In every organization or corporate establishment, the position of an account manager role is viewed as a strategic role. Account managers serve as the bridge between the company and the clients and are responsible for developing and fostering strong relationships with prospective and recurring clients. They interact often with clients as they seek to maintain and expand their organization’s clients base. Therefore, the recruitment team in hiring for this position is often meticulous, careful, and strategic when filling this position. Candidates with leadership, negotiation, organizational, communication, and problem-solving skills. Leadership skills are often sought from candidates who necessary may not have a managerial experience rather accountability and strategic direction in account management is sought. Candidates with a track record of meeting revenue targets and bringing in new clients are highly sought after. A problem-solving attitude that resolves clients’ needs and at the same time promotes the company’s goals are always key skills sought out by recruiting professionals. In all candidates who can thrive in a fast-paced highly competitive sales market.
Therefore, the questions directed to prospective candidates during and account manager interview seeks to determine whether the candidate has the right combination of skills, experience and personality to carry out the responsibilities attached to this position. Here are questions candidates should expect in an interview for the role/position of an account manager;
- What Makes a Successful Account Manager?
The aim of this question is to determine whether the candidate understands the range of skills and personality expected from fulfilling the responsibilities attached to this role. The question also seeks to examine if the candidate understands the employer’s business and whether his skills match the business expectations in fulfilling this role. In answering this question, the candidate would be wise to carefully study the employer’s business (industry situated), job description, responsibilities, and qualifications as listed by the employer. In answering this question; the candidate should highlight his skills and tailor them to meet the employer’s business needs in fulfilling this role.
- Questions on Organizational Skills:
In hiring account managers employers often direct questions to candidates to gain insight on their organizational skills. Therefore, questions such as; How do you organize your emails? How do you plan your day? How do manage so many responsibilities simultaneously? How do you meet your target? Are often directed at job candidates. Account managers are presumed to possess effective planning and consistent managerial skills in approaching their duties. Thus, these questions seek to gain an insight on the systematic approach the candidate intend to employ in fulfilling the responsibilities attached to the role.
- Problems Solving Questions:
Candidates should expect questions which examine their problem-solving abilities. Candidates often make the mistake presenting a flawless record but they forget that humans are prone to error. Employers do not expect candidates to have a flawless record in meeting their goals, rather they are after the insight gained on how and why such goals were not met. The lessons learned from the experience and how you applied such lessons to avoid repeating the same failure. Problem-solving questions includes ‘As an account manager describe a time you disappointed a client and how did you resolve such problem?’ ‘Describe a time when you didn’t meet a target?’ These questions identify whether the candidate is willing to accept responsibility and has the skills to find solutions to common problems. Candidates should ensure that responses demonstrate professional growth.
- Questions on Communication, Networking and Interpersonal Skills:
Account Managers are expected to have communication, networking and interpersonal skills. It is crucial for an account manager to able to form and maintain strong and positive relationships. And these skills are important and required in developing, managing and fostering these relationships especially with prospective and old clients. Interpersonal skills are also required for managing relationships with colleagues. These questions include ‘How are your relationship with past employers, colleagues and clients? How did you handle a personal conflict with a colleague or client? These questions do not have a perfect response but description of professional relationships established and maintained speaks highly of the candidates’ interpersonal skills.
- Other questions include; ‘How do you handle rejection?’ How would you describe yourself as an account manager if you were a client? this is often asked to examine the candidate’s confidence in his abilities. Questions which are closely related to the industry of the job role includes; ‘What do you know about our products and services?’ ‘What skills are you bringing to our company in fulfillment of this role? ‘Why should we hire you? These questions present an opportunity to summarize your qualifications and demonstrate its benefits to the employer?
These questions highlighted above are not exhaustive but they are tremendous assistance in preparing for an interview for an Account Manager role.