Account manager interviews

Account manager interviews DEFAULT

Account Manager Interview Questions

  1. What qualities and skills will you bring to our company as an account manager? See answer
  2. As an account manager, how would you handle a personality conflict with a client or colleague? See answer
  3. Provide an example of a time you disappointed a client or colleague. As an account manager, how did you resolve the problem? See answer
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6 Account Manager Interview Questions and Answers


What qualities and skills will you bring to our company as an account manager?


An account manager will interact with your company’s clients on an ongoing basis. They should have strong communication skills and the ability to develop relationships with customers. Plus, a good candidate will be able to demonstrate that they can help your company increase revenue, retain clients and encourage new business. If your applicant can show that they have consistently met or exceeded their quotas, they may be an excellent choice. What to look for in an answer:

  • A sense that the applicant understands your business
  • Ability to meet or exceed quotas
  • Successful communication and relationship skills

“I build strong relationships with clients so that they will trust me. This approach generates revenue for the company and helps me exceed quotas.”


As an account manager, how would you handle a personality conflict with a client or colleague?


This question aims at understanding the applicant’s interpersonal relationship skills as well as their ability to resolve conflict. An account manager must be able to demonstrate fairness and honesty when working with others while representing the values of your organization. They should accept people as they are and find creative ways to overcome differences while retaining their clients and serving them in a mutually beneficial relationship. What to look for in an answer:

  • A recognition that not everyone is agreeable
  • Desire to empathize with others
  • Focus on retaining clients and increasing revenue

“If a personality conflict interfered with my work, I’d seek counsel on how I could better understand my client’s point of view.”


Provide an example of a time you disappointed a client or colleague. As an account manager, how did you resolve the problem?


All good account managers will inevitably disappoint a client on occasion, but they will also be willing to admit an error when it happens. A great applicant will be proactive to make sure that the same mistake does not happen again, especially to the same customer. This question will identify if your candidate is willing to accept responsibility and has the problem-solving skills to find solutions to common problems. What to look for in an answer:

  • Humility and acknowledgment that mistakes occur
  • Ability to demonstrate problem-solving skills
  • Concern for customers and the company

“Once, I misunderstood a client’s needs and lost the account. I learned that clear communication is vital to success. Now, it’s my top priority.”


Account managers have to juggle many responsibilities. On any given day, what does your workspace look like concerning organization?


An account manager will be dealing with multiple clients at the same time. Organizational skills are vital. You want to hire a manager who keeps an organized and tidy workspace. If a client or colleague asks your account manager to provide important information, you don’t want them digging through a pile of paperwork to find it. They should have an organizational system that is neat and efficient. What to look for in an answer:

  • Demonstration of effective organization
  • A systematic method of retrieving data
  • Desire to work efficiently and neatly

“I keep a neat desk with only one project open at a time. Everything else gets filed so that I can find it quickly.”


If you were your own client, how would you describe yourself as an account manager?


This question can glean much information about your candidate, particularly their confidence as an account manager. Since the position requires a skill set similar to sales, self-assurance and poise could be the difference between an average manager who maintains the status quo and a dynamic manager who seeks to build the account. Your applicant should be able to express confidence in their ability to perform well. What to look for in an answer:

  • Confidence in their ability without arrogance
  • Honesty about weakness without self-deprecation
  • An overall positive outlook on their performance

“I’m capable and friendly. I’m also proactive to present new ideas. I’m a pleasant person overall as well as a good listener. I’m understanding of client needs.”


Tell me about a time you successfully upsold a current client and how you achieved the sale.


Upselling is one of the main revenue streams that account managers are in charge of, and they should have a history of proving their sales acumen with current clients in addition to attracting new leads. Account managers use tact, timing and product knowledge to recommend the right products to increase sales from existing accounts. This question addresses a candidate's understanding of how to approach upselling and cross-selling. It also allows interviewers to assess the potential account manager's ambition and initiative. Look for these parts of a successful response:

  • Knowledge of client needs and resources
  • Specific examples
  • Sales strategies
One example of a strong answer to this interview question is:

"At my last sales position in software sales, I saw the opportunity to introduce a longtime customer to one of our new executive-level programs. I asked them what they found most useful about our current software and was able to tactfully bring up how our upgraded software package could perform those tasks more efficiently and improve overall organization. Showing them a demo and informing them about the product in a low-pressure, conversational environment allowed me to easily secure the sale."


Key Account Manager Interview Questions

Looking for an exceptional Key Account Manager for your company? Incorporate these essential interview question to your hiring process to get the right fit.

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Key Account Manager Interview Questions

Key Account Manager is indeed a strategic role, and you need an experienced person for this position. These professionals are responsible for developing long-term relationships with strategic customers which require frequent interaction with the clients to meet their demands. Hence, Selecting the candidate that navigates client needs towards solutions would be wise hiring.

Qualification to look for:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Sales or relevant field

Skills to look for:

  • roblem-solving skills
  • Excellent negotiation skills
  • Knowledge of sales and market trends
  • Organizational skills
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills

These Key Account Manager interview questions will help you screen the potential candidate from the large pool of applicants.

Operational and Situational questions

  • What is your negotiation approach?
  • How do you handle potential client?
  • How will you deal with a situation where you end up losing on existing smaller client while closing the deal with a potential client?
  • What tactics will you use to deal with customer complaints?
  • Where will you turn to for new sales opportunities in our industry if you are required to enhance revenue by X% in a year?

Role-specific questions

  • Mention some CRM software you are familiar with.
  • How often and how do you prepare progress reports from your manager?
  • What information will you need before contacting a new client for the first time?
  • According to you, what are the main duties of a Key Account Manager?

Behavioral questions

  • How will you build strong relationships with key clients?
  • Describe your most successful (end-to-end) project so far.
  • Have you ever made a mistake that cost you a customer?
  • Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years in your career?
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Account Manager Interview Questions For Candidates to Master

Do you know what questions to expect in an account manager interview? We’ve got some of the most common, along with advice on how to answer.

When you make it to the interview stage for an account management position, seize the opportunity! Of course, you’ll want to prepare solid answers to standards such as, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” and “Tell me about yourself,” but the hiring manager likely will pose some other questions specifically targeted to the role.

Here’s a look at four account manager interview questions, why they get asked, and how you can formulate a response that boosts your candidacy.

FlexJobs is a subscription service for job seekers that features flexible and remote jobs. With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, the monthly subscription costs allow us to fully vet and verify all of the jobs on our site—ensuring that customers have a safe and positive job searching experience. 

Account Manager Interview Questions

In your own words, what are the main job duties and responsibilities of an account manager?

Igor Mitic, co-founder of, frequently presents this starter question “to help make candidates more at ease since they are probably well-versed in answering it.”

But while this question breaks the ice, it also aids the interviewer in determining your grasp of the position at hand. If your idea of what’s expected of an account manager differs too significantly from the employer’s vision, problems could result down the line.

From your research on the company, select a few keywords and concepts to include in your response. Speaking “their” language (within reason), helps solidify yourself as a good match.

And after your answer, consider advancing the conversation and gaining insight with something like, “I realize that while certain tasks are common to most account management positions, each company has its own requirements. What are the specific duties and responsibilities you deem most important for this position?”

