Account executives play a crucial role in an organization because they support existing clients, enabling client accounts to grow over time and become more profitable. Great account executives have specific hard and soft skills. Behavioral-based interview questions can help hiring managers assess talent and narrow in on candidates who have the communication and leadership skills necessary to succeed in as an account executive.
What Are the Top Skills Needed?
Account executives need excellent communication and interpersonal skills. They spend most of their time strengthening relationships with clients. They lay the groundwork that ensures clients commit to the company long-term. In addition, they need the following skills:
- Active listening skills – Account executives need to be able to discern clients needs and deliver solutions.
- Creativity and organization – They juggle several client accounts at the same time and must be able to meet strict deadlines.
- Leadership – They need to make quick, strategic decisions and must be decisive and adaptable.
- Analytical skills – They collect data about the industry and about clients, which informs many of the decisions they make.
How Should Hiring Managers Assess Those Skills?
Behavioral-based interview questions are effective to assess account executive candidates because they can evaluate the soft skills that are needed to succeed. These types of questions are open-ended and allow you to assess how candidates react to difficult situations, solve problems, and overcome obstacles. “Describe a time you had to perform a task outside of your typical job description?” is an example of behavior-based question.
It is a good idea to ask candidates to demonstrate times when they showed initiative in developing a new skill or making a time-sensitive decision. Questions like this allow you to assess both their leadership ability and their potential for growth. When you know how candidates behaved in past jobs, you can predict how they will behave in the role they are interviewing for.
Account executives support clients, gain their loyalty, and ensure client accounts prosper. When you’re hiring talent, you can’t afford to settle. Look for candidates with exceptional communication, leadership, and interpersonal skills. Behavioral-based interview questions can help you evaluate critical soft skills that are necessary to succeed.