Account Managers nurture business relationships established by Account Executives or on their own. They are responsible for effective account management, negotiating contracts, delivering customer solutions, and meeting sales quotas.
Look for a candidate who is confident when juggling multiple accounts, using CRM software, and going out of their way to solve any problems a client may encounter. An excellent communicator who can provide clear answers to client’s questions is desirable. The best candidates will stand out for their strong critical thinking skills and drive to succeed.
General interview questions (such as “Can you tell me about yourself?” and “Why are you looking for another job?”) are a great way to get to know your candidate’s personal history, interests, and goals. However, be sure to add inquiries specific to the role they’re interviewing for, so you can gain valuable insights into their likelihood of success in that position.
Below are Human Resources Coordinator interview questions to help you get started:
1. What are three qualities you consider to be important for an Account Manager to succeed?
What you want to hear: This question helps you determine if the candidate fully understands the role. Insightful answers include qualities such as strong communication skills, the ability to juggle multiple tasks with ease, the initiative to meet sales quotas, and strategic thinking abilities. These attributes, as well as any particular qualities you feel are essential to your company and business team, are essential for your company to meet its profit and productivity goals.
2. Account Managers are responsible for handling a variety of tasks with tight deadlines. How do you stay organized and handle stress?
What you want to hear: Due to the various needs of multiple clients, organizational skills are an absolute necessity in order to thrive in this role. Listen for an established organization system that helps your candidate track all their client’s information. They should be familiar with useful tools like document filing and customer relationship management (CRM) software.
Red flag: A candidate who lacks a clear plan of organization that utilizes digital tools and other time management techniques may experience rising stress levels, incur missed deadlines, and have a negative effect on the productivity of team members within and outside of their department.
3. Tell me about a time when you didn’t meet a sales goal. What did you learn from the experience?
What you want to hear: This is a great opportunity for the candidate to display their self-awareness and how they have grown as an Account Manager. Listen for someone who recognizes the challenges they face, the variables they need to overcome to meet stated goals, and the lessons they’ve learned and applied to help support their continued growth.
Red flag: A candidate who claims they never missed a sales goal may be dishonest or simply lacking professional experience. The best candidates have handled shortfalls and learned valuable lessons from their experiences.
4. What do you know about the products and services we offer?
What you want to hear: A prepared candidate will have done their homework before the interview. Listen for someone who is able to discuss your products and services with specificity and insight, highlighting the major benefits, and perhaps perceived weaknesses, of each. They may also include why your offerings stand out among competitors.
Red flag: A candidate who isn’t confident and knowledgeable when discussing your company’s products or services may lack the diligence of research required to inform and impress clients in meetings and presentations.
5. What are important methodologies to consider when looking for market opportunities?
What you want to hear: Understanding how to look for market opportunities, and the role it plays in properly serving the needs of the client and your company, is critical to the successful performance of an Account Manager. The candidate should be familiar with methodologies such as the competitor analysis, market trend analysis, strategic alliance analysis.
Red flag: A candidate who lacks experience with looking for market opportunities is a risk for missing sales goals, providing subpar service to clients, and falling short of company growth projections.
6. How do you measure success with a client?
What you want to hear: Some candidates are focused on checking boxes while others take a more holistic approach to client management. Look for a candidate who defines success in terms of both quantitative metrics (such as timely deliveries and desired sell-through rates) and qualitative aspects (such as responsiveness to requests, effective communication, and interpersonal relations).
Every interview question can help get you closer to the right fit for your Account Manager position.
Be sure to keep an eye out for candidates who:
- Understand the full scope of account management
- Has experience with the various methodologies required to look for market opportunities
- Has excellent organizational skills and can juggle multiple clients with ease
What are some emerging trends related to the Account Manager role that interest you?
What interpersonal skills have you found useful to earn a client’s trust?
Do you prefer to contact clients by phone, email, or in-person? Why?
Why is building long-term relationships with clients critical to our company’s growth and profitability?
Suppose a client began second-guessing our business relationship and was considering switching to a competitor. What techniques would you use to try and convince them to stay with our company?
What are two strategies you could use to cross-sell or up-sell our company’s products?
Imagine that a client blames your work for a loss of profit in their business. Tell me how you would try to de-escalate the situation and satisfy the client.
What is the most challenging part of being an Account Manager? What techniques do you use to overcome it?
Describe the type of work environment you thrive in.
What techniques do you use to work effectively with all company departments involved in servicing your client?