How will you build loyalty to the company with your clients?

As succinctly stated by Jon Hill, chairman and CEO of The Energists, “Acquiring new contracts is useless if the account manager can’t hang on to them in the long term.” Thus, employers possess a vested interest in hearing how you’ll further the relationship with those you’ve been assigned to serve.

Your answer should show that you realize how important an account manager’s actions are to establishing a positive bond. Possible areas to discuss include regular check-ins with clients to assess satisfaction and answer any questions, prompt attention to all correspondence, and dedication to meeting needs so that they’ll want to stay.

Bring your commitment to building loyalty to life with an example of a time in which you went above and beyond to serve a client in a previous job.

How do you deal with clients that come across as aggressive or perhaps lay blame on your organization for a problem that has occurred?

Jessica Salter, talent acquisition manager for Best Response Media, likes to ask account management candidates this question because “empathy is one of our core values, and it is essential to understand why the client is unhappy so that you can try and fix the problem professionally and logically.”

Essentially, this question is a position-specific variation of the interview staple “How do you handle conflict?” Prospective account managers should view it as an opportunity to talk about effective communication, commitment to customer service, calmness under pressure, and problem-solving prowess. Resist the temptation to say that you never encounter difficulties with clients, which comes off as unbelievable.

Rather, select a real-life tense situation that you think you handled especially well. Walk the interviewer through your thought and action process, and be sure to make it clear how what you did led to a positive outcome.

Did you ever lose a client due to negligence or a mistake that could have been avoided? If so, what did you learn?

Talk about being in the hot seat! This account manager interview question can make even the most confident interviewee experience butterflies—and the interviewer realizes it.

“I would expect them to stumble on this one,” Mitic admits. “The purpose of this question is to determine their level of honesty, accountability, and self-awareness.”

While cognizant that most candidates will reveal only a minor issue from their past, Mitic says he’d be impressed by someone who brought up a major error. “It would prove to me that the candidate is self-confident, honest, and able to learn from their mistakes.”

Your own comfort level determines what you care to admit in this situation. Whatever you choose, the most important thing is to show how you came out of it a more skilled professional. Maybe you learned firsthand the value of double-checking work or listening very carefully. Perhaps you’re now more attuned to signs of dissatisfaction and act quicker. All account managers make mistakes, but good ones turn negatives into growth.

Acing Your Account Manager Interview

The best way to prepare for an account management interview is to prepare your answers ahead of time. Talk to peers or contacts within your network to make sure that you’re set up for success.

Furthermore, if you’re looking for account management jobs, FlexJobs can help! We off full-time, part-time, and freelance positions with companies that range from Fortune 500 to small businesses. Learn more today!


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Account Manager Interview Questions

  • 1.

    Why is this job right for you at this time in your career?

      Discuss with the interviewer why you are looking to make a change and why you believe you're a great fit for this role. Don't just say that you are 'looking for growth;' instead, be thoughtful and draw upon the research you have done on the company. Make sure the interviewer knows how excited you are by their specific company, open position, and industry. And be positive about your current/last employer; negativity doesn't come across well.

      Marcie's Answer

      "I have been passively seeking a new position for quite some time but hadn't jumped on anything until this; when I read your job ad and researched your company, I knew this might be the perfect fit for both me and you. I think I'd fit really well in your company culture, and I possess the experience and knowledge to be very successful within this role. While I like my current job and employer, I am ready to move on to something different that will allow me learn more and expand my sales and management skills."

  • 2.

    If a long-term key client informed you they're considering ending our business relationship, how would you turn them around?

      It's important to the interviewer that you know how to save accounts. In other words, if a client becomes unhappy or disenchanted with the company's products or services, then as their account manager, you will need to step in and talk to the client in order to remedy the problem and keep their business. Tell the interviewer the steps you would take to fix the issue and make the client happy again.

      Marcie's Answer

      "Sometimes this happens when a client has encountered a problem with the product or service or is simply ready to move on. As an account manager, it's my job to dive into the root of why the client is unhappy. During this discussion, I'll maintain empathy and good listening skills so the client feels heard and understood. Then, I will come back to them with a solution, either with another product the company offers that will do a better job satisfying their needs or with an adjustment to the service they are receiving. My goal is to make the client happy again and to restore the relationship."

  • 3.

    As a manager, how do you successfully motivate your team?

      The interviewer wants to know how you will ensure your team is motivated and productive. As a manager, you will need to uncover what intrinsically drives your team members, what they are passionate about, and how they like to be recognized or rewarded. You can then use this knowledge to support, encourage, and motivate them. If you have an example from previous teams you've managed, then share!

      Marcie's Answer

      "As a manager, I work hard to get to know my team members - what they like, what makes them tick, and how they like being recognized and rewarded. I do this by getting to know them, fostering strong relationships and trust among the team, and regularly meeting with them one-on-one and as a team. It's important for me to understand what each team member needs so I can ensure that their needs are met. If someone feels understood, appreciated, and recognized, then they will undoubtedly work hard to deliver and succeed."

  • 4.

    Why are you looking to leave your current position?

      The interviewer might inquire about the reason you're leaving your current job. If you're not careful about how you answer this question, you might raise red flags in the interviewer's mind. For instance, you definitely don't want to bad mouth your prior employer (even if they deserve it!) Frame everything in a positive light. You want to be honest, positive, and bring the focus back to what the new role has to offer you versus what you currently have.

      Marcie's Answer

      "I've been with my current employer for several years now, and I'm just ready to move on to another opportunity. I love the people I currently work with, but I'm looking to change things up and try something new with another great group of coworkers. I think I'm well suited to the account manager position and that I'll fit nicely into your company culture."

