Scaling and growing an internal team can be all-consuming and often daunting for many CSM teams. While customer success leaders, HR representatives, and other key stakeholders are often involved in the hiring process at every step of the way, the structure of your organization could warrant additional team members from different departments being involved in the hiring process.
Here are five steps to an effective Customer Success interview process:
1. Exploratory Discussion
This first touchpoint with a candidate only needs to last approximately thirty minutes and should serve as a brief introduction between your organization and the candidate. This conversation is when you can align on the candidate’s experience at a high level, discuss your company and where the role fits into the organization structure, and talk through the candidate’s expectations (including compensation). It’s never a good use of time to get through the entire hiring process only to realize that the candidate isn’t a proper fit afterall, so use this time to bring potential roadblocks up in discussion.
2. Customer Success Deep Dive
This next round of interviewing should hit hard on customer success experience and should usually take up to an hour with the candidate. Suppose your team requires past customer success experience. In that case, your interview team should discuss what this experience looked like, what it taught the candidate about working directly with customer teams and get a sense of what the candidate’s contributions would look like if he or she were to join your team. By asking the right questions, you should walk out of the interview with a strong sense of what the candidate will do in the role if hired.
3. Customer Success + Sales
One of the most critical internal relationships customer success teams have with sales is sales, so it makes sense to put this collaboration and cross-functional focus on display during the interview process. During this thirty or forty-five-minute discussion, your team or sales team interview resource should ask questions covering revenue management, customer success and sales collaboration experience, risk mitigation, and customer advocacy.
4. Customer Success + Marketing
It’s no surprise that solid customer success and marketing relationships are crucial to powering marketing initiatives such as case studies, webinars, speaking engagements, events, testimonials, surveys, and more. Giving marketing a solid thirty or forty-five-minute window to discuss these kinds of programs and gain a deeper understanding of how the candidate thinks about how to work with marketing can give your team a more holistic picture of the candidate.
5. Presentation and Q&A
At the tail end of your interview process, once the candidate has had a chance to speak to your team and come to understand your business better, assign him or her a sample piece of work that will directly relate to what they will be doing in the role on a day-to-day basis. Then, while the candidate presents the work back to your team, you can assess presentation skills, data analysis, meeting control, preparation, confidence, time management, and more essential skills. At the end of the presentation, allow the candidate a Q&A session to address any and all of their questions transparently.
Ready to learn more? Check out these corresponding ClientSuccess resources: