The six attributes that we consistently interview for

Joel Passen
April 2, 2024
3 Minutes
CX Strategy

There were 453 jobs posted on Indeed in the US for customer success managers in the past 14 days.

On average, companies interview five candidates before making a hiring decision for a mid-level customer success position. That’s a lot of interviews—and time. With productivity being top of mind for customer leaders, new hires, assuming a good fit, will eventually increase capacity, but the process is a body blow to short-term productivity.

Then there is the risk of a bad hire - the real kidney punch. I won’t go into that in this post.

All this hiring is encouraging, and it also got me thinking about how leaders can directly impact the hiring process without all kinds of process changes and wrangling of resources.

Interviews. Ask better questions. Get better information. Make better hiring decisions.

I’ve hired dozens of post-sales people over the years, and here are six attributes that I consistently interview for.

Technical Preparedness: We sold a solution and are now delivering one. Our people must have the chops/cognition to understand complex platforms, workflows, and ecosystems. Additionally, we have to ensure from the get-go that our associates know how to prepare for a solution-oriented meeting with a customer—substance over fluff.

Attention to Detail: Our teammates must be organized, willing to follow processes, and steadfast in capturing data.

Coachability: Ideal candidates will be open and even excited about learning quickly. We look for people who take direction well. We don’t have a long window for ramp. Humility is key.

Sticktoitiveness: Being on the frontline is arduous. Our associates must be able to manage the emotional peaks and valleys.

Work Ethic: Drive is a key value here. We need people who want to work hard while they’re at work consistently and who take pride in the quality of their output.

Resourcefulness: Our teammates need to be hyper-resourceful, diggers of information, and, most of all, intellectually curious so that they can identify root causes.

Note: I haven’t hired a person in the last 20 years without them taking an assessment designed by Gary Kustis There’s nothing like getting another, unbiased data point with which to make a decision. I'm happy to share how and when I use assessments - just message me.

Also, if you're interested in interviewing like I am, check out what my friends Intertru Inc are doing. Unique and effective.

Otherwise, if you want a copy of our full behavioral interview guide for CS, you can grab it here!

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