  • 5. What motivates you to perform your best? The interviewer wants to find out what drives you to work hard and be successful. For the account manager position, the interviewer will likely want to hear that you're motivated by human connections since that's such a big part of this role. Whereas a person strictly in sales might be driven by commissions (money), and this may be one of your internal motivators too, an account manager tends to be motivated by solving problems and building trusting relationships with others. Example #1: "The reason I'm cut out to be an account manager is because I genuinely enjoy helping and getting to know clients. Many of them honestly become friends of mine; I build trusting and long-term relationships with them. During our talks, I find out what business challenges they are dealing with, and nothing pleasures me more than when I can offer them a solution to their problem(s). I always stay up on new product features so I can educate the clients and potentially solve issues for them."6. What do you like most about your current role? The interviewer wants to find out what motivates you and what makes you tick to see if it aligns with the position. Consider what an account manager does (builds and maintains relationships; upsells/cross-sells/sells; educates clients about the products; pinpoints client problems and tries to resolve them) and relate that to your current job in a favorable manner. Example #1: "I'm currently working in a retail position, and my favorite part of the job is making customers happy. When they come into the store, I approach them in a friendly manner and make conversation in order to determine if they have any challenges or problems that might be fixed by our products. My goal is to be empathetic, to really listen, and to educate them on our products so that I might be able to solve their issue(s). I make sure that they leave on good terms with me so the next time they come into the store I can continue to build the friendship and trust."7. What type of sales and account management software do you have experience using? There are many different software programs widely available that account managers use to organize and prioritize their accounts. Most likely the company you're interviewing for uses one of these programs. Let the interviewer know which programs you have experience with, and also indicate that you are always open to learning new software as well. If you don't have experience using any common programs, focus on conveying that you are a fast and eager learner. Example #1: "Throughout my years in account management, I have used various applications to help me organize contacts, segment markets, customize pipelines, and prioritize my accounts. On a very basic level, I have used Microsoft Excel and internal admins to support my own organizational methods. But beyond that, I am very comfortable using Salesforce and Freshsales as I used them in my last two positions. I have friends who use Zendesk Sell and Zoho, among others, and I am confident I can easily learn how to use these or any other programs if needed."8. If you could choose between getting a higher base pay without the ability to earn many commissions/bonuses or a lower base pay with the ability to earn more commissions/bonuses, which would you pick and why? The interviewer has asked this question to determine how driven you are to sell. Although your primary job function as an account manager is to foster new client relationships and keep existing clients happy, there is also a large sales component. The interviewer will want to hear that you are motivated to sell, which generally means that you are open to earning commissions and bonuses in addition to your base salary. Example #1: "While I'm open to most pay structures, the idea of earning commissions and/or bonuses based on my performance definitely appeals to me. It's always nice to have a base salary to fall back on, but the prospect of earning more money according to how much hard work I put in and how many times I can upsell and expand accounts motivates me. I enjoy the challenge of closing deals, in addition to helping clients I care about resolve business problems."9. Let's pretend I'm a client of yours. How would you up-sell or cross-sell this company's products to me? The interviewer would ask this question in order to see how you actually act as an account manager. You will need to use your imagination and pretend they are a client. Prior to the interview, make sure you research the company, its products, and the industry, in addition to rehearsing how you would up-sell or cross-sell its products. Practicing beforehand will make this type of question much easier to answer in person. Example #1: "Hi, Joe; how are you? How's the family? I know we last talked a few weeks ago. I just wanted to touch base with you because several of your colleagues have reached out and expressed interest in using our service. I'm really excited about that; I know our research product has really been helpful to your analyst team. As you know, your firm is currently paying for a one-seat subscription. I wanted to talk to you about trialing a four-seat subscription so some of your colleagues can start capitalizing on our research too. I've already set it up and can activate it now if you're interested."10. Why do you think you would be a good account manager? This is your chance to really sell yourself. You know what account managers do (build/nurture relationships; upsell/cross-sell/sell; educate clients about the products; pinpoint client problems and try to resolve them) so now you need to show the interviewer that you excel in these same areas. If you have experience doing these things, share that. If you lack experience, emphasize how your personality is well suited for the role and how you're eager to learn and grow. Example #1: "Ever since I was young, I've always been driven to sell. When I was 10, I wrote a newsletter that I sold to neighbors and relatives. When I was 16, I placed first in fundraising (selling candy) for the school band. Selling is in my blood. Beyond that, though, I have a genuine love of people and am a natural networker. I make friends easily, and I know that on the phone and in person I will be able to develop meaningful relationships with your clients. I will learn your products inside and out so I can educate clients about them and recognize when a product will fill their needs. I'm competitive yet friendly, and I know I am cut out to be an account manager."11. If you were your own client, how would you describe yourself as an account manager? The interviewer can learn a lot about you from this question. You will want to appear confident without being arrogant, and you will want to discuss several of the attributes and personality traits that the interviewer is looking for in an account manager. Namely, that you are friendly, communicative, capable, honest, proactive, client-focused, and smart. Example #1: "I think that my clients would consider me a friendly, pleasant, and genuine person. I work hard to establish solid client relationships that are based on trust. Consequently, I believe that they would also say that I am trustworthy and that I won't waste their time. If I'm contacting them about a product or new feature, I make sure it is something that will be of value to them. Additionally, I think I would be described as someone who is intelligent and a good listener; I spend time truly listening to what the client's challenges are and I proactively offer solutions."12. How well do you know our industry? The interviewer wants to know how much industry knowledge and experience you have. They are hoping to hear that you are already familiar with the product types and terminology and that you have a network of connections that you will bring with you to the role. If you have a background in the same or a similar industry, let the interviewer know. If not, indicate how eager and willing you are to learn about it. Example #1: "I have worked in various industries throughout my career thus far. As a result, I'm very well-rounded and quick to adapt. But I'm especially interested in this particular industry and am looking to settle here for a long while. I have been researching it on my own time and believe that many of my connections will be interested in the kinds of products you sell."13. When have you made an error that resulted in an account leaving your company? The interviewer wants you to describe a time when you made a mistake at work. It's important that you clearly explain what happened, what your role in the situation was, how you worked to rectify it, and what lessons you learned. Be honest and take responsibility but emphasize how this taught you to do things differently in the future. Example #1: "When I was only about a year or two into my first account management job, I learned a valuable lesson about making sure to keep tabs on and be communicative with all clients, no matter their account size. I had inherited over 80 accounts and had prioritized them by size and opportunity potential. Some of the company's clients had been with us for years but were small accounts. Things got busy and I overlooked following up with one of those accounts. Several months went by and suddenly they canceled their service with us. I quickly realized that if I had kept in touch with the client, most likely they would have stayed with us; they felt neglected and consequently left. Fortunately, I was able to quickly re-open the lines of communication and win them back, albeit at a discounted rate for the next quarter. Going forward, I changed how I tracked clients and my communications with them to ensure that no client ever fell through the cracks again."14. How long have you been involved in selling this type of product? The interviewer wants to know how much experience you have working with the type of product the company sells. The more experience you have with this kind of product, the easier it'll be for you to hit the ground running when you start working there - and the interviewer knows this. If you have sold or worked with similar products in the past, definitely let the interviewer know. If you lack experience in this area, talk about your willingness and eagerness to learn. Example #1: "I've been selling products that are similar to yours for the past five years. In my most recent role, I developed an in-depth understanding of the products we sold by taking the time to learn about them and then staying abreast of all new features. If you hire me, I will do the same here. To be an effective account manager, I need to know and understand all aspects of the product so I can expand accounts by upselling or cross-selling your products."15. Tell me about your experience in account management and/or sales. The interviewer wants to know how much experience you have in this kind of role. If you have had prior roles in account management or sales, perfect! Tell the interviewer all about them and how you excelled in these positions. If you lack experience in this area, talk about the personality traits you possess that will make you a great fit for this role. Example #1: "Although I haven't yet had the opportunity to fill an account management or sales role, I know that I'm cut out for this type of job. I really enjoy talking to people and building relationships. I also have a knack for educating others, and I know I can use this talent to teach your clients about your products. When I talk to them, I will identify their pain points and then look to solve those problems with our products."16. Why are you interested in this specific account manager position? The interviewer wants to know what about this job appeals to you and why you have decided to apply for it. This is a good opportunity to show the interviewer that you have researched their company and that you understand what the job entails. You will want to express interest in working for their company and briefly explain why you are well suited to the position. Example #1: "I have been following your company for some time now and looking for the right opportunity to join your team. I have prior experience working for startups, and I really value the entrepreneurial spirit of the team. I also enjoy seeing the direct impact my work has on the company. In terms of the role itself, I am a people-person and driven to sell, and I'm also someone who will take the time to build meaningful relationships with clients. I believe the products you sell offer a valuable solution to a problem, and I would love to introduce your products to clients in order to solve their problems."17. Do you know any of our customers? The interviewer is interested in finding out if you know any of the company's clients. It is beneficial to the company if you have existing relationships with any of their customers because this will make it easier for you to introduce and/or sell their products to them. If you already have connections within the industry, definitely name drop and let the interviewer know. If you don't, indicate that you are working on building up your industry network and understand the importance of doing so. Example #1: "Being that I've been in the same industry as your company for the past 10 years, I have numerous shared contacts. While in this role I plan to leverage my connections as I know that my relationships with these customers will allow me an easy 'in' to start introducing and selling your products to them. I am continually building and nurturing new relationships as well. I am confident that using my existing network, and the new contacts I will continue adding to it, will allow me to successfully sell your product."18. What do you know about our company? This is an important