Regardless of the nature of your business, hiring a new account manager is never easy. From checking their reliability to determining their efficiency and effectiveness, you undoubtedly have your work cut out for you. This notion also holds for all types of industries, whether you offer software solutions or marketing services.
But the process doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems. A few inquiries here, a little time investment there, and you can move through this particular challenge. This gets even easier when you have an available list of questions to ask your potential account manager.
To make the process a bit easier, here are 15 interview questions to ask your next potential account managers. By keeping these points in mind, you can avoid possible problems and get the most out of the new addition to your team.
1. What is Your Experience in the Respective Industry?
This is a basic yet critical question that allows the candidate to speak about their expertise. Apart from getting an overview of their resume, this gives you more insight into their communication skills and their ability to summarize details compellingly.
2. How Familiar Are You With Account Management Processes?
This question digs a little deeper and checks the specific skills that the candidate brings to the table. This gives you a detailed picture of their overall skill set and helps you determine if they are a good fit for your company.
3. How Do You Handle Internal Communication?
This shines a light on one of the most critical aspects that an account manager has to handle. If the candidate cannot form a coherent response, it is a red flag and can lead to a slew of potential problems.
4. How Soon Do You Respond to Inquiries?
This question gives you an idea of how efficient the candidate is at handling client communication. Communication is also a crucial factor since it allows you to understand how long your clients may need to wait to hear back from your company.
5. What Happens in the Event of Your Absence?
This question gives you an insight into the candidate’s ability to delegate important tasks and strategize management plans. This ensures you are hiring an account manager whose temporary absence wouldn’t hurt your bottom line.
6. How Do You Maintain Service Quality Levels?
While your company may have specific service quality processes in place, this question lets you know how organized the candidate might be in their adoption of the said processes. This also gives you an idea of the potential account manager’s work ethic.
7. How Do You Improve and Maintain Client Relationships?
Maintaining client relationships is the backbone of any operation. You can learn how determined your new account manager would be towards this factor by asking this question. Indeed, you can also understand how capable they might be at handling this vital aspect.
8. How Do You Ensure Teamwork With Team Members and Associated Divisions?
An account manager has to maintain the perfect balance between internal and external customer service. This question addresses that very ability and lets you determine if the candidate is a team player who could establish coherence across multiple divisions.
9. How Do You Cope With Pressure?
Handling multiple clients simultaneously can be quite grueling, especially in the current day and age. This aspect lets you ensure that your hired candidate has the required self-management skills and wouldn’t falter under the job's daily stressors.
10. What is Your Strategy to Handle Difficult Clients?
Despite the popular misconception, the customer is not always right. But you can't necessarily tell this directly to the customer. This question lets you know how capable the candidate is at managing demanding clients without upsetting them.
11. What If a Client Demands Something That We Don’t Offer?
Even when your company offers a slew of solutions, there might be some products that you may not deliver directly. This question lets you ensure that the respective manager would handle inquiries for unavailable services without losing an account.
12. How Do You Prioritize Your Clients?
Apart from your firm’s scale of client prioritization, it would be best to make sure that the account manager in question also has a plan to manage their clients. Discussing this topic also lets you bridge any gaps between mutual expectations.
13. How Do You Upsell or Pitch New Products to Existing Clients?
Upselling to existing clients is a significant revenue driver for many businesses. This question allows you to assess the candidate’s ability to fulfill this requirement and their possible contribution to growing your business.
14. What Do You Do If a Client Tells You They Are Ending Their Relationship With the Company?
Client retention is yet another critical aspect that needs to be handled with the utmost care. The answer to this question gives you an idea of what to expect when the account manager’s client decides to opt-out. By default, the account manager should highlight compelling reasons to reverse the client’s decision.
15. How Do You Handle Clients Who Are Non-responsive?
Not all clients are enthusiastic about a collaborative relationship. But it is a demand that needs to be fulfilled nonetheless. This question lets you peek into the candidate’s abilities to elicit responses from this segment of clients, ensuring your revenues remain unaffected.
These fundamental questions help you get acquainted with multiple aspects of your candidate’s expertise, skillset, and overall suitability. This makes sure that you are growing your team, your revenues, and your firm’s potential with a competent and experienced account manager.