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Account manager interview questions tend to be tough because an account manager is responsible for important client accounts. The account manager is the point of contact for an existing customer and the person that a client will communicate with most often within the company. Their main task is to focus on the long-term relationship with that client, so part of their role is to act as a customer service representative. The interview questions for an account manager often focus on this crucial aspect of the role.
An account manager is essential to any company that serves clients. If you’re the account manager for a client, your goal is to make them feel heard and important, and in doing so retain an important customer for the business. It is generally easier to keep a valuable client than to search for new ones, so client retention is important to any company, and a good account manager will maintain those crucial relationships. The first step to a rewarding position in management is knowing how to ace an account executive interview.
When answering account manager interview questions, think about what skills the company needs. While account manager interview questions might reflect a variety of backgrounds, most companies look for the same qualities in their account managers. All of the following skills are likely to come up in interview questions for an account manager
Most account manager interview questions will have something to do with communication. The biggest part of an account manager’s job is to communicate with the client, so communication skills are naturally essential and will be a focus in interview questions for an account manager role. Skills like active listening, clarity, and confidence are good to demonstrate and highlight.
Client retention is a major goal of any company, and that can only be accomplished if the customer is happy, and their needs are met. Some of the interview questions for an account manager could be scenario-specific about customer satisfaction and relationship building.
Some interview questions for account managers will be about leadership. An account manager must frequently take initiative to help their client as problems arise. Common account manager interview questions will focus on your ability to make decisions confidently and take charge of clients’ needs.
Organization is bound to come up in your account manager interview questions and answers. A successful account manager will be juggling more than one client or a large group of clients, and each customer will have multiple, specific needs. Common interview questions for an account manager will be about your ability to balance and stay coordinated.
The best predictor of future success as an account manager is past success. If you are applying to be a key account manager, interview questions will likely focus on your work history. Someone with experience in sales or customer service who successfully met their clients’ needs should use this experience when answering account manager interview questions.
Account manager interview questions could cover a wide range of topics and it’s best to prepare thoroughly by reviewing some common account manager interview questions and answers.
This is a typical entry-level account manager interview question, and your answer should emphasize your skills and experience. Use concrete examples from your work history and be sure to highlight your skills when you answer this account manager interview question.
Sample answer: I believe a successful account manager will have excellent interpersonal skills, and that’s something I’ve developed during my three years in sales. My ability to communicate clearly has helped me get to know my clients and deliver on their most important needs.
When an interviewer asks this junior account manager interview question, they want to know about your communication skills and whether you have thought critically about how to retain your clients. Be specific about your plan of action when you answer these types of account manager interview questions.
Sample answer: I plan to build my relationships with clients by using frequent, direct communication. I intend to be available to customers by phone or email and to ask them about their preference for regular updates. By communicating well and frequently, I feel I can establish a good rapport with customers.
When this account manager interview question comes up, emphasize your strong communication and conflict resolution skills. Interviewers will use this account manager interview question to assess whether you are professional and communicate effectively.
Sample answer: I had a disagreement with a colleague over how to handle an account. He felt my approach was not aggressive enough for that particular client. He had worked for the company a long time and I valued his opinion, so I asked him if he would be open to talking with their client about their needs and preferences. We ended up creating a plan that worked for everyone.
This is a common scenario interview question for an account manager because it helps the interviewer learn more about your sales approach. Use a specific example and make your skills clear when you answer this sales account manager interview question.
Sample answer: In my previous role, I had a client who used one of our more basic advertising packages. I upsold them on a premium package by comparing the cost and benefits of both. I helped them see that their revenue would actually increase with a better advertising plan, and they agreed.
This account manager interview question is designed to assess your organizational skills. Senior account managers have many clients and usually juggle a variety of accounts, so any manager-level interview question will focus on organization. Describe your existing process and emphasize how you maintain relationships.
Sample answer: In my previous role, I was responsible for several different clients which accounted for a significant portion of the company’s revenue. To balance their different needs, I found that using CRM software helped me organize their information and create different schedules.
This account manager interview question is a good way to judge whether a candidate is honest and learns from their mistakes. If you were the account manager for a client and they were unhappy, it was likely a valuable learning experience. Be sure to emphasize your success when answering this account manager interview question.
Sample answer: I once had a client who seemed unhappy and felt that their needs were not being met at our firm. After speaking to them I realized that our team was not providing them with enough regular updates on their progress, and they weren’t aware of how much work we’d done. Since that experience, I make a point of asking my clients how often they would like an update and celebrate our success with them frequently.
When you answer this account manager interview question, think about the kind of skills the company is looking for and find a way to specifically demonstrate that you have what they need.
Sample answer: I have strong communication skills and make professional connections easily. I understand your goal is to retain the clients you already have, and I feel the best way to do that is by establishing strong relationships, something good communication does well.
Interviewers may ask this account manager interview question to see if you’ve thought critically about the role and have creative ideas for bringing in new business. This account manager interview question is also a way to establish your sales background.
Sample answer: I intend to use our existing network of clients to make new connections, and I feel that our history of success in those markets is a major selling point for new customers. On a personal note, having lived and worked here for 10 years, I feel I know the area well and can use what I’ve learned to reach clients.
This account manager interview question is used to assess your interpersonal and communication skills, which are vital in this role. Try to use specific examples when you answer this common interview question for account managers.
Sample answer: In the past I’ve established relationships with colleagues in much the same way as I do with clients, by using open and professional communication. I feel that getting to know people personally is the best way to create rapport and strengthen ties.
This is a common interview question for account managers since it assesses your leadership skills and your experience in a similar role. It’s best to have some examples you can elaborate on when you answer this manager role interview question.
Sample answer: I would describe my management style as collaborative. In my previous position, I would schedule bi-weekly meetings to discuss our goals and progress and ask for my team’s input on what we could do differently. A happy client is a team effort, so being a collaborative manager helps us achieve more.
When answering this account manager interview question, try to demonstrate that you’ve done research into the company and are aware of its goals and expectations. This common interview question for account managers might need a little more preparation.
Sample answer: I intend to become familiar with your existing clients by scheduling meetings and making regular contact. My goal is to identify any areas where we can better meet their needs. I will also look for opportunities to upsell to these clients as well.
This account manager interview question is a chance to show the interviewer that you have overcome previous challenges and feel confident in your ability to solve problems. Be specific about what you learned when answering this account manager interview question.
Sample answer: My most challenging project was a major client at my last firm. Contract negotiations took some time and the client often had changing needs. I learned that persistence is the best way to reach a goal, and it certainly helped us secure this client’s business.
In any interview it is best practice to have some questions prepared for the interviewer. One way to end an interview on a strong note is to prepare some account manager interview questions to ask an employer.
Asking questions shows that you have researched the role and thought critically about what is required for someone in this position. It also shows you are an eager applicant, but it can be hard to know what to ask a manager in an interview, and which questions will help you stand out.
Here are some examples of account manager interview questions to ask an employer.
🔑 Key Takeaways
Account managers have a difficult job and must balance both the client and the company’s needs. Because they are so important to the average business, account manager interview questions are bound to be challenging.
To prepare for the interview, think about the skills you need to demonstrate and review some common account manager interview questions and answers. It’s also a good practice to try and come up with a few account manager interview questions to ask an employer. If you’re not sure how to ace the account executive interview, a little preparation will go a long way.
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--- Originally written by Tiffany Quinn ---