question because the interviewer wants to see drive and hunger on your side to work specifically for their company. They don't want to sense that you are desperate for any job. Make sure to do your research on the company prior to the interview so you know what it does, what kind of products it sells, who some of its larger customers are, etc. and why you will fit in well there. Example #1: "I researched your company online and am very excited about what I learned. First, I am happy that it's a larger company as I've always worked for bigger companies and feel very comfortable in that kind of atmosphere. I saw on LinkedIn that your employees spend time together at happy hours and raising money for charitable causes; I would love to be a part of this and believe I will fit into the company culture well. I'm also very familiar with the industry your company is in due to past work experience and personally use the products it sells."19. Tell me about your leadership style. The interviewer might ask you this question if they are looking for an account manager who will also train and oversee others. In this case, you will want to express confidence in taking charge and setting a good example for others. Discuss how you have helped hire, mentor, and supervise others in the past, in addition to talking about the style of leadership you ascribe to. If you are lacking experience in this area, tell the interviewer about the personality traits you possess that would make you a good leader. Example #1: "Within my current position I have hired and trained several people. When someone new joins the team, I am friendly and approachable so they know they can come to me with any questions that arise. I also take the time to explain procedures and processes to them so they understand what is expected of them. I try to set a good example in the way I handle myself and complete my work, and I never talk down to or demean anyone. I look forward to leading others on your account management team if you hire me."20. You have been given 50 clients. How would you manage them? What would you do first? all at your current or last position. The interviewer wants to know how you will handle a lot of clients while still giving them all the attention they require. You will want to discuss how you will prioritize and organize the clients, as well as how frequently and in what ways you plan to communicate with them. It is important that you balance the needs of the clients with the needs of the company. Example #1: "First, I'll enter all of my clients into a program where I can easily access and organize them, whether it be Excel or the company's internal admin interface. Next, I will do some due diligence on the types of clients I have been given. For instance, how big or small are the accounts? How old or new are they? Which ones look like they can be expanded, either by cross-selling or up-selling products to them? I will then prioritize them by how lucrative they are to the company. I will always give proper attention and great service to all clients, no matter their size; however, I will likely spend more time on the ones that have the potential to bring in more revenue."21. How do you stay in contact with customers? The interviewer wants to find out more about how you maintain relationships with clients. Since this is such a vital part of the account manager role, you will want to rattle off the ways in which you will be communicative, helpful, and friendly toward the company's customers. Example #1: "I use several different methods to build and grow my relationships with clients. When I first come into a new role, I always make it a point to call each and every client on my list in order to introduce myself. I believe this is more personal than an email; they can hear my voice and learn my name. With larger accounts that we want to expand, I encourage in-person meetings. There's nothing quite like shaking the client's hand and seeing the family photos they have in their office in order to build a real and trusting relationship. I also email clients. In some cases, they prefer and/or request this method of communication because they are busy. Other times, due to external factors, this might be the easiest way to contact them. I stay in touch with customers in a variety of ways, whatever works best for them and helps to build the relationship."22. What feedback did you receive at your last job? The interviewer wants to not only find out what kind of feedback you may have received in the past from managers but, more importantly, determine how you handled it. You will want to show the interviewer that you were open to receiving your supervisor's feedback, took it constructively, and used it to better yourself and your work performance. Example #1: "At my last job, my manager told me that I was spending too much time on certain accounts. I realized that I had become so immersed in those specific relationships (because I saw huge opportunities there) that I wasn't paying enough attention to some of my other accounts. I recognized that he was right and from that point forward I made sure to better allocate my time and energy across all of my accounts."23. As a manager, how would you evaluate the success of your team's members? The interviewer wants to know more about how you would lead a team. One very important aspect of managing others is continually being aware of each team member's performance. If anyone is struggling, it is your job to help them improve. Talk to the interviewer about how you plan to measure and track each team member's success. Example #1: "From past experience, I recognize how vital it is as a manager to consistently communicate with and evaluate the performance of my team members. I always strive to keep my team positive, encouraged, and, frankly, competitive in a friendly way so they are constantly trying to close more sales and build more client relationships. I've found that conducting daily morning meetings is helpful to keep everyone motivated and on the same page. I also meet individually with all team members on Fridays to discuss weekly successes and challenges and to offer advice. My expectation is that they each work hard to reach their goals and to continually try to improve."24. What do you think our company's biggest challenge is? The interviewer wants to know how much you researched the company and the industry it's in before you came to the interview. Being knowledgeable in these areas shows you are genuinely interested in this specific job. Being able to suggest possible company/industry challenges also shows the ability to think critically. Even better if you can propose some possible solutions as well. Example #1: "I noticed when I was researching your company that there are several other similar companies in your space. This leads me to believe that one of the challenges the company faces is differentiating itself from competitors. Being that the service you offer is online (and not a product someone can physically handle and compare to others at a store), I imagine it's a challenge to show clients how your service is better for them than a competitors. As an account manager, I will visit clients in person to physically demonstrate our product in front of them. I can think of other ideas too, like perhaps running a mailing campaign, to help resolve this issue."25. How do you meet your targets? Part of being a successful account manager is being able to sell. By asking this question, the interviewer is looking for some insight into your selling methodologies. They want to know that you can consistently meet or even surpass your targets. Discuss the strategies you've successfully used in the past to meet your quotas and how you will do that in this position as well. Example #1: "For me, I continually focus on my client relationships. I touch-base often, providing my clients with useful information and ongoing support. I always want to make sure the lines of communication are open. When a new feature or product comes along, I can more easily up-sell or cross-sell the value-add given my strong relationships with my clients. I also make it a point to collaborate closely with others on the sales and account management teams. Together, we come up with new sales strategies to try out and share things that have worked. In the past, I have met or exceeded my target every single time."26. What are your greatest strengths? Weaknesses? This is a common question that is asked by interviewers for many different role types. Going into the interview, be able to recite several strengths and at least one weakness of yours. In this case, choose strengths that are related to the account manager role (friendly/pleasant, easy to talk to, a natural networker, great at selling, a relationship-builder, organized, etc.). When it comes to weaknesses, try to pick one that can also be viewed as a positive. Example #1: "I would say that my greatest strength is my ability to sell. I believe that I come across as genuine and trustworthy, so when I suggest a product or service to a client they take me seriously and consider it. I also have an uncanny ability to pinpoint client challenges and come up with solutions, which bolsters my ability to sell. Other strengths include being someone who can easily strike up a conversation with anyone and form a long-lasting relationship. In terms of weaknesses, sometimes I become hyper-focused on big opportunities and Ihave to catch myself to ensure I'm not letting smaller accounts fall through the cracks. I am aware of this tendency and use organization to combat it."27. Tell me about a contribution you made to the last team you worked on. It's important to show the interviewer that you are a team player and someone who works well with others. Talk about a time when you were expected to achieve a goal in a team setting. Discuss how you went above and beyond to help your team and how your team achieved success. Example #1: "Last month, my manager asked my team to call a list of hundreds of clients during a time period of just a few days. We were trying to reach these specific clients in order to schedule in-person demonstrations with them while our sales team was going to be in their area. All of us had to work long hours, starting before 8am and going on after 5pm, to make these calls, in addition to managing the responses we received. It wasn't easy and there were several days when I stayed late to help get everything done. It was worth the effort, though, as we managed to schedule numerous on-sites, which later resulted in many closed deals."28. Why should we hire you over other candidates? A lot of times this is the last question an interviewer might ask you. It's a chance to really sell yourself, and you should make sure to rehearse your answer several times in advance so it flows and you don't stumble at all. Talk about your strengths and how they differentiate you from others. Be specific and exude confidence. Example #1: "I think you should choose to hire me over others because I have the right mix of experience and personality. I will be able to jump right in and hit the ground running because I already know how to be a successful account manager. I even bring my own network of contacts with me, of whom I will work to convert into paying clients. I'm friendly and personable on the phone and in person, so I have no doubt I will be able to easily make in-roads with your existing clients to build up trusting relationships with them, as well as with my new colleagues. I am very excited about your company and would love to be a part of its future success."29. Tell me about the largest or most important project you have ever worked on. How did you manage it? The interviewer wants to hear about your involvement in a big project. Explain what the project was about, how you contributed to it, and what the end result was. You can also discuss what you learned from the experience and how you will carry those lessons into the future with you. Example #1: "I started with my current company when it was just a startup, and it has continued to get larger and larger over the years. Initially, we were selling to small mom-and-pop companies, but over time this has evolved into closing very large multi-seat financial companies. A year ago, a large company that we had closed on not that long ago for just a few seats started expressing interest in expanding their account. My boss put me in charge of it. Over the next eight months, I worked various angles and developed numerous new contacts within the company. I remained persistent over time and eventually was able to increase the number of seats at the company to over a hundred, resulting in a large boost in revenue for us."30. Tell me about a time when you made a mistake that made a client unhappy. What did you do to fix the situation and what did you learn? The interviewer wants to know how you recovered from a mistake that you made. It's most important that you show the interviewer what you learned from the mistake so you don't repeat it again. Explain that you view mistakes as a chance to learn, not as a failure. Example #1: "When I first started working for my current company, I called an important client right in the middle of earnings season. I wasn't calling to provide any investment information that might have helped him during this time; I was just doing a friendly check-in. The client wasn't happy that I wasted his time, especially during this hectic period. I apologized sincerely and wrapped up the call so he could go on with his day. I never forgot the lesson I learned from that experience. Now, I only make contact with clients when I have an express purpose or information of value to provide, and I always pay attention to when I choose to make the call."

