33 Questions to Ask a Relationship Manager at an Interview (With Example Answers)
Hiring managers ask a wide range of questions during job interviews. Some of these questions are meant to find out more about you as a person, while others are meant to help them decide if you’re the best person for the job. A lot of questions are asked of relationship managers about their skills and traits that are needed for the job. Some questions have simple “yes” or “no” answers, but others need more thought and nuance. This article has a list of common interview questions for relationship managers and some examples of how to answer them.
At the start of a relationship manager job interview, hiring managers often ask a series of general questions to learn more about the candidate’s personality and get a sense of their work history:
- Why are you interested in working with us?
- Why do you think you’d be good at this job?
- Do you prefer to work by yourself or with others?
- What would your old coworkers and bosses say about you?
- What are your long-term goals for your job?
- Tell me about something you’re really proud of that you did at work.
- How do you handle work stress?
- Why are you quitting your current job?
- How do you like to spend your free time?
- What do you hope to accomplish in your first three months on the job?
Questions about work and history from the past
Many hiring managers will ask about your work history and experience to see if you are ready for the responsibilities of a relationship manager job:
- How did your previous job prepare you for this one?
- What did you study when you were in college?
- How long have you been in charge of making sure people get along?
- Why did you want to do this kind of work in the first place?
- How many different kinds of CRM software do you know?
- Do you think you have what it takes to do this job?
- What do you like most about working directly with customers as a relationship manager?
- Have you ever been in charge of a group?
- Tell me about a customer you wish you had dealt with differently in the past.
- How do you get in touch with people in other parts of the company?
In behavioral interviews, you are often asked in-depth questions to find out how you would act in different situations.
- As a relationship manager, you’ll probably have to deal with some unhappy customers at some point. How do you manage unhappy clients?
- Tell me what you do to get to know a new client.
- How would you answer a customer who says they’ll leave your business unless your prices go down?
- What do you think are the most important metrics for relationship managers to keep track of?
- Do you prefer to talk to your clients on the phone or through email? Why?
- How could you say something bad to a long-time client?
- What would you do if a customer asked for something that made no sense?
- Imagine that a customer asked you a question for which you didn’t know the answer. What would you say?
- How often do you contact your clients again?
- Do you think it’s important for a relationship manager to have sales experience?
Sample interview questions and how to answer them
Look over these relationship manager interview questions and answers to get a better idea of how to answer questions at your next job interview.
How would you describe a relationship manager’s ideal day?
A hiring manager might ask you this question for a few different reasons. First, your answer shows how well you understand what a relationship manager does. Second, your answer will show what you think are the most important parts of the job and which tasks you would do first if you got it. When you answer, make sure to talk about the duties listed in the job description and show the hiring manager you know what a relationship manager does:
Example: “As a relationship manager, I know that every day is different and depends on what my clients and our company need. In a perfect world, I would start my day by checking my email and phone messages to see if I need to talk to any internal or external stakeholders right away about any urgent issues. Then, as needed, I would check in with my clients, especially those whose contracts were about to end or who had just joined the organization.
After that, I like to meet with the sales and customer service teams to see how well we’re doing at getting new customers and making sure our current customers are happy. I like to spend my afternoons coming up with new ideas for best practices and working with my team to find ways to improve how we bring on new clients.”
If you’ve ever had to say no to a customer, how did you do it without hurting the relationship?
Managers of customer relationships need to be good at talking to people and know how to deal with customers whether they are happy or upset. People in charge of hiring often ask questions like this one to make sure you can handle conflicts and talk to customers in a good way. You can answer this kind of question well by using the STAR method. STAR stands for:
- Situation: Talk about something that fits the question to start.
- Task: Explain what you were trying to do or what the problem was that you had to solve.
- Action: Tell me what you did to get where you are now.
- Show how what you did made something good happen.
The STAR method can help you give a detailed account of how you handled a certain situation in the past or how you might do well in a hypothetical situation in the future.
Example: “I’ve helped people find other ways to get what they want before. At my last job, one customer asked for a discount on a product that we couldn’t offer. They were talking about working with one of our competitors, so I knew we had to find a way to keep their business. I worked with the company’s leaders to make a five-year contract in which they would pay the same amount every year and the price would not go up. The contract also gave customers more help. They liked the compromise, so they kept doing business with us.”
You learn that a new salesperson told a new customer too much about what the company could do for them. How do you handle the situation?
Many relationship managers spend most of their time talking to customers and clients on the outside, but talking to other departments on the inside is just as important. This is a question that hiring managers might ask to see how you keep communication going both inside and outside of the company. You can also answer this kind of question well by using the STAR method.
Example: “I think the best thing to do is to make sure this doesn’t happen at all. I think that communication within the company is just as important as communication with clients, if not more so. Making sure that everyone on the staff who works with customers knows the same things can help keep customers from getting confused.
But if a salesperson made promises to a client that we couldn’t keep, I would first talk to the salesperson. I’d make sure they knew what we could do and what we couldn’t do. Then I would call the client or go see them in person to tell them what was going on. As a way of saying sorry for the confusion, I would offer a discount or some other perk and spend as much time as needed answering questions and making sure the customer felt supported and happy.”