19 Account Manager Interview Questions and Answers to Listen For

When conducting interviews, it’s essential to come prepared with solid Interview questions for Account Manager candidates that can help identify their potential strengths and challenges. A strong line of questioning will allow you to find the best candidate to join your team.

Read on for some excellent Account Manager interview questions to help you learn more about your candidate, their experience and their skill set. You’ll also find guidance on the kind of insight each question provides and how that can be useful in your Account Manager hiring process.

<div class="inpage-callout-container"><p class="inpage-banner-text">💡 Tip: It can be easy to forget that your candidate is also interviewing you about what it is like to work at your company. They need to feel confident in their decision to join your team. Be prepared to answer candidate questions and share information that’d get them excited about accepting an offer to be your next Account Manager.</p></div>

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General interview questions

<h3 class="h3-small">1. Tell me about your experience as an Account Manager.

This might seem like a redundant question if their experience is listed on their resume or CV, but hear us out! This is an excellent opportunity for your candidate to tell you in their own words what they did, what they enjoyed most, what they excelled at and more.

Listen for: Any relevant experience that relates to the role. A suitable candidate will mention their development as a leader, how they managed their accounts and anything else that applies.

<h3 class="h3-small">2. What are you hoping to gain from your next role that you lacked previously?

This question can help you gauge whether their career aspirations align with your needs as an employer. It will also help you gain a deeper understanding of their motivators which is a key part of making sure your employees are happy, productive and loyal.

Listen for: What makes this person tick and what it will take to keep them around for the long haul. That could be money, growth opportunities or a passion for the work. It’s important to listen without judgment and try to meet them where they are at.

<h3 class="h3-small">3. Which of our company values do you most identify with and why?

If a candidate wants to work for your company, they likely will have done their research. This question allows you to find out how much and potentially spot someone genuinely interested in your company's vision.

Listen for: Someone who understands what your company believes in and how they see themselves reflected in those values.

<h3 class="h3-small">4. What do you think makes you a good fit for this role?

Their answer will let you know if they believe they’re the candidate you’re looking for. It will also demonstrate that they have a strong understanding of what the role will require of them.

Listen for: Examples of strong communication skills, a collaborative spirit and leadership qualities. Their answer should also demonstrate organizational skills and attention to detail.

<h3 class="h3-small">5. What will be some of your most significant challenges in this role?

Ask this interview question for Account Managers to get an idea of how well your candidate understands the role. It’s also a good opportunity to learn more about challenges they’ve faced in similar roles in the past.

Listen for: How they overcome their challenges and limitations in the workplace. Do they let it interfere with the quality of their work or are they able to rise above it? The vital part of their answer will tell you how they anticipate challenges and adversity, and how they problem-solve to overcome them.

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Hard skills interview questions for Account Managers

<h3 class="h3-small">6. How do you feel about cold-calling?

Cold-calling: it’s often one of the most disliked yet effective tasks an Account Manager is responsible for. If cold-calling is a big part of your sales strategy, you’ll want to know that your candidate is willing to do what it takes to generate sales, even if that means picking up the phone and calling a stranger.

Listen for: A willingness to go above and beyond comfort with cold-calling. If they complain about the task rather than look at it as an opportunity for the business to grow, their sales tactics might not align with how your company likes to do things.

<h3 class="h3-small">7. What are some methods you use to discover new sales opportunities?

One of your primary responsibilities as an Account Manager is to generate new sales leads. An experienced Account Manager will have some tried and true methods they’ve developed for doing just that. This is your chance to find out more.

Listen for: Efforts to determine the customer's needs and the ability to redirect their approach if necessary. Also, listen for examples and stats that speak to their ability to put these methods into real-world practice.

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<h3 class="h3-small">8. Describe a typical day for you as an Account Manager.

An Account Manager always has many different projects and tasks, so this question will help you determine how well your candidate manages their time and prioritizes their tasks.

Listen for: The ability to stay agile and responsive. You’ll also want to listen to how they organize and prioritize their tasks while working towards achieving personal and sales team goals.

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<h3 class="h3-small">9. How do you measure success in your role as an Account Manager?

This question can provide some interesting insight into your candidate's mindset. While success is a relative concept, your Account Manager candidate should share the same ideals around what defines success in their role at your company.

Listen for: Goal-oriented talk. Your candidate should feel a sense of success and accomplishment when they see the fruits of their labor start to pay off.

Soft skill interview questions for Account Managers

<h3 class="h3-small">10. How do you collaborate with team members with varied personality types?

This question will help you establish if your candidate is going to be able to work well with your team. Working in a collaborative environment requires shared mutual respect among everyone.