  • 5.

    What motivates you to perform your best?

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  • 6.

    What do you like most about your current role?

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  • 7.

    What type of sales and account management software do you have experience using?

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  • 8.

    If you could choose between getting a higher base pay without the ability to earn many commissions/bonuses or a lower base pay with the ability to earn more commissions/bonuses, which would you pick and why?

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  • 9.

    Let's pretend I'm a client of yours. How would you up-sell or cross-sell this company's products to me?

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  • 10.

    Why do you think you would be a good account manager?

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  • 11.

    If you were your own client, how would you describe yourself as an account manager?

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  • 12.

    How well do you know our industry?

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  • 13.

    When have you made an error that resulted in an account leaving your company?

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      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.

  • 14.

    How long have you been involved in selling this type of product?

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  • 15.

    Tell me about your experience in account management and/or sales.

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      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.

  • 16.

    Why are you interested in this specific account manager position?

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      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.

  • 17.

    Do you know any of our customers?

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  • 18.

    What do you know about our company?

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  • 19.

    Tell me about your leadership style.

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  • 20.

    You have been given 50 clients. How would you manage them? What would you do first? all at your current or last position.

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      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.

  • 21.

    How do you stay in contact with customers?

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  • 22.

    What feedback did you receive at your last job?

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  • 23.

    As a manager, how would you evaluate the success of your team's members?

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  • 24.

    What do you think our company's biggest challenge is?

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  • 25.

    How do you meet your targets?

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  • 26.

    What are your greatest strengths? Weaknesses?

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      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.

  • 27.

    Tell me about a contribution you made to the last team you worked on.

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  • 28.

    Why should we hire you over other candidates?

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  • 29.

    Tell me about the largest or most important project you have ever worked on. How did you manage it?

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  • 30.

    Tell me about a time when you made a mistake that made a client unhappy. What did you do to fix the situation and what did you learn?

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  • Sours:

    Interviews account manager

    Strategic Account Manager interview questions

    Your zero-regret new hire will have demonstrated experience and have awesome communication and customer service skills. They’ll be target-oriented with a dynamic and driven personality. Plus they’ll have a great understanding of your brand and your client needs.

    Top tip: Diversity is key for a thriving workplace. Keep an eye out for management and exec-level candidates from varying backgrounds and aim to eliminate bias from your hiring process.

    Role-specific interview questions

    • How do we stand out from our competitors?
    • What’s the top way to communicate with the Product Management team about new features/services?
    • Do you have more experience with B2B or B2C customers?
    • What CRM and other sales tech have you used before?

    Behavioral interview questions

    • Email, phone or in-person: Which do you prefer?
    • Tell us about a time you closed a major deal. 
    • Tell us about your most challenging sales cycle in your last role. How did you overcome your obstacles?
    • Have you ever made a mistake that cost a client? What would you have done differently?

    Problem solving interview questions

    • How would you prioritize multiple problems from different clients at the same time?
    • How would you negotiate with an important client who asks for a huge discount?
    • If you struggled to hit sales quotas, where would you look for new sales opportunities?
    • How would you support an Account Executive who’s trying to deal with a customer’s complaints?

    Start optimizing your recruiting process today.

    Join the thousands of companies already hiring with Breezy HR.

    Start Interviewing Now
    Amazon Technical Program Manager Interview: Ownership

    Key Account Manager Interview Questions and Answers

    Key Account Manager Interview Questions and Answers

    This section covers commonly asked and expert level Key Account Manager Interview questions and answers. You can find conceptual, general, behavioral and experience based questions along with interesting examples and sample answers.

    Who are these Key Account Manager Interview Questions useful for?

    The questions presented here will be highly useful to all the freshers and experienced candidates interviewing for the role in automotive, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, investment and banking, software etc. industries.

