Good relationships lay the foundation of good business.
And to lay a strong foundation, nurture and maintain relationships, we need experts.
Who are the experts of relationship management? Account managers.
Account managers act as liaisons between your organization and clients, and build a relationship with them as their trusted consultants.
With a critical role like that, it’s no wonder they earn an impressive base salary of 75,128 USD on average.
If you’re also hunting for your next job then here’s a list of account manager interview questions and answers to prep you up.
Conversely, you can simulate the interview process to introspect and find relevant and robust examples from your work experience to present yourself as an excellent match.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Introductory Interview Questions and Answers for Account Manager Role
1. Why did you apply for this position?
I am passionate about client servicing and enjoy working with multiple clients and interacting with them. I like working with different businesses to provide value-based solutions.
Also, I am confident of bringing more clients to the company with my experience in the account management domain.
2. Why did you choose our company?
Your company creates unique value-based and data-driven solutions. I want to be part of such exciting and innovative projects and render my services to add to your organization.
I have talked to some of your current employees before applying for the job, and they have all given positive feedback about the company’s work culture.
3. What are your long-term goals with our company?
I want to handle the top five clients in your company and acquire relevant skills and certifications to contribute to my personal and company’s growth. I would also like to be one of the key contributors to the company’s success.
4. Do you have any previous experience with account managing for smaller agencies?
Yes, I have ‘x’ years of account management experience working in three different industry verticals.
5. Are you familiar with the industry in which we operate?
I have worked as an account manager with a digital marketing firm for over ‘x’ years.
6. Which industries have you worked with previously?
I have worked in the marketing, e-commerce, and entertainment industries.
7. What are the traits of an ideal account manager?
I think a successful account manager should understand value-based selling, have industry expertise, exceptional communication (including active listening and negotiation skills), leadership and problem-solving abilities.
8. Briefly describe your previous team experience.
I have had great experiences working with multiple teams. I have learned how to build strong professional relationships.
Having an optimistic attitude and focusing on teamwork helps keep the work pressure out and gives a sense of belonging. It also instills confidence to achieve targets with the support of the team members.
Role-Specific Interview Questions and Answers
9. What will you do immediately after joining work?
I will start by getting familiar with company workflow, protocols, and the allocated clients. The next step would be to gather pertinent information about my clients and analyze the project requirements.
After assimilating all data, I will introduce myself to the clients and establish an open communication channel. I will also go through the sales and revenue reports to track and set new targets.
My goal would be to generate new business opportunities from existing and prospective clients and resolve any conflicts.
10. Tell us about your favorite account.
My favorite account in the previous company was a management startup. The client was approachable, responsive, and was always prompt with payment.
They communicated their requirements clearly and gave open-ended timelines as long as they received quality products in return.
11. What steps do you take to ensure you build strong relationships with key clients?
I connect with key clients through social media channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. I ensure that I always respond to client messages in a timely manner.
Being empathetic and keeping in touch through phone calls, social media, or WhatsApp allows me to build a strong client relationship.
12. Do you prefer in-person, email, or phone communication? Why?
I prefer in-person communication as it gives me the opportunity to communicate with transparency. Body language goes a long way in establishing a good impression. In-person communication also helps in clearing doubts instantly, instead of waiting for an email response or callback.
13. What steps do you take when you’re behind on your revenue targets?
I look at my overall progress and note the differences before checking in with respective clients. If required, we offer exclusive deals or additional services to keep up with the revenue targets.
I also approach clients who have not availed of our services in the past six months. Then, ask them about their current business challenges, and mention how our new services can help them.
14. What is your approach to building customer relationships?
Open communication and empathy with the customer are critical traits. Active listening and communicating expectations help in keeping our team and clients on the same page.
Depending upon the client’s conversational style, I ask them about their interests, hobbies, and family’s well-being. Sending appreciation emails to clients also leaves a great impression.
15. What experience do you have with client complaints?
I have observed that past clients often complained about the services being expensive or time-consuming. I talk to them and resolve their doubts and tell them how value-based services are beneficial for businesses.
It’s crucial to be transparent about the work process. We may discuss the hours it may take to complete the project, the required resources and analyze the cost.
The idea is to bring the client on the same page as our company. Our product or service may be expensive or require more production hours, but the finished product will always give a better ROI.
