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Sell me something in this room.

The “sell me” question is a popular one on Wall Street, especially in sales and trading interviews. For this one, try picking something other than a pen, which is the common answer of choice to this question, and try picking something that isn’t yours (on the off chance that it draws attention to something of yours that the interviewer isn’t a fan of).

You could, for example, choose a table, or chair, or perhaps a picture or frame on the wall. The important thing is not what you pick, it’s that you ask your interviewer (your customer) a handful of questions about what he or she is looking for in said product. In other words, you want to find out your customer’s needs, and then you can sell your product to your customer accordingly ("okay, so you're looking for a chair that you can sit in for 24 hours at a stretch without incurring any lower back pain ... well this one has been designed with the work hours of investment bankers in mind and will form to any back shape or size and has been recommended by four out of five chiropractors ..." ).

The common mistake here is to simply spew out all the positive attributes about the product you picked before finding out your interviewer’s (customer’s) needs and desires. If you do that, your answer will result in this: no sale.