The Other Side of the Hiring Equation
Over the past few weeks, I’ve interviewed a dozen CSM candidates for Hubdoc, a cloud-based document management solution for accountants and bookkeepers.
We’ve had a diverse range of candidates come through our doors, and it has been a great learning experience being on the other side of the desk.
While some of the meetings have been exceptional, I recently had a disappointing interview, in which a promising on-paper candidate knew next to nothing about our business.
On top of that, the candidate struggled to articulate their successes, and couldn’t communicate how their previous experience and learnings could contribute value in the role.
At Hubdoc, we appreciate all interest in joining our team, and we provide feedback to every candidate, regardless of whether they are advancing to the next stage.
Giving Constructive Feedback
The following is an adapted version of what that candidate received. I hope it helps you prepare for your next Customer Success interview too!
You have solid experience on paper, but I felt that you could have articulated your past work and CS knowledge much more effectively.
If you really want the job, the employer needs to know it.
If you really want a job in SaaS Customer Success specifically, try the following series of steps to prepare for your next interview:
Explore – Look up everything you can about where you’re interviewing. If possible, start a free trial to use the product. Ideally, you would explain what the product does and who it serves as if you already worked there.
Inform – Look up everything you can about the role you’re interviewing for. There are awesome and FREE customer success resources online. Check out this Beginner’s Guide to Customer Success (Link to Strikedeck’s guide?). Understand the tasks, responsibilities, and key data that customer success measures against.
Reflect – Go through your resume line by line and recount exactly what happened for each point. What are the inputs and outputs that led to your successes? What worked, what didn’t, and what would you do differently next time?
Refine – Ask yourself why you want to work for the company. What about the company and their customer success specifically excites you? How could your experiences and key learnings contribute value in the role you’re interviewing for? Strip away the fluff and communicate your core message succinctly.
Practice – Practice, practice, practice. Call up a friend to ask you expected questions. Revisit your career experience over dinner with your family. Explain the company’s mission and product to your pet if you have to!
Present – Word choice and tonality matter. A lot. You should be speaking optimistically and confidently about your personality and work ethic.
Collaborate – Use your research to ask open-ended and thought-provoking questions about the business. Ideally, you’d ask questions to discover how key processes are currently organized, provide insights from your research and experiences, and discuss how they could improve the company’s current approach to their work.
Contribute – Always remember that an interview is not an interrogation, it’s a conversation! Teams spend a lot of time around one another, so it’s important to make connections. Try following up an interviewer’s tough question by asking the same question of them – you might be surprised by what you learn.
Thanks for coming in and good luck with the rest of your search!
Interested in joining a fast-growing tech company changing the face of the accounting and bookkeeping industry? We’d love to hear from you!
Check out the open roles at Hubdoc.
Mitch first entered the world of SaaS in 2015 where he wore many hats across Sales, Support, and Success. Recognizing the growing importance of data in the workplace, Mitch completed a Masters of Analytics and learned the lay of the SaaS analytics land as a Data Analyst at FreshBooks. Now, Mitch is responsible for Customer Success Operations at Hubdoc, where he ensures his teammates have the systems and data needed to provide the best customer experience.Mitchell Posluns