16. How do you manage multiple client accounts concurrently?
To manage multiple clients, I prioritize all my tasks, organize my schedule, and use CRM tools to keep track of everything. I list out the client tasks based on their expected response times and revenue potential. Usually, the long-term clients are accommodating. They can be leveraged when I am on a tight schedule.
17. How do you close a new client?
I gather all pertinent information about the client, their business and workflow difficulties, and how our services can bring significant value to their operations.
Then, I examine if the client is using any competing services. I assess their revenue-generating potential and prepare the quotation accordingly. The quotation has to be competitive but within the company budget.
After obtaining all the information, I call the client and communicate how our services can provide benefits and value to their organization.
Some clients come back with additional questions and revision requests. My job is to provide them with all the relevant information and eliminate any doubts.
18. What did you do to pacify a dissatisfied customer in the past?
I had an instance where a client faced some concerns with a marketing campaign. I apologized to the customer and took their feedback to come up with a solution.
After discussing it with the management, we offered a 10% discount to the client and coordinated with the development team to ensure the correct product delivery.
19. Tell me about your process for upselling to existing clients.
I’ve observed that it’s easier to sell to an existing client than to sell to a new one. Not only do we have access to the client’s contact, but the client also knows the quality of our work.
I talk to existing clients and ask questions about their current or recurring challenges and goals. Once I know what their concerns are, I pitch relevant services that could help remedy their concerns.
Another upsell strategy that I employ is to ask clients for feedback on our services. This gives me the chance to discuss other relevant products and services that could benefit them.
20. How do you onboard a client?
First, I talk to the client to understand their requirements. I follow up with our work samples and quotations as per their budget. Then, we negotiate on the quotation and finalize it.
The next step is to forward the NDA and the SLA to the client. Once the clauses and terms are agreed upon, we receive the signed contract.
Once the client is onboarded, I discuss the project with the respective teams and check the delegated tasks.
21. Is a quarterly business review conducted with clients?
Yes, I think it’s important to conduct quarterly reviews with clients. It keeps everyone informed and allows for better communication and decision-making.
22. What did you learn in your previous organization?
All organizations teach you valuable lessons and provide ample growth opportunities. My previous company was data-driven, and it helped me gain new insight into the use of data for business generation.
23. What would you like to work with? Established projects or challenging projects? Why?
I prefer working with challenging projects to use my skills to create meaningful products or services. Making a difference in the company’s growth by offering value-driven projects gives me a sense of accomplishment.
24. What constitutes a successful project?
A successful project is when the client has achieved their campaign goals through the delivered project. It’s even better if our project has performed better than what was expected.
25. What was your most significant challenge in the previous organization?
The most significant challenge was when a client stopped all communication. Due to no contact, it was difficult to understand what the problem was. We followed up with the client through regular emails for weeks until we finally received a response.
26. Has any of your suggestions in your previous roles led to positive changes in the work environment?
Yes, I had suggested a few changes in the workspace design and deadline implementation, which led to increased productivity of the team.
27. What should be the focus of the company – acquiring new clients or getting more business from existing clients?
It should be both. Existing clients are the company’s backbone, and new clients add to the company’s strength.
Existing clients provide recurring work, which accounts for the majority of the business revenue, whereas new clients help in expansion.
I believe focusing on both clients using specific strategies can help generate higher revenue.
28. Tell me about your client portfolio from your previous role?
I handled three key accounts in my previous firm. My contribution led to a 10% increase in recurring revenue in the last financial year. I also acquired three retainer SMB contracts for the company.
Questions to Measure Your Situational Awareness
29. Tell me about an experience where you made a mistake that led to losing a customer. What was your reaction, and what did you learn?
My previous team lost a customer because of a miscommunication that led to the wrong quotation. I have learned to assess the customer’s requirements with precision and check in with my seniors if there are any doubts.
Understanding the customer requirement clearly and fulfilling their expectations is an essential skill for an account manager. Now, I don’t hesitate to ask additional questions if the client’s requirement is unclear.
30. How do you react to a client asking you to call them three months later as they are busy?
A request like this may seem like the client isn’t interested and there is no acquisition potential. However, we can agree to call the client after three months but ask for permission to send occasional emails, especially for service discounts.