    1. Why does a company need key account manager?


    A key account manager helps to develop opportunities for both the clients and the company to grow and sustain your businesses. They help to get more revenue and build a stronger relationship with clients. They also help to withstand any competition.

    By having a key account manager you can:

    i.) Boost customer loyalty.
    ii.) Improve business relationships.
    iii.) Create company awareness.
    iv.) Become valued partners.
    v.) Increase sales.

    Video : Key Account Manager Interview Questions and Answers

    2. What skills would you try to see, if you were hiring a Key Account Manager?


    While hiring a Key Account manager I would look for qualities that focus on the acquisition and retention of new clients. The person taking up this role must be patient but should not give into client's unreasonable demands.

    Some of the qualities, I would pay attention to are:

    i.) Leadership skills: To lead the internal team and at times, the client as well. For this, you need to know your client’s business, industry, geography better than they know themselves.

    ii.) Excellent communication skills: They need to possess communication skills that are clear, convincing and concise.  They need to keep all the stakeholders informed on all important issues.

    iii.) Ability to see the larger picture: A key account manager needs to always look beyond closing deals. They need to understand the business and must be able to see the larger issues and resolve them in a way profitable to both the client and their company.

    iv.) Relationship builder: They need to be able to understand people and connect with them. They need to develop and nurture a strong relation with the clients. This will help them with partnerships that are meaningful and trustworthy..

    v.) Ability to multi-task.

    vi.) Excellent presentation skills: A key account manager needs to be a good presenter. They often need to lead a presentation on account reviews or give project updates.

    vii.) Result oriented: They should be the one who would take the failures as learning and would give credit to the team for success.

    viii.) Achiever: They should be able to set a goal for themselves and must always try to achieve them.

    ix.) Learning skills: They should find opportunities to improve themselves and should see that they are constantly growing.

    x.) Flexibility: All the plans do not execute as expected. They should be flexible and open to change, if required.

    3. Acquiring a new client is one of the duties of a key account manager. What are their other duties and responsibilities?


    Well, as the question itself suggests, the interviewer here is interested in knowing your understanding of this role beyond sales.

    Your answer to this question immediately tells them, how prepared are you for the interview and how serious are you for this position. Do some research about the company and the position & make sure that you are well prepared.

    Some of the duties that you can talk about are:

    i.) Develop and maintain a trustful relationship with the client so that they work with you wholeheartedly, without getting attracted by your competitors.

    ii.) Understand the objectives and needs of your client & find ways to help them meet them. This needs you to be their consultant rather than a sales man.

    iii.) Ensure the availability of right stock with your client at the right time.

    iv.) Get new products that’ll help them meet their objective.

    v.) Negotiate various deals with them.

    vi.) Work as a point of contact between your account and the internal team.

    vii.) Solve problems faced by your client.

    viii.) Train them with the new ways of business so that they can improve their sales.
    Make them competitive.

    ix.) Prepare MIS reports for internal consumption and reports that’ll be useful to the client.

    4. How will you manage multiple clients at the same time?


    Well, the two most important things that you would need to achieve this are:

    i.) Ability to multitask
    ii.) Ability to stay organized

    To answer this question you can say something like: "I have created a spreadsheet of the different accounts I'm handling. I make it a point to update and manage it daily. It keeps me well informed about the current status as well as any important information which needs to be kept in mind.

    I’m very confident that managing multiple clients won't be a problem for me."

    If there are any other strategies you follow to achieve these, this question is the right opportunity to talk about them.

    5. How does purposeful listening skill help key account managers?


    As the name suggests purposeful listening refers to listening with purpose. The key account manager's purpose is to get more business and strengthen the relationship with the client.

    Skilled managers should know how to apply purposeful listening skills. They need to understand what they need to listen and how to use the information they hear. They can also use purposeful listening to solve the problem. They need to understand the reason and listen to details associated with the problem. They need to focus on the keywords and agree on how they can resolve the problem.

    They need to listen carefully to give out the useful information required by the clients. Also, they need to use correct words to guide the client to make a sales decision and to strengthen the relationship with them.

    6. Tell us about a time when you were unable to meet a goal.


    As a Key Account Manager, you need to meet your goals with a given deadline.

    To answer this question, talk about a project that you failed to deliver on time and what led to the failure.  Weave it into a story. Lay emphasis on what have you learned from this situation.

    The interviewer would be more interested in knowing, what you did to overcome the failure.

    You can say something like: "Once we were working on a promotional campaign. The shooting was to take place in a western state but due to the opposition of local people, the law and order situation became bad and the shoot got delayed.

    As the Key Account Manager, I explained it to the client and also got in touch with the local law and order administration to set things in order. Ultimately, we began after a week and finished the shoot.

    The experience taught me that whenever the subject of shooting is sensitive, it is extremely important to take local administration and people into confidence."

    In business, everything driven by success and measuring the performance is an important part of it.


    Similar news:

    Talent can be one of the main competitive advantages for a marketing agency.

    And perhaps no role is more important than that of the account manager. After all, account managers are the face of your marketing agency. They work with clients all day, every day.

    But to identify talented account managers, you have to ask the right questions during the interview process.

    To find out what questions you should ask prospective account managers in interviews, we surveyed more than 30 marketing agency leaders. Collectively, they’ve hired hundreds of account managers.

    Google Analytics Website Engagement Dashboard Template by Databox

    These leaders shared their 26 favorite account manager interview questions to ask—and their favorite answers to receive.

    Jump to a Section:

    Typical Account Manager Job Responsibilities

    Before we dig into the interview questions, we wanted to learn more about the typical job responsibilities of an account manager at a marketing or advertising agency.

    Here’s a breakdown of the most common job responsibilities for account managers at each of the 34 digital marketing agencies we spoke to:

    • Scope Out Work: Helping to scope out new client engagements pre-sale
    • Onboarding: Onboarding new clients
    • Client Calls: Holding regular calls with clients to finalize monthly deliverables and review work completed
    • Client Reporting: Monitoring, reporting, and presenting client performance data to ensure business goals are achieved
    • Project Management: Managing projects to ensure deliverables are completed on-time and to the right standards
    • New Tech: Managing the implementation of new marketing technology for clients
    • Upselling: Identifying and pitching new services to existing clients
    • Renewals: Client renewals and upselling
    • Billing: Handling billing and collections

    Secondary Account Manager Job Responsibilities

    Some other common account manager job responsibilities our respondents mentioned include:

    • “Pitching new ideas and being a growth advisor” (Jonathan Franchell, Ironpaper)
    • “Educating the client’s sales team about HubSpot” (Charles Elmer, Bayard Bradford)
    • “Working closely with our design and development teams to create, test, and adapt website assets” (Sami Brenner, Spark Reaction)
    • “Creating and managing the client’s content calendar” (Pete Nicholls, HubDo)
    • “Offboarding clients” (Donna Campbell, The Whole Brain Group)
    • “Building relationships, managing expectations, and reaching campaign goals” (Eric Pratt, Revenue River)
    • “Keeping client projects and client expectations within scope” (Michael Rand, Market Veep)
    • “Bringing creative strategy to the table” (Amy Alexander, Story Collaborative)
    • “Referral requests” (Richard Owens, First Five Eight)

    26 Account Manager Interview Questions and Answers

    If you’re a leader at a marketing agency who’s in charge of hiring new account managers, use this list of account manager interview questions to come up with some great new questions to ask in your next interview. 

    PRO TIP: How to track these 10 popular Google Analytics metrics

    Sure, there are dozens (and dozens?) more GA metrics you could track. But, starting with the 10 mentioned in this post will give you a pretty high-level view of how your marketing is working, starting with some of the most common ones…

    1. Sessions: The number of sessions can tell you how many times people are returning to your website. Obviously, the higher the better.
    2. Sessions by organic keyword: Which organic keywords bring in the most traffic to your website? This may help you determine whether your SEO investments are paying off.
    3. Bounce rate: Do visitors leave shortly after landing on your website? Or do they stick around?
    4. Average session duration: How much time are people spending on your website? Users with a high average session duration are most likely relevant to your company.
    5. Goal completions: How many users responded to your call to action?

    If you want to track these in Google Analytics, you might find the visualizations limiting. It’s also a bit time-consuming to combine all the metrics you need in one view.

    To better understand how your website performs in terms of traffic growth and conversions, we’ve made this plug-and-play dashboard that contains all the essential metrics for understanding how successful you are at optimizing different aspects of your website.


    This Google Analytics dashboard offers a complete view of how your website is performing and converting at-a-glance and helps you gain valuable insights such as:

    • How much traffic does my website get daily or monthly? (sessions)
    • Which channels are driving traffic to my website? (sessions by channel)
    • Which keywords are driving the most organic traffic? (sessions by keyword)
    • How much time are visitors spending on my website? (average session duration)

    And more…

    You can easily set it up in just a few clicks – no coding required.

    To set up the dashboard, follow these 3 simple steps:

    Step 1: Get the template 

    Step 2: Connect your Google Analytics account with Databox. 

    Step 3: Watch your dashboard populate in seconds.

    And if you’re trying to get a job as an account manager at a marketing agency, we’ve also included tips for how to answer each question to help you prepare for your interview.

    1. Those are some pretty impressive results. To what would you credit your success at that organization?

    Revenue River’s Eric Pratt says that one of the top skills he looks for in an account manager is humility. “A candidate with humility answers this question with ‘we,’ not ‘I,’” Pratt says.

    2. Tell me about a time when you had to adjust to a client or colleague’s working style in order to achieve the best possible outcome.

    “This behavioral question enables us to evaluate a candidate’s interpersonal communication skills, as well as their cultural fit within our agency,” says Bookmark’s Kristin Izumi. “Great candidates exemplify passion and sincerity in their approach and share examples that are highly relevant to the work that we do.”

    3. Do you prefer well-established projects that run smoothly or problem-child projects that need to be turned around?

    Donna Campbell of The Whole Brain Group says that the top skill she looks for in an account manager is problem-solving, so she’s looking for an answer along the lines of:

    “I prefer to take on the problem accounts and turn them around, make them more profitable by understanding what’s not working, and then developing a solution for it, whether that’s new processes, tools, or reseating current team members to be in the right seats on that project.”

    4. How do you stay organized when juggling multiple deadlines, projects, and client expectations?

    “A great recent candidate showed me a to-do list organized by deadline, client, and time needed for the tasks,” says Spark Reaction’s Sami Brenner. “The right candidates for us usually seem unfazed by this question, which means organization, time management, and follow-through are a core part of their work habits.” 

    “Candidates who struggle with showing us their management techniques are often not the best fit.”

    5. How do you handle failure?

    IDS Agency’s Ismail Aly says his ideal answer to this question is: “Failure is a blessing in disguise and the best learning experience, and I believe agency work is about experimenting, pushing for change, and challenging the status quo. This cannot be done without failing.”

    6. Describe your greatest achievement in your work life and personal life, and explain how these achievements helped shape your personality.

    “I prefer candidates who are honest and embrace both their wins and losses, showing us they can communicate their wins fantastically and their losses just as well,” says Giovanni Pollarolo of Eastside Co.

    7. What’s your greatest asset?

    For the ideal answer to this question, Bayard Bradford’s Charles Elmer says he’s “looking for some iteration showing that candidates are able to think on their feet.”

    8. How do you measure success with a client? Is it performance-driven? Do you really dig in to understand the client’s business goals?

    “Candidates will typically explain how a bill becomes a law—the evolution of campaign development,” says Jennifer Ennesser of LaneTerralever.

    “I listen to see if they are just focused on the production side (executing the assets) and getting things out the door, or if they really understand the client’s business and are working to suggest what is best instead of just taking marching orders from the client.”

    9. How would you deal with an angry or irate customer?

    “A great candidate would answer this by stating that they would listen and sympathize,” says Builder Funnel’s Spencer Powell. “They would then apologize and ask what the client thinks would make the situation ‘right.’” 

    “If they have the authority, they would call the shot right there. If not, they’d communicate they need to discuss the situation with their supervisor.”

    10. What are three mistakes you’ve made in the past while managing clients, how did you deal with those mistakes at the time, and how do you avoid making similar mistakes now?

    “The best candidates are always willing to own up to making mistakes,” says Olive & Company’s Erik Norsted. “But it’s important to hear them articulate their problem-solving thought process to get a feel for their attitude and poise and, most importantly, to see if candidates have truly learned from their experiences.”

    11. Describe a time that you had to step out of your comfort zone to tackle a project for which you weren’t 100% prepared.

    “The best candidates are able to explain the scope of the project while also detailing the action steps they took to better equip themselves for the task at hand (e.g. online research, soliciting advice, reading, completing certifications, etc.),” says PR 20/20’s Tracy Lewis. 

    “The best candidates don’t shy away from something new, but they also don’t give blind recommendations based on gut feel. They take some time to pool the resources they have available to them to implement a strategic approach to the problem at hand that is rooted in research.”

    12. Can you give me an example of a time when you or your team wasn’t able to manage everything and how you dealt with it?

    “To me, the focal point of this answer should be about planning and teamwork,” says Obility’s Alex Jackmond. 

    “If candidates are able to articulate how they planned ahead to accommodate team member workloads—as well as how they deal with times when planning didn’t work out—they have one of the integral characteristics needed to succeed in this role.”

    13. What would you do if you had a task you couldn’t complete because you didn’t have all the answers, and you were on a deadline?

    “Their answer should help us see that they have enough emotional intelligence to interact with a team in a communicative way,” says Story Collaborative’s Amy Alexander. “Being highly verbal is not necessarily a sign of a good communicator.” 

    “A good answer might be: ‘I would reach out to those I needed an answer from in the way that’s proven to be their best method of communication. If they always respond quickly to email, then I’ll email them. If they need a phone call, I’ll call.’”

    14. Tell me about a time it was necessary to admit you’d made a mistake. How did you handle it?

    “The best candidates own up to their mistakes quickly and explain how they apply what they learned from those mistakes,” says Scott Baradell of Idea Grove.

    15. Walk me through how you onboard a new client.

    “The best candidates walk through the exact steps they take, step-by-step, in a very well-thought-out manner,” says Matthew Cook of SalesHub. “It should sound like they have answered this question a thousand times before.”

    16. When faced with a question on a client call that you do not know the answer to, how would you respond to the client?

    Brittany Balog of Bluleadz says that the best answer to this question is something along the lines of:

    “That is a great question that is beneficial to your campaign success. I have a few resources I want to reference before giving you a definitive answer. Let me review those, and I will respond to you by the end of the day with the best answer to this question.”

    17. How would you approach a new task/technology if your client demands it?

    Deepa Venkataraman of Vajra Global Consulting Services LLP says that the best answer to this question is something like:

    “Firstly, I’d learn the technology or key aspects necessary to deliver the task at hand. I’d get acquainted with all allied parameters and get to know the client’s requirements before taking up the task. After this, I’d execute the job with my knowledge along with my team’s inputs.”

    18. If your client’s leads are down 10% but traffic is up 30%, what initiatives would you put in place to hit their leads goal?

    “A great candidate would answer this question with excitement and a well-thought-out answer that includes multiple options to increase the number of leads for a client, backed up with why they would do these things,” says Brittany Balog of Bluleadz.

    “Excellent candidates ask questions before answering so that they have more information, such as ‘what industry, business, or person are we talking about in this situation so that I can provide the best recommendations?’”

    19. If you were to open an agency today, what would be the first two positions you would hire for and why?

    “A great candidate would showcase their strengths and weaknesses within this question,” says Emil Jimenez of Passion Communications. “Ideally, they would answer it honestly with regards to which skills they already have and which they need to hire for.”

    20. How do you plan your day/week/month, and what tools have you used to do so?

    Revenue River’s Eric Pratt says an ideal candidate “demonstrates the use of a system and process for detailed planning in advance.”

    21. When was the last time you lead a project from inception to completion? Describe your process.

    “As a hiring manager, I’m looking for someone who knows how to set goals and actively work towards them without a lot of oversight and hand-holding,” says UNINCORPORATED’s Robert Jones.

    “A great candidate will have led projects in the recent past and will understand how to produce great work by setting the tone, delegating tasks, and leading people.”

    22. How would you manage internal conflicts?

    “The candidate has to show a sense of responsibility (like a coach) and the capability to organize many people and tasks,” says OFG’s Paolo Sordelli. “He or she has to be deductive and see the context from a high level.”

    23. Tell me about a situation where you had to change the direction of a project to meet project goals.

    HubDo’s Pete Nicholls says that the ideal answer to this question is something along the lines of:

    “I identified that continuing as were would not get us to our planned goals, so I drew on the skills of the team to identify a new path. We pivoted to that and delivered on time, within budget, and with high enough quality to meet the goals.”

    24. Tell me about an issue you had with a digital marketing project where the client was not happy, and what you did.

    “The best candidates illustrate the situation well, providing a brief overview of the project, the client, and the issue,” says First Five Eight’s Richard Owens. “Additional points if they remember the metrics being tracked for the project.” 

    “They then demonstrate the ability to manage a relationship through good communication and problem-solving by presenting a solution. This will also show how they handle pressure.”

    25. Name two blogs that you follow and why.

    “The best candidates will be able to list at least two industry blogs and give us sound reasons why they choose to follow them,” says Resa Gooding of Penguin Strategies. “They should also be able to tell us what lessons, tips, or strategies they’ve picked up from reading these blogs in order to improve their work.”

    26. If you were a character on a TV show, who would you be, and why?

    “This might seem like a silly question, but you’d be surprised at how much it reveals about a person,” says Market Veep’s Michael Rand. “How people identify with fictional characters can give you insight into the kinds of people they admire and who they aspire to be.”

    “First, a great candidate wouldn’t just brush this question off because it seems irrelevant or just for fun. At the same time, we don’t expect anyone to take it too seriously.”

    “For an account manager position, we’d be looking for someone who identifies with a leadership character who is a good moderator and communicator but is also self-aware. We’d hope they give us a good explanation of why they chose their character.”

    “In Game of Thrones terms, a good example might be Jon Snow or Daenerys Targaryen. How candidates answer this question really does affect our hiring process.”

    Other Things to Watch for During the Interview

    In addition to providing their favorite interview questions, many of our respondents also offered tips for other things to look for during the interview that will help you evaluate prospective account managers.

    • “We want to make sure that candidates are comfortable enough in the interview process to be honest with us. We love when candidates share things they’re proud of, embarrassed by, and disappointed in. We want to know what makes a candidate unique.” (Sean Sutherland, Kapowza)
    • “We look for people who are confident. They take a seat without asking where they should sit. They sit high in their chairs and have an ease to them. They don’t get flustered and don’t lose track of conversations because of distractions.” (Jennifer Keul, Leighton Interactive)
    • “We evaluate a candidate’s communication skills by making sure they’re articulate and confident in their responses to interview questions.” (Cindy Penchina, Hudson Fusion)

    “We have a large conference room we use for interviewing with about 16 chairs and one large table,” says Devin Kelley of Method Savvy. “I let candidates sit down first, and mid-interview, I’ll ask why they chose the seat they’re sitting in.”

    “There is no one right answer. But the way candidates respond—and if they realize their seat selection was an important decision in fostering a relationship—is an enlightening way to evaluate their self-awareness,” Kelley says.

    Additional Ways to Evaluate Prospective Account Managers

    Finally, several of our respondents said that they have candidates complete an exercise or evaluation to measure how good of a fit they are for the role.

    “We use a test called the Culture Index (CI),” says Chad Diller of Landscape Leadership. “It takes about eight minutes for a candidate to complete and scores people on a broad spectrum of seven hard-wired, work-related behavior traits. Based on how they score, we are able to easily weed out people who have red flags.”

    Emily Paxton says that Obility uses a written questionnaire to make sure candidates have “excellent communication skills and a commitment to detail and grammar in written form.”

    “A couple of exercises I like to include are:”

    • “You get the email below from a client. Please write a response email that you would send to the client. (approx 15 minutes)”
    • “We’ve got a first draft of our PPC landing page ready here: [insert a URL from one of your client’s landing pages]. Do you have any feedback or suggestions for improving?”

    “A great candidate ensures there are no misspelled words or incoherent statements in their response. I will evaluate how a candidate integrates best practices into their response. I also look to see enthusiasm, support, and flexibility,” Paxton says.

    And SmartBug Media’s Ryan Malone says, “We ask candidates to present in detail about campaigns they have run, KPIs, drivers, etc. This is usually a 30-minute presentation on no more than two campaigns, followed by a pretty detailed Q&A.”

    “We think of our strategists as the CEOs of their accounts, so they should have an extremely detailed grasp of the campaigns they present during their interviews.” 

    “This includes communicating clearly and succinctly why they were executed, what the components were and were not, how the campaigns performed, and most importantly, what the ROI was.” 

    “We would never put a marketing strategist in front of a client unless they could make it through this presentation,” Malone says. “You can’t be a marketing advisor if you aren’t a good marketer.”

    Want to freshen up your skills and knowledge before your account manager interview? Check out the Databox blog! We publish 3-4 new posts every week, each featuring insights and tips dozens of professional marketers and salespeople. Here are a few posts to start with:

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    Originally published in January 2018, this post has been updated to better highlight the typical account manager interview questions that marketing agency leaders might want to ask—and the answers they’re looking for from candidates.


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