Interviewing Tips for Head of CS role

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Andrea Statema
Andrea Statema Member Posts: 3 Seeker
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edited August 2023 in CS Conversations
Hello Community!

On Friday I have 3 back-to-back interviews for a Director of CS role that is essentially meant to lead a CS org of 45 people.  I would be reporting to the VP of Sales and would essentially become the unifying mechanism and voice of CS within the company.  I've made it through my interview with the hiring manager/VP of Sales, and on Friday he's having me interview with 3 other executives, all of whom are in charge of various products for the company.  They are looking to see how I would unify their CS & support teams and looking for a high level vision from me in these interviews.   That part I can do.  My question to the community is if I should approach the conversation in any particular way in order to be most effective given that these are all Product VP's.  Each interview is only 30 minutes long so I need to be concise.   I'm looking for any ideas or tips to help me prepare. THANKS!
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  • Patrick Ruster
    Patrick Ruster Member Posts: 8 Contributor
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    edited January 2021
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    I don't have a ton to add here, other than, GOOD LUCK!
  • Anastasia Magnitskaia
    Anastasia Magnitskaia Member Posts: 18 Thought Leader
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    edited January 2021
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    @Brian Hartley- do you have any insight? 
  • Heather Rosefsky
    Heather Rosefsky Member Posts: 7 Contributor
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    edited January 2021
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    Oh panel interviews are tough, but stick to what you know - don't fluff any stories or strategic ideas because they might want a solid breakdown.
    I will assume they will direct the conversation, and the order will be up to them. No? Stand strong and bring the best version of yourself possible!
  • Brian Hartley
    Brian Hartley Member Posts: 185 Expert
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    edited January 2021
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    @Andrea Statema - sounds like you have a great game plan.  I don't think you need to approach it in any particular way other than trying to understand with the product goals and targets are.   How do they prefer customer feedback being socialized back to the product team?  How are analytics and user behavior used to influence product roadmap?  How is brea/fix handled or triaged from a product standpoint.

    Just a couple of thoughts.  Sounds like you are crushing it, good luck!

  • Mark Ace
    Mark Ace Member, CS Leader Posts: 3 Seeker
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    edited January 2021
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    At this level of interviewing, it's good to have an orientation to the company's strategic objectives, if they've been made available to you. Ask what their strategic OKRs are with regard to adoption, retention, and expansion, and how they measure those. Then be prepared with stories about how you've partnered across teams and functions to drive results on similar metrics in other roles. What kinds of levers will you focus on to advance on those C-level objectives? Good luck!
  • Andrea Statema
    Andrea Statema Member Posts: 3 Seeker
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    edited January 2021
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    Thanks for the advice Mark!  Appreciate it.
  • Andrea Statema
    Andrea Statema Member Posts: 3 Seeker
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    edited January 2021
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    Great tips!  Thanks Brian.
  • Sean Wilkes
    Sean Wilkes Member Posts: 13 Thought Leader
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    edited January 2021
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    Too late to contribute in order for it to be if help Andrea. I hope it went well.

    For anyone picking up this thread for tips, I'd suggest a couple of things that I don't think I have seen mentioned.
    1. How much cross functional collaboration already happens between products? You can't really be the catalyst for something that is just counterintuitive for the business.
    2. How much of the existing and recent roadmaps of each of the products have been influenced by the VoC and Feedback? And how much by Sales or general vision for the future of the business? Growth strategies often see Sales being the larger influence over roadmap, building whatever it takes to achieve the growth. 
    3. How much synergy is there between products as a broad offering? Cross selling (land and expand) grows everyone's share of the markets they operate in, provided they do actually compliment each other. Are all the same customer stakeholders likely to be relevant for all of the products? This will make CS the catalyst for the expend Startegy.