One of the main reasons why prospects eventually do not purchase a product is that they do not understand the technical details. They feel confused, and unsure whether they chose the right product, whether it will satisfy their needs, and whether they will actually benefit from having it. They hesitate to spend their hard-earned money for something they do not fully understand.
Working as a technical account manager, you will try to ensure that this situation won’t happen often. Supporting the sales team (or belonging to it), you will provide technical assistance and advice to customers both before, and after the point of sale.
Your main goal will be to explain technical things to people who lack technical knowledge, and eventually make sure that they understand how to use the product, and how they can benefit from having it.
This is a crucial position in a sales department of each tech company, and you will be rewarded with an excellent salary, often exceeding $80,000 annually (in the US). Let’s have a look at some questions they will ask you in an interview for this interesting job.
Why do you want to work as a technical account manager?
Excellent salary and a prestigious job title with one of the tech giants is probably the reason why you decided to apply. But you should focus more on the value you want to bring to their team, and eventually to the final customer.
You can say, for example, that the job encompasses both sales and tech support, and since you are tech savvy and have excellent communication skills, you believe to be able to meet the goals of the job, which means helping to convert as many customers as possible, and ensuring that they can use the product, and are satisfied with it.
You can also refer to a specific product you will help to sell. If you apply for TAM job in a specific department or product team, you can talk about your experience with the product, or perhaps your expertise in the given field, or even the value you see in the given product.
One way or another, they should not get an impression that you apply only because the job pays well. Do not forget to speak with enthusiasm in your voice whil explaining the reasons of your choice.
Why our company? Why not one of the other tech giants, our competitors?
It is important to find something that resonates with you, to come up with a specific reason. Because good technical account managers are a great asset for each business, and the last thing they want to experience is seeing you go after six months in the job, just because Amazon, or some other big company, made you a better offer.
A few things you can refer to while trying to explain your choice:
- Company culture and working environment.
- Size of the business or team (your preference to work in a small team, for example).
- Recommendation you got from an existing employee.
- The model of work which fits you (working remotely, from home, in the office, etc).
- Your loyalty to the company (you are already a customer, you use their products, see the benefits, it will be easier for you to sell them).
- Their unique selling proposition, something that distinguishes the company from their competitors (can be the price, product features, innovation, sales process, level of customer service, anything).
- Logistics reasons, such a proximity of their offices, fitting working hours, etc.
They should get a feeling that they are your first choice, or at least your best choice when it comes to places where you can realistically get a job at this stage of your professional career.
How do you imagine a typical day in job, working as a technical account manager?
Read the job description carefully and try to understand your role in the team. In some cases you may respond also for acquisition of new clients, and you should mention this in your answer.
The most important thing is to show proactive approach to work. You won’t just wait until one of the managers tell you what you should do, who you should call to. On the contrary, you want to actively contact the customers, ensuring that they understand everything, that they do not face any technical issues.
You can also emphasize the cooperation with other people from the sales team. You are ready to take part in group calls and meetings with customers, addressing their technical queries and helping to eventually close the deal.
At the end of the day, you may respond for different things in different teams and companies. As long as you show proactive approach to work, however, and ensure the hiring managers that you know what will be expected from you in this job, they will be satisfied with your answer.
How would you describe a technical issue to a customer who lacks technical knowledge?
Ensure the interviewers that you are ready to adjust your language, and explain the technical things in a language of common people, simply in a way everyone can understand.
You may refer to demonstration, practical examples, or leading them step by step through the installation/troubleshooting process, always ensuring that they understand each step, and can move forward.
Creating video tutorials and how to guides is another way of helping customers to understand how to work with the product.
At the end of the day, however, the most important thing is to help them understand how they will benefit from the technical specifications of the product, in terms of their revenues, expenses, etc. That’s what matters for decision makers. Technical details are of secondary importance… As long as you can explain it to them, you’ll achieve great results in your job.
A new product is being pushed by the managers, but working with the customer, you see it has many bugs and is not well received. What will you do?
This is a tricky question, because the right answer depends on whether the company focuses primarily on meeting their monthly and quarterly sales goals, or on excellent reputation and customer satisfaction.
If the first one is the case, you should say that you will give the managers your feedback, but you will continue pushing and trying to close new deals, to ensure that you meet the sales targets. At the end of the day, an update can always be released and bugs can be addressed….
But if the reputation and focus on quality sits on the top of the list of the priorities of the company, you should say that you’d suggest to interrupt the sales, address the bugs first, and just then resume the sales process.
One way or another, you should ensure the hiring managers that you aren’t afraid to provide constructive feedback to your superiors, or to people from other departments of the company (marketing, product management, IT, etc).
Other questions you may face in your technical account manager job interview
- What are your expectations on other members of the sales team?
- Tell us about a time when you had to meet a tight deadline.
- Talk about a time when you showed infinitive in work.
- How do you see your role when we talk about acquisition of new clients?
- A customer complains about your service. How will you react?
- What role does reporting and monitoring play in your work?
- How well do you adapt to new situations?
- Where do you see yourself in five years time? Do you have a specific job or position on your mind when we talk about your career goals?
- If you were an animal, what would you be?
- If we hire you for this job, what goals will you set for yourself?
- What are your salary expectations?
- After everything that has been said and done in this interview, do you want to add something, or do you have any questions?
* Special Tip: If you are not sure how to answer the questions from my list, or experience interview anxiety, have a look at our Interview Success Package. Up to 10 premium answers to basically all tricky questions you may face in your technical account manager job interview will help you streamline your interview preparation, find the right words when it counts, outclass your competitors, and eventually get the job. Thank you for checking it out!
Interview for a job of a Technical Account Manager belongs to tricky job interviews. You will typically face many behavioral questions (describe a situation when…), and in a big company they will often give you also a personality test, or an IQ test.
What’s more, this is a popular job title. Applying with one of the big names, you can be sure you’ll compete with many other job candidates.
At the end of the day, however, you should focus on things that you have under your control. Try to prepare an answer to each question from our list, and check also other online sources. Learn as much as you can about your future employer, and about the products you will help to sell. And do not forget that each detail matters, and that your non-verbal communication is as important as the words you say to the hiring managers.
I hope you will make it, and wish you good luck!
May also help you succeed in your Technical Account Manager interview:
- How to overcome interview nerves – Feeling stressed before the start of your interview? Our 4 steps guide will help you to get rid of stress.
- Salary negotiation tips – Learn how to get as much as you deserve when it comes to salary negotiation in an interview.
- Sales interview questions – At the end of the day, TAM is a sales job. Learn how to answer some tricky sales interview questions, including the role play.