How many times have you wished you had a guide to tell you what to expect during an interview, how to ace every question, and how to impress your hiring manager? As an account manager preparing for a job interview, you need all the help you can get. That’s why we’ve created this guide with the most common account manager interview questions and answers.
What Is an Account Manager?
An account manager fulfills an after-sale function that involves maintaining client relationships through direct interactions. This helps to ensure the continued patronage of customers and guarantees the business will keep growing.
Account managers are an essential part of a company’s growth process. They are responsible for increasing revenue and profits and improving the reputation of a business through consistent nurturing of the company’s long-term relationships with clients.
Answers to the Most Common Account Manager Interview Questions
Successfully passing through the interview process involves actively understanding and being able to communicate the requirements of your job to your hiring manager. You have to possess the technical and soft skills your current role demands to seamlessly move through each stage. Here are some of the most common technical, behavioral, and general questions you will encounter during this process.
Top 5 Technical Account Manager Interview Questions and Answers
The technical interview stage is designed to test your competence level in the field. In-depth knowledge of account management and how this job function directly contributes to business growth is crucial if you want to become a successful account manager. Here are some of the questions you might encounter.
What is the difference between cross-selling and upselling?
Cross-selling and upselling both involve influencing the purchasing decisions of a company’s customers. This is done by steering customers toward specific products by positioning said products as desirable.
However, there is a key difference. Cross-selling is the act of convincing a customer to buy a similar or complementary product or service, in addition to their initial purchase. Upselling, on the other hand, involves encouraging the client to go for a significantly higher-end or costlier product than they initially requested.
List the client account metrics every business should track
These are the most popular client account metrics businesses track to improve their customer success rate.
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- Customer churn rate (CCR)
- Net promoter score (NPS)
- Average revenue per account (ARPA)
- Monthly recurring revenue (MRR)
- Customer retention cost (CRC)
- Customer satisfaction score (CSAT)
- Customer lifetime value (CLV)
What is the most important aspect of creating a marketing strategy?
The most important aspect of creating a successful marketing strategy is defining the marketing elements. The marketing elements are also known as the five Ps. They include product, price, promotion, place, and people. A clear relationship between these marketing elements must be defined.
What Is customer relationship management?
Customer relationship management is the process of coordinating the interactions and relationships between a company and its customer base. This is done by using relevant technologies, tools, metrics, practices, and policies to gather, analyze, and store data. This information is then used to gain behavioral insights and to define customer objectives.
What is strategic account management?
Strategic account management can also be called key account management. It is the process of extending the business objectives from a sales point of view to include building sustainable client relationships and establishing major strategies. These serve to improve the overall performance of a business.
Top 5 Behavioral Account Manager Interview Questions and Answers
Behavioral interview questions are meant to determine your thinking style and response pattern in operational situations. We have compiled a list of common behavioral questions every prospective account manager should be familiar with.
What steps would you take to dissuade a client who has expressed a strong intent to close their account?
Questions phrased in this manner are meant to test the candidate’s persuasive ability. The hiring manager simply wants to know if the candidate possesses the sales skills necessary to succeed in this position.
You should start by letting your recruiter know how seriously you take relationship building. Then, you should tell the recruiter that you will start by finding out the reason for the client’s decision if it is not already obvious. Then, you would proceed to offer a unique incentive to serve as a peace offering and a deterrent.
What strategy would you suggest to management if you notice a steady decline in revenue?
This question tests your problem-solving skills and your level of creativity. Your answer doesn’t have to be completely original, it just has to be relevant. You could start by telling them that the most pertinent strategy, in this case, would be to conduct market research on the company’s client base to find out what their thoughts are toward the company. This will help the business properly structure its strategy and allocate available resources to the areas with the greatest potential.
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Have you ever lost a client due to an oversight on your part? How were you able to salvage the situation?
Questions like this are meant to help the recruiter understand your response to failure and your ability to learn and adapt. Make sure your response is honest but doesn’t implicate yourself. Show them you like to learn from your mistakes, not how irresponsible, overly emotional, or negligent you can be.
The best response here is to opt for a simple story about how your novelty to an environment or role proved a challenge in carrying out your job and how you relied on your people skills to redeem the situation.
How would you handle a high-end client with a difficult personality?
The one thing to understand here is that account management roles require individuals who are persistent, tolerant, and diplomatic. At every stage of your career, you’ll encounter difficult customers. It comes with the territory.
However, if you’ve nurtured the necessary interpersonal skills and the discipline required to navigate unfamiliar situations, you’ll find it easier to not focus on the client’s attitude but rather on their requirements. More often than not, these clients just want to know how tough and professional you can be.
Have you ever been a team leader before? What major challenges did you encounter?
Questions like these aim to measure your leadership skills and your ability to handle work stress. It is crucial that you highlight situations in which you used your leadership skills and achieved tangible results.
You could start by saying, “Yes, I was often appointed to lead teams at my last job. This was because each time I led a team, usually ad hoc committees, I applied my resourcefulness to come up with solutions and meet goals. However, one major challenge I faced was delegating tasks to my teammates. This was because I believe a leader shouldn’t shy away from fieldwork.”
Top 5 General Account Manager Interview Questions and Answers
An essential part of your interview is the general interview stage. This stage lets the interviewer find out more about your personal and work background, and determine how you’ll fit in with the company. Here are some common questions for this stage of an interview.
What do you consider to be your best skills?
Questions like these gauge the extent of your self-awareness. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will help you decide which jobs are better suited to you. Keep your answer short and direct. You could say, “My major strengths include relationship building and marketing research.” This shows you understand the job role and you like finding ways to improve results.
What do you think are the downsides to multitasking?
Do not be discouraged by a question phrased in this way. Your employer simply wants to know if you can handle multiple clients and assignments. Multitasking is an essential part of your job. You could give a generalized but smart answer such as, “One downside to multitasking is the high risk of reduced quality and the tendency for recurring oversights.”
What is your experience with CRM tools? Which CRM tools have you used before?
This is a direct assessment of your computer and IT skills. Although your job relies heavily on your social skills, you should also be technologically savvy. CRM tools are necessary to improve customer success scores. You could say, “At my last job, I worked with CRM tools such as Salesforce, Nimble, and Nutshell to keep track of clients and plan projects with my teammates.”
Are you familiar with writing sales and progress reports?
This question tests your communication skills and your grasp of business reporting. Go straight to the point. Say, “Yes, I have a lot of experience writing sales and progress reports. At my last job, I provided monthly reports on our sales and client management progress, which helped the company prioritize its clients. My reports were always objective, factual, concise, and advisory.”
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How do your values align with the company culture?
This is simply a “why do you want to work with us” question. Your answer will depend on your knowledge of the company and your future goals. You shouldn’t apply to companies if you don’t see yourself fitting in with the culture. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Fortune 500 company.
You could respond with, “From the vision and mission, it’s easy to deduce that this company prioritizes hard work and innovation. These are values I stand by. I want to be part of an environment that encourages ingenuity and creativity in its employees. That’s why I know this would be a great fit.”
Tips to Prepare for an Account Manager Interview
1. Keep up with the Trends in Your Industry
An essential part of preparing for an interview in account management is keeping up with business trends. You can bet that there has been an upgrade in a CRM software you’re familiar with or a recent bitcoin dip that will affect investors.
You might land an interview with a proactive and innovative company. The chances of you contributing to their improvement rest majorly on how forward-thinking and technologically adept you are. Online courses and certifications in your area can help you to keep up with new trends.
2. Read up on the Hiring Company
Finding out all you can about your prospective employer has got to be among the top three job hunting rules. Doing this can save you from a lot of unfortunate eventualities. Conduct detailed online research about the business and, if you can, reach out to a couple of professionals who may have better insight into the company than you do.
3. Look the Part
The truth is account management jobs demand that you look the part. You can’t expect your employer to take you seriously if you can’t be bothered to look professional. Dressing the part gives you the confidence you need to express yourself and shows your potential employer that you mean business.
What Skills Should I Put on My Account Manager Resume?
There are some essential skills you need to succeed in the workplace Every credible account manager should be able to nurture a blossoming client relationship and directly contribute to sales growth. This is the basis of your job. That’s why the following skills are non-negotiable.
Relationship Building and Sales Skills
The ability to establish and nurture profitable relationships is an essential part of your job, if not the most important. You should be able to increase sales level by upselling and cross-selling to clients without giving them the impression that you just want to exploit them for profit.
Your success as an account manager will depend on your ability to build sustainable relationships. These relationships, in turn, become the foundation for establishing business partnerships, closing deals, and improving the reputation of a business.
Proficiency With CRM tools
Account managers spend most of their time working with CRM tools. They are used to keep track of progress with customers. The data collected through CRM tools help companies prioritize their clients and design strategies to improve their goods and services.
Your ability to work with CRM tools will determine how productive and proactive you’ll be at the job. This is because CRM tools help you keep track of account metrics and provide you with a platform to collaborate with others. You should also be proficient in the use of database software, Google Analytics, and sales automation tools.
Report Writing Skills
An essential part of being a good account manager is being able to write comprehensive reports. Reports are how management makes decisions. It doesn’t just inform them of the latest developments, but also tells them how to capitalize on them. Your ability to write a good report will depend on your research, communication, and problem-solving skills.
How to Find Account Manager Jobs
Even with the advancements in information technology, finding the right job is a complicated process. This is why we’ve taken the time to compile a list of specialized job boards that cater to account management job seekers.
Account Management Crossing is a private job site for account managers. They have over 10 years of experience in the recruitment business. By signing up you can join other professionals and find opportunities in various fields and locations.
Naviga has over 15 years of experience recruiting account managers for major companies across North America. They conduct interviews, screening, and hiring for employers. As a job seeker, you can benefit immensely from their career opportunities, resume services, career services, and career advice articles.
Michael Page is a professional recruitment consultant that specializes in the placement of candidates in permanent, contract, temporary and interim positions with clients around the world. This site advertises openings in a host of business services, of which account management is an integral part.
Account Manager Interview Questions FAQ
How Do I Prepare for an Account Manager Interview?
You can prepare for your account manager interview by brushing up on your technical knowledge of account management, reading up on practice interviews, and comparing your skillset with those listed in the job description. Some of the skills you should acquire include organizational skills, analytical skills, and social skills to help you build strong relationships with clients.
What Do You Say During an Account Manager Interview?
You say things that paint you in a good light and increase your chances of landing a job with the company. Be concise, honest, and passionate in your speech. Most of the questions will help the interviewer evaluate your negotiation skills, your involvement in well-established projects, and your ability to fit into the company. Be sure to practice your answers beforehand.
What Makes a Successful Account Manager?
What makes you a successful account manager is your ability to align your daily tasks to the company’s business goals. Successful account managers have excellent customer service skills because a majority of their job functions involve building stable relationships that directly impact their company’s growth.
How Can I Impress My Interviewer?
The best way to impress your recruiter is to be honest and direct with your responses. Don’t act like you’re actively trying to impress them with your answers. Act naturally and be as relatable as possible, your prospective role depends on it. And of course, dress the part. Looking professional will boost your confidence and help you give a good first impression.
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