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Looking for a Customer Success Representative? Start with these interview questions.



As a hiring manager, you know customer success positions can be tricky. It takes a special type of behavioral makeup to find the right balance for this role. And that challenge is compounded by the fact that many customer service professionals have left the workforce

Good candidates are often scarce. And with employee retention a constant concern for any organization, accuracy is at a premium. You simply can’t afford mishires. 

The good news? Behavioral data can help you identify the right fit for a role. And when you know what behaviors lead to success, you can hire with confidence

Many of the skills CS reps hone are teachable, so you shouldn’t rule candidates out based on resume alone. You’ll have less luck changing someone’s behavioral makeup. 

Looking to hire a top-performing customer success representative? Start with questions that get right at the behaviors and competencies the role requires.

Let’s say your behavioral target indicates this person should be calm, understanding, personable – but also capable of troubleshooting complex situations. Here are five questions you might ask to hone in on the target candidate:

5 interview questions to ask when hiring a customer success rep:

  1. How do you go about understanding a business goal that was not clearly communicated?
  2. Describe a time where you got frustrated with a task, project, or coworker. How did you maintain your patience?
  3. Tell me about a time you created an opportunity to connect with colleagues or customers. What did you do?
  4. What’s an example of a program or process you implemented to address concerns voiced by customers or coworkers?
  5. How do you take ownership of a decision when determining the cause of an error and how to resolve it? 

These behavioral interview questions can quickly confirm or deny your hunches. They’re designed to help answer a crucial question: Is this person who we think they are?

And since you’ve already identified your job target, a simple “yes” can dramatically reduce your time to hire. 

The anatomy of a behavioral interview question

Let’s dissect each of the questions we’ve suggested for the customer success representative’s interview:

How do you go about understanding a business goal that was not clearly communicated?

This is a starter question – you’re just assessing the candidate’s ability to digest information. You also want to see how they communicate a lack of clarity. Without an understanding of the business’ main objectives, they won’t be able to serve customers very effectively. 

Describe a time where you got frustrated with a task, project, or coworker. How did you maintain your patience?

Frustration is, unfortunately, inevitable. That’s true of almost any role, but it’s especially important to know a CS candidate can maintain their poise. Frustration is inevitable. But you want this answer to reveal a solution-oriented focus. Rather than lamenting the issue, how did they move forward?

Tell me about a time you created an opportunity to connect with colleagues or customers. What did you do?

Customer success reps aren’t simply good listeners. Sometimes, they need to initiate the conversation, or better yet, support a customer who doesn’t yet know they need it. If the candidate can provide an answer that reveals that sort of sixth sense, you’re probably on target.

What’s an example of a program or process you implemented to address concerns voiced by customers or coworkers?

This question pushes the initiative envelope further. It’s one thing to initiate conversations with customers to resolve an issue – quite another to devise a new approach that prevents those issues from happening in the first place. Maybe their example is a small one – chances are, it will still be telling of the candidate’s ingenuity. 

How do you take ownership of a decision when determining the cause of an error and how to resolve it? 

It’s not hard to see why this answer matters for this role. For better or worse, the customer success representative has to own some failures. That may include failures not of their own making. This question confirms their willingness to take that ownership – it also goes a step further by uncovering their ability to find a solution moving forward.

How PI can help

No two interviews should be the same. Each candidate comes with a unique behavioral makeup, and if you’re doing your homework, those behaviors should align with the target you’ve established for the role. 

PI Hire makes each step easier. Buoyed by scientifically validated assessments, our software gives you clarity throughout the hiring process. 

Know the right fit for any role, and then nail that hire by tailoring your interview questions accordingly.

Hire With Confidence.

Use PI to find the right candidates for any role—and make exceptional hires.

Individualist

Andy is a content writer and editor at PI. He's an unashamed map geek, hoops enthusiast, and Goldfish cracker aficionado.

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