Behind every high-performing sales department is a team of dedicated, driven account executives. A great account executive knows how to build strong relationships with prospects and connect the dots between a prospect’s pain points and the solution they’re selling.
Looking for the best interview questions to ask an account executive? You’re in the right place.
In this article, you’ll find 31 interview questions to help you hire an account executive. Along with general questions for an account executive, you’ll also find questions for related competencies, including influence and persuasion, perseverance, and communication.
Read on to uncover all of the interview questions to ask an account executive.
General Interview Questions for an Account Executive
- Tell me about your outbound experience. How much outbound are you currently doing in your role?
- How many leads do you get from sales versus marketing?
- What is the hardest part about selling your current product?
- Tell me about the most challenging deal you recently closed. What steps did you take to set yourself up for success? How did you influence your prospect?
- What sales methodologies do you use, and why?
- Tell me about an opportunity you lost and what you would do differently in hindsight.
- What’s been your most gratifying close, and why?
- What does your sales process look like? How do you successfully build your pipeline?
- Tell me about a recent product demo you led. What did you do to prepare and what was the result?
- What has been your most challenging client relationship, and how did you improve it?
- How is your team structured at your current company?
- Talk me through the last time you helped a customer identify a problem they didn’t know they had.
- Walk me through a change that you made to your process to drive more success.
- Describe your ideal prospect.
- Tell me about a time when you received coaching feedback that led you to implement a change in your approach. What was the feedback and how did you act on it?
- Tell me about a time when you didn’t know the answer to a prospect’s question. What did you do?
- Can you share a specific example of how you have leveraged customer objections and obstacles to position the solution?
- What metrics do you track to ensure you’re focused on the right things? What are those focuses?
Influence & Persuasion Interview Questions
An account executive must be adept at persuasion to overcome objections and close deals.
The below questions can help you find candidates who have a knack for influencing and persuading others.
- Tell me about a great idea of yours that you pitched to your colleagues or leadership team. How did you convey the idea, and what was the result?
- Tell me about a time when you were able to encourage others to take a chance on a new project or idea.
- Describe a time when you anticipated a problem and persuaded your team to take an alternate route. What happened?
- Tell me about a time when you used your leadership skills to gain support for something that was initially strongly opposed.
- Share a time when you successfully persuaded a colleague to support a controversial idea of yours.
- Tell me about a time when you communicated clearly to sell your team on an idea and work together to achieve the goal.
- Metaphors, analogies, or stories can sometimes be useful when making a case to get buy-in. Give me an example of a time when you were able to do so successfully.
- Share a time when you convinced your colleagues to follow a new process. What steps did you take to persuade your team?
- Tell me about a time when you had to persuade someone to follow a policy or guideline you didn’t believe in.
- Give me an example of a time when you used facts and reasoning to persuade a team member to accept your recommendation.
Perseverance Interview Questions
Perseverance is the difference between a good and a great account executive. With persistence, an account executive can continue to push ahead no matter what obstacle they face.
The below questions can help you find candidates who have perseverance and grit.
- Tell me about a time when you made your best effort to close a deal, but you were unsuccessful. What happened, and how did you recover from it?
- Tell me about a time when you had a bad day at work. How did you react? What did you do to overcome it?
- Tell me about a time when you were told ‘no,’ but persisted until you were successful.
- Tell me about a time when a coworker you depended on disappointed you. What happened, and how did you move forward with that person?
Communication Skills Interview Questions
Communicating clearly and effectively is critical for account executives. By communicating complex ideas in a succinct, easy-to-understand way, they can gain a prospect’s attention and trust.
The below questions can help you find candidates with great written and spoken communication skills.
- Tell me about a complex idea you had to explain to a colleague. How did you go about explaining it?
- Describe a time when you should have documented something important but failed to do so. What happened and what did you learn from the experience?
- Tell me about a sensitive situation (that you’re comfortable sharing, of course) that required you to communicate with intention and care.
- Tell me about a situation where you had to voice your opinion in a meeting or during a project.
- Describe a time when you successfully communicated with someone even though you weren’t sure if they valued your perspective.
- Describe a time when you didn’t communicate critical information to your manager or colleague. What was the outcome, and what did you learn from the situation?
- Tell me about a time when you leveraged your written communication skills to make your point of view clear.
- Describe a time when your communication skills helped you successfully accomplish a project or task.
- Tell me about a time when you had a misunderstanding with a prospect. What steps did you take to overcome your communication barriers?
- Give me an example of a time when you were slow to share information with your team members, and it had a negative impact.