Listen for: Mention of communication, respect, teamwork and participation. Your candidate should also display a sense of empathy, patience and openness.

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<h3 class="h3-small">11. How do you respond to constructive criticism and feedback?

Feedback is a vital part of anyone’s professional growth and development. As a future employer or team member, you need to know that your candidate will be able to embrace constructive feedback on their work in a productive and kind way.

Listen for: Someone who approaches feedback as an opportunity for growth and development. They should demonstrate that they both receive and deliver feedback professionally and positively.

<h3 class="h3-small">12. How do you handle conflict within your team?

It’s only natural that conflict amongst team members will happen — it’s an inevitable part of being on a team with other people. What matters most is how your candidate can diffuse a situation, while maintaining productivity and a sense of equilibrium on the team.

Listen for: Your candidate’s ability to de-escalate a situation. Pay attention to their conflict resolution skills and communication skills. A strong candidate will be able to listen empathetically to team members in order to help remedy the situation.

<h3 class="h3-small">13. How do you stay organized when managing multiple projects?

A methodical Account Manager has to know-how to prioritize and multitask in their role. Candidates should be able to identify tools or techniques to maintain organization.

Listen for: Their ability to prioritize their workload, manage their time well and delegate to their team. No person is an island!

Behavioral and situational Account Manager interview questions

<h3 class="h3-small">14. Tell me about a time you successfully upsold a current customer.

Account Managers need to skilled at upselling. It’s an important part of their job and a key part of many businesses growth strategies. You’ll need to suss out your candidate’s experience with upselling and how they would go about it in your company.

Listen for: A real-world scenario that demonstrates how they actively listened to the customer’s problems, struggles and desires. A strong candidate should understand the importance of active listening in sales to get a deep understanding of their customers pain points to better understand the problem they’re trying to solve.

<h3 class="h3-small">15. How do you handle a colleague or team member who’s having a bad day?

You want to understand how your candidate will be affected by the moods of others. You also want to see what this person would do to help rectify the situation and keep the team on track to reach their goals.

Listen for: Behaviors that will help contain and defuse negativity within the group. Someone who can approach a situation like this with empathy, reasoning, calm and understanding is an ideal candidate.

<h3 class="h3-small">16. Can you tell me about an accomplishment you’re most proud of related to your work.

This is your candidate's chance to brag and demonstrate their abilities. It will provide you with a glimpse into their personality as well as their passion and dedication to their work.

Listen for: Excitement or pride as they talk about their accomplishments. If this person is motivated by being acknowledged for their achievements, can you as an employer meet that motivational need?

<h3 class="h3-small">17. How do you handle common sales objections from customers?

Sales objections from customers comes with the territory when you’re an Account Manager (though that isn’t to say it’s never challenging or frustrating). The right Account Manager for your team will know how to handle and overcome the most common sales objections without getting deflated.

Listen for: An example of the steps your candidate has taken in the past to overcome a sales objection or the general steps they would take in this situation. They should make it clear that they lead with empathy, ask thoughtful questions and have a strong sense of awareness of who their customer is and where they are in the sales process.

<h3 class="h3-small">18. Tell me about a time when you were behind on revenue targets. What did you do to help push your business forward?

Getting behind on revenue targets is natural. The ideal candidate should be proactive about finding solutions and keeping a close eye on goals.

Listen for: Signs that they are proactive and can foresee when goals won’t be reached. An Account Manager who is goal-oriented will be tracking their team’s progress towards goals and actively coming up with creative solutions.

<h3 class="h3-small">19. If a client could use three words to describe you, what would they be?

Your candidate’s answer to this question can tell you a lot more about them than you might think. It’ll shine a light on how confident they are and what others think about their overall performance as an Account Manager.

Listen for: Words like “adaptable,” “patient” and “collaborative.” Listen for words that would describe your ideal candidate for the role. Their answer should also display their sense of confidence (not arrogance) and self-awareness.

Organize your Account Manager interview process with Homerun

You’ve got the essential interview questions to help you hire a skillful and motivated Account Manager. Now it’s time to get set up with the right hiring tool.

Homerun's recruiting software helps you organize and streamline your interview process, creating a positive experience for candidates. With Homerun you can:

  • Keep team interview notes in one, centralized place
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Alessia Musso
About the author
Alessia Musso
Alessia is Homerun's resident Canuck and Content Writer based in London. She's been writing B2B content for small and medium-sized businesses for eight years and is passionate about helping people feel more confident (and happy!) in their jobs. When she’s not researching the ways growing teams can improve their hiring, she’s probably thinking about pasta, books, craft beer, and the importance of the Oxford comma.
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