Interview Question Guide

Customer Success Manager

Customer Success Managers promote the transition of prospects and the retention of customers by providing an overall positive experience with the brand. Their success depends on their ability to build strong relationships with customers while efficiently managing tasks on the customer-facing side of operations. Performing this role requires deep knowledge of the organization’s products or services to best support customers and meet their specific needs. A Customer Success Manager can sometimes be a middle-management position in customer service departments indicating a need for effective leadership and strategic planning abilities.

Core skills for Customer Success Managers


Customer Relationship Management


Strategic Planning


Product Knowledge




Conflict Management


Organizational Skills

How to effectively interview Customer Success Managers

While it might seem difficult to figure out whether a candidate will succeed as a Customer Success Manager in your company, a well-developed set of interview questions that tap into the core skills required to perform in a Customer Success Manager role will go a long way in helping you decide. 

But where do you start? How do you develop a set of great interview questions? 

The best interview questions come directly from a job analysis. A job analysis is an evidence-based method that focuses on assessing key features of a particular role. These features describe both the job itself (i.e., tasks, responsibilities, and performance objectives), and the characteristics required of someone to perform successfully in the job (e.g., knowledge, skills, and abilities). A job analysis forms the basis of many HR practices such as compensation, performance management, and - you guessed it - how to interview and hire candidates. 

At Hireguide, we’ve done the job analysis work for you. We’ve used the method to identify a core set of skills associated with the Customer Success Manager role, and we’ve developed and validated a list of behavioral and situational questions with answer guides that tap directly into those core skills. And that’s not all. We’ve compiled these questions and created a Customer Success Manager Interview Template for you that integrates other interviewing best practices. Skills-based interviews will not only help you make higher quality and evidence-based hiring decisions, but research also shows they enhance fairness and reduce bias in your hiring process. 

Example questions to ask

Question 1

How would you go about defining success metrics for developing and maintaining customer engagement? What are some metrics you would suggest, and why?

Answer Tips

  • Discusses a process to define metrics (e.g. sets customer success performance targets)
  • Ensures customer success metrics are aligned with business growth and success
  • Discusses tracking customer retention, attrition, churn and lifetime value
  • Emphasizes the importance of quality metrics to gauge ROI
  • Includes customer feedback metrics (NPS and/or customer satisfaction)

Question 2

Give me an example of a time you convinced a prospect that a product or service was right for them. Why was the sale successful or unsuccessful? What did you learn?

Answer Tips

  • Demonstrates how they recognized and reacted to meet the prospect's needs
  • Discusses tactics they used to sell successfully
  • Exhibited strong knowledge of the product/service in the conversation
  • Explains and justifies the outcome of the sale
  • Highlights key learnings and considers how to apply them in the future

Question 3

What would you do if you were in a scenario where you accidentally made a customer unhappy and it could potentially cost you a client? How would you navigate that scenario?

Answer Tips

  • Acknowledges and apologizes to the customer for their mistake
  • Thoughtfully engages the customer to better-understand/clarify their needs
  • Evaluates the customer's concern and offers alternatives if possible
  • Shares key learnings and how to apply them in the future
  • Emphasizes the value of maintaining high quality relationships for company success

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