It’s rare that a client will say no to receiving emails that could benefit their business. Though it may take a little longer to acquire such clients, it’s worth a shot.
31. How do you deal with client feedback on your product or services?
Client feedback is crucial for business development. I note their input and coordinate with the involved departments to make necessary changes to deliver a better product.
Delivering a value-based product requires customer-centricity and client feedback is a direct method to improve the deliverables.
32. How would you deal with a conflict between members of your team?
I will talk to both the members and find the cause of disagreement. Being objective is crucial as bias could result in making the issue worse. I’ll find a possible solution to ensure that the conflict doesn’t resurface.
33. Tell me about a time when the client refused payment.
This doesn’t happen a lot, but there was a client who refused payment after receiving the project invoice. The client assumed that our project was a free sample while the work was a paid pilot.
Apparently, their previous executive resigned from the organization before finalizing the deal, and the executive who took over wasn’t aware of the prior communication. We lost revenue because of the miscommunication.
I learned that it’s better to start work only after finalizing the project details in writing (or through an email).
34. What would you do when a client stops all communication?
There could be various reasons that may cause a client’s unresponsiveness. However, it’s important to figure out the concern.
I will review the past communication to find the cause of the radio silence. Simultaneously, I will follow up with the client through regular emails. I may also send them a calendar invite to schedule a meeting.
35. How do you manage when you have missed your deadline?
I always track the progress of my projects. If I foresee a project exceeding its timeline, I get in touch with all relevant departments to find out the reason for its delay. We figure out the estimated delivery and inform the client about the revisions.
I help with developing a plan of action to accelerate product delivery. Additionally, I coordinate with my team to track its progress.
36. What do you think about cold calling?
Cold-calling provides an insight into your product performance and problems. It allows you to capture interested leads for the sales funnel. It’s a great training opportunity for sales representatives to help them learn how to generate leads.
37. How do you deal with indecisive clients?
Indecisive clients more often than not need solid data to make decisions. I ensure that I’ve collected factual information to supplement our company performance. I share all the details with the client and respond to any additional queries they may have.
38. What would you do if two competitor clients approached you simultaneously?
I will opt for a client that is more aligned with my company’s expertise and vision. If it is a client that we’ve worked with before, I will also take their past behavior into consideration.
39. How do you prepare for your first contact with a new client?
I think it’s important to familiarize yourself with the client’s business before meeting them. Through research, I understand the company’s values, find what they struggle with and how to resolve their concerns.
I always check their business pages on social media, especially LinkedIn. I try to find common points to build a rapport.
40. What is your best project so far?
My best project was a bootstrapped venture in the health and fitness domain. I worked with this client for a year and provided end-to-end franchising documentation and support for starting their franchisee business.
They got funded by a VC after opening their first franchisee in a span of one year during the lockdown period.
41. Tell me about your experience with CRM software.
CRM software keeps track of all activities and communications and provides a holistic view of the clients and projects.
I am data-driven and appreciate software that helps me perform better. I have worked with multiple CRM software, like Zoho CRM, to manage contacts, generate reports, log calls and set reminders.
42. How familiar are you with generating sales reports?
I have generated numerous sales reports in my previous designation. Sales reports have helped me in monitoring our team performance, business progress and revenue. These resorts can also be used to optimize sales cycles, create sales strategies, monitor pipelines, and business forecasting.
43. How would you handle an aggressive client?
For handling any client, it is crucial to understand their priorities. It’s best to have the project requirements approved by the client beforehand. I prefer giving timely updates to let the clients know how the project is being developed.
For an aggressive client, in particular, I let them talk before presenting my views or answering their queries. Being patient and not interrupting the client is not only respectful but also gives you the opportunity to understand what exactly the client wants.
44. Any questions that you would like to ask us?
Yes, I would like to know about your retainers program and the new social media campaign that you have launched.
An account manager’s core function is to grow business through existing and new clients. They increase client revenue and retention by creating long-term partnerships and delivering customized solutions to the clients.
Refer to these account manager interview questions and answers and senior account manager interview questions and answers to prepare for your interview. Remember that the answers to these interview questions may vary depending on your professional expertise and work experience.
Don’t forget to do your research and find out what the employer is looking for. Be confident and highlight your leadership skills to impress employers.
And remember to use the right tool such as SocialPilot to boost your client’s social media presence. Try it for free today.