

Phew! He answers with a great sales pitch!

Two men in a office setting. Man in turban shakes blonde man's hand.

With some effective sales techniques, you can be like Will and close the deal on a new job.

What Is BEHIND This Question

The interviewer is actually interested in how you approach this question. You could be selling just about anything!

Outline of a human head. Hand rested on chin. Images inside the head flash different colours and patterns.

The interviewer is judging how well you:

  • Think on your feet in a stressful situation

  • Quickly gather information

  • Confidently close a sale

  • Manage time constraints (you may have just 30 seconds)

  • Flex your creativity

3 Powerful Strategies To Answer "Sell Me This Pencil"

Wanda has her arms extended. She is drawing in lighting into her hands. She wears a red dress and crown.

Try these 3 strategies to knock your interview out of the park!

  • The Idol Close

  • The Super Power Close

  • The High Ticket Close

The Idol Close

Drake is in a dance club. He waves his hands side-to-side. He holds a pair of sunglasses. He has a bandana on his head.

The Idol Close focuses on making a connection between the interviewer and someone they admire.

  1. Hook the interviewer with a personalized question

    "Who's your favorite celebrity?"

  2. Share a meaningful fact

    "Did you know that Drake used this exact pencil?"

  3. Sell "the feeling"

    "If Drake, one of the best selling and most successful artists of all time used this pencil, wouldn't you?"

  4. Close with confidence

    "This pencil is yours for just $6. Just like Drake, whatever you write will turn to gold!"

The Super Power Close

The text

The Super Power Close focuses on appealing to the interviewer's imagination!

  1. Hook the interviewer with a make-believe question

    "If you had a superpower, what would it be?"

  2. Meet the need

    "This pencil is a shapeshifter. You can fill it with a variety of lead sizes, so it's super adaptable. You can use it for writing, sketching, drafting, and drawing."

  3. Close with confidence

    "For $6 you have a pencil that meets all your needs. No need to dig at the bottom of your bag for that perfect pencil!"

The High Ticket Close

Elmo is behind a chalkboard, dresser, and alarm clock. He turns around and says,

The High Ticket Close focuses on showing the long-term value of an item.

  1. Hook the interviewer with a reflective question

    "When did you buy a pencil last? For how much?"

  2. The story

    "I bought one for my 7-year-old son for school. I paid $2."

  3. Sell "the feeling"

    "$2 for a pencil? This pencil is $6. Funny, isn't it? Your son's education means the world, and they need the best tools to be successful. You want him to be successful, don't you?"

  4. Close with confidence

    "This pencil is worth the price of success."

How NOT To Answer This Question

Don't just focus on the features and benefits of the pencil.

Flaticon Icon

STOP! This will bore the interviewer and do nothing to showcase your sales skills.

By using the above strategies, you'll create an emotional reaction, to really sell that pencil!

Man in a classroom. Whiteboard behind him. A marker in his hand. The text reads


What's the best question to hook the interviewer?

Take Action

A finger presses a red button that says

Now, it is your turn!


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