Customer Success

12 Great Questions to Ask During a Customer Success Manager Interview

At the end of an interview for a customer success manager position at a SaaS company, your interviewer will likely open the floor for questions. Although it may seem like the important part of the interview is over, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, I’d like to argue that, if done correctly, your question-asking phase actually gives you more opportunity to stand out from the other interviewees than the former portion of the interview.

If you pick the right questions to ask during a Customer Success Manager interview, you can come across as an inquisitive, prepared professional who has a serious interest in the position. Plus, this is the perfect time to connect deeper with the interviewer and really spark some interesting conversations that they’ll remember when making their decision. Lastly, don’t forget that this is your chance to learn about the company and position to see if it’s a good fit for you as well.

Without further ado, here are the top questions to ask during a customer success manager interview.

What Do Your Customers Love Most About Your Service?

Start things off with some positive vibes by getting the interviewer to talk about how great their product is. This is one of the questions to ask during a Customer Success Manager interview that will also shine some light on the customer base and why they chose to use this software solution. Also, if you’re able to engage in a conversation about the features and associated benefits you’ll show that you did your homework.

Can You Describe the Profile of a Typical Client I’d Be Managing?

What better way to show that you care about your clients than to ask about them. The interviewer will love this, and they will likely give you a thousand-foot view of the portfolio you’ll be managing. Ask them to describe not only the companies, their sizing, industry, etc. but also the main points of contact you’ll be interacting with and helping on a daily basis. 

What Do Your Customers Dislike Most About Your Service?

To gain a deeper understanding of the overall satisfaction of the customer base, also consider asking what they find most frustrating about it. This will also clue you into what a lot of the complaints will be that you’ll deal with on a day-to-day basis.

Can You Describe a Day of a High-Performing CSM on the Team?

Get an inside look into what your day will look like if you want to excel at the role. What tasks take up the bulk of the day? Also, see if it matches your tastes. If the day sounds remarkably boring or stressful to you, perhaps this isn’t the right company for you.

What Are Your Team’s Priorities This Year?

Whether it’s decreasing churn, increasing upsells and cross-sells, or rolling out a new product implementation process, it’s good to know what your new team, and you, will be focusing on. Asking this, among other questions to ask during a Customer Success Manager interview also shows you’re taking the employer’s needs into account.

I Noticed You Just Launched {Product/Feature X} — What’s Your Plan to Get Current Clients to Purchase it? Are CSMs Involved?

This demonstrates your knowledge about the company and its product, which is a surefire way to get respect from the interviewer. Plus, you’ll learn about how CSMs are involved in the rollout of new products.

In My Research I Noted That {Company Name} Is Your Main Competitor. When and How Do You Win Against Them?

Demonstrate to the interviewer that you did your research and come prepared by asking them how they deal with their competition. This also shows you’re interested in working here and already thinking about how to keep your new clients happy and from switching sides.

Tell Me About How We Cooperate With The Sales Department

It’s unfortunate, but customer success and sales departments sometimes have contentious relationships. There are disagreements over who should be compensated for sales to current clients. Or a CSM might get upset with an Account Executive for making lofty promises to a client that the CSM can’t possibly uphold. To avoid ending up in one of these scenarios, ask this question to gauge the relationship between the teams.

I Read About {Industry Shift or News}. How Do You Think That Will Affect Your Clients?

Prove to your interviewer that you come prepared to meetings and keep an eye on the market by having ready questions to ask during a Customer Success Manager interview. This is an important habit to have when you’re managing accounts. Clients expect you to help guide them through turbulent times and will appreciate you keeping them updated on industry trends. They like working with experts. This question also shows that you have a client-first thinking approach.

What Would Success Look Like After 6 Months With Your Company?

This question will help you get a real sense of what you’ll be doing on a daily basis in your role. The interviewer’s answer will be much more informative than the job posting. They’ll tell you the key performance indicators that you’ll be judged on and the goals you should meet. This also shows the interviewer that you’re goal-oriented and determined to be successful.

What Does a Typical Client Onboarding Look Like?

If this is part of the job responsibilities, have the interviewer walk you through the steps of the process. That'll tell you what to expect. Asking such a specific question also suggests to the interviewer that you are really serious about evaluating this role. Another question that would fit into this category of responsibility-specific questions is “what are the typical steps of a client save?”

On Your LinkedIn, I Saw {Notable Personal Fact}, {Question About It}

It never hurts to build some rapport with your interviewer. At the end of the interview, consider asking a question about them, such as, “I saw you spent a lot of your career in a closing role. What inspired you to change to the account management side?”

Asking something personal like this not only gives rise to a fruitful conversation that breeds connection. Having questions to ask during a Customer Success Manager interview also demonstrates to the interviewer that you did your research and are capable of building relationships — key traits of successful CRMs.

Bottom Line: Asking Good Questions Makes You Memorable

While this list is a great starting point, feel free to think up your own questions. Ask about things you actually want to learn. Ask questions that you know will spark conversation or paint you as a deep-thinker.

Typically, the more personalized the question the better. Bringing up research you did as a preamble to the question is an underutilized way to get brownie points with the employer. It’s as simple as saying, “I saw you just added a new workflow feature to your platform — how do you plan on training your clients on it?” That’s sure to put a smile on the hiring manager’s face.