Account executive is responsible for retaining existing accounts, for providing excellent customer service to delegates from the client company. The second main responsibility of this important person in sales, marketing, IT, and finance business, (which can turn into a primary role, especially if we talk about account executives working for brokerage firms, or for marketing agencies), is acquisition of new clients. Are you ready to convince the hiring managers of having both skills, and guts, to take care of your duties?
Having to do something with both customer service and sales, account executive is a great position, and you can earn a lot, and learn a lot while having the job. But you have to be good at it, you need courage, and first and foremost, you need to get it in an interview. So, how to succeed? What will the interviewers inquire about? How will they test you?
The interviewers will use mostly behavioral and situational questions, trying assess how you would act in various work related situations. They will ask some personal questions as well, just to understand your motivation, attitude to the job, and basically who you are, as a person, if you fit to their place and working environment. Last but not least, you may be asked to demonstrate your customer service and sales skills in a role play – mocking a call to a client. Let’s have a look at the questions right now!
- Can you describe to me your current/former role, your responsibilities, and how success is/was measured? …
- What is your proudest accomplishment? …
- Knowing what you know now, walk me through what you would do differently to drive even more success?
Sales Interview Questions and Answers as an Ex-Oracle Account Executive
3. What does your sales process look like?
This question is a direct knowledge test that should be asked early in the interview process. An AE’s primary job is to target and guide prospects from each phase of the sales process to the eventual buy-in. If they lack the skills to do that, continuing the interview process is likely a waste of time.
10. Describe a Time You Failed in this role and the Lesson You Learned.
Most people do not like accepting defeat, and it is understandable. However, this question is not necessarily a trap. The interviewer wants to know whether you are accountable.
Tip #1: Do not try to look sleek.
Tip #2: Clearly outline the lesson that you learned. It should be related to the mistake.
I worked in sales during my early days as an accountant. I once made simple mistakes that resulted in lost sales. Even though the consequences were lower at the time, I understood that whatever happened was not good for business. I learned that in as much as mistakes should be avoided, what you do after committing one is what makes the difference.
10. Walk me through a change that you made to your process to drive more success.
Sales is an iterative discipline. A strong account executive knows that what works now might not work forever, and understands which actions might cause the greatest impact.