From Applicant to Employee at CX Pilots

How to hire good CX management people

Journey mapping CX Pilots' applicants-the networking journey

From a young age, I harbored a strong desire to become an Occupational Therapist. It's an unexpected starting point for an Account Manager like me but let me fill you in on how I got here.

As I embarked on my career as an OT, I anticipated the typical learning curve that accompanies any new job. Fresh from completing my master's degree, I possessed the skills to interpret assessments, set goals, find solutions, build client relationships, and facilitate mutually satisfactory outcomes. It was time to put all that training into practice by managing my own caseload of thirty clients.

During those initial days in my new role, I experienced a sensation akin to the stress I endured during finals week in academia, minus the subsequent week-long break. Each week demanded immense stamina, leaving me drained and desperately seeking rejuvenation before it started again Monday morning. Despite my unwavering belief that I would eventually hit my stride, fueled by a passion for the work and armed with the necessary process, the elusive state of "flow" remained elusive, even on my one-year work anniversary.

Despite the lack of flow, I managed to excel in my role, consistently surpassing billing, timeliness, and patient satisfaction metrics. I attribute this success largely to the organizational and execution systems I developed for myself. Creating these systems invigorated me, and I reveled in the satisfaction of checking off tasks weeks ahead of schedule. Additionally, I continued organizing events and parties in my personal life, experiencing a similar enthusiasm for the planning processes and the smooth outcomes they yielded.

Those in my professional and personal spheres often commended my abilities in execution, organization, and facilitation – skills that energized me whenever I had the opportunity to employ them. As burnout loomed in the healthcare field, I realized it was time for me to leveraging these capabilities as the primary drivers of my professional life.

To explore alternative career paths outside patient care, I sought out individuals who had successfully transitioned. It was both reassuring and disheartening to find groups with thousands of practitioners like me venturing into the uncharted territory of a career outside of client care. I enrolled in a course that delved into around twenty ‘therapy-adjacent’ careers, including healthcare writing, user experience, and utilization review. Among them, two roles resonated with me the most: Account Management and Project Management. Both encompassed my desire to utilize my interpersonal skills alongside strategic planning.

Enrolling in a Project Management course allowed me to articulate the thought processes I had instinctively employed. The course material ignited a fire within me, prompting me to complete the six-month program in a mere two weeks. At this juncture, I felt exhilarated by the prospect of excelling in this field, but apprehensive about breaking into it given my therapy background.

Then, my career coach forwarded me the job posting and description for an Account Manager position at CX Pilots.

Finding the job posting

Journey Mapping CX Pilots' applicants-Finding the job posting journey

This job posting stood out due to its unique focus on personal work style and character, rather than merely listing the skills required. I immediately resonated with the posting’s emphasis on valuing relationships, pioneering new solutions, and the organic nature of idea development. The description portrayed the transferability of skills between a candidate with a therapy background and the skills of the Account Manager, building a clear bridge between two seemingly different realms.

I  had never encountered a company explicitly stating in their job advertisement, "We want to take a chance on you." My eyes widened, and almost instinctively, my hands reached out to start my application.

The CX Pilots Account Manager application

Journey Mapping CX Pilots' Account Manager role-the application journey

A standout feature of the hiring process was the use of the StrengthsFinder assessment. I had previously used this tool and valued its focus on highlighting what’s right with individuals and how they can leverage these aptitudes. The challenge of "selling yourself" in an interview can often seem awkward; striking a balance between showcasing capabilities and maintaining humility can be tricky. The StrengthsFinder provided an objective lens to this conversation. Specifically, I found the opportunity to discuss my strength in discipline and how it could apply to project management tasks, alongside my communication skills, particularly helpful. It was insightful to see how my strengths aligned and varied from the rest of the team.

The Account Manager Screening phase

Journey Mapping the CX Pilots' Account Manager role-the screening journey

With eager anticipation, I embarked on my first Zoom interview. The conversational approach adopted by my (now) colleagues eased my nerves and enabled me to perform optimally, counteracting the self-doubt that came with my endeavor to switch industries. Their understanding of the candidate requirements, coupled with their empathetic approach, conveyed their commitment to a mutually beneficial process. My now-boss, Virginia, who shares my therapy care background, acknowledged my therapy accolades in a manner I hadn't previously experienced. It was remarkable how someone who had known me for a mere twenty minutes could empower me and make me shine the way Virginia did. She understood the significance of my accomplishments as a therapist and translated them into potential strengths for the Account Manager position. I wanted to work for her instantly.

First CX Account Manager interview

Journey Mapping the CX Pilots' Account Manager role-Interview one journey

In subsequent interviews, the focus shifted to situational questions. These allowed me to articulate my thought processes, leadership style, and future aspirations, providing a comprehensive understanding of my potential contribution to the company. These discussions offered insight into the team's commitment to fostering high-caliber interpersonal skills and strong execution tactics. 

Second CX Account Manager interview

Journey Mapping the CX Pilots' Account Manager role-interview two journey

This alignment with my two top values–connection and excellence–sparked my enthusiasm for CX Pilots’ vision.

The CX Account Manager applicant project

Journey Mapping the CX Pilots' Account Manager role-the CX project journey

A crucial part of the hiring process was a project assignment, which involved viewing a recorded team brainstorming session and summarizing key points and action items. This project was mutually insightful: it gave the team an insight into how I would handle my regular duties, and, through watching the team interact, allowed me an insider's perspective on team values, communication, and collaborative efforts. Though initially overwhelmed by the video’s contents, I leaned on a skill I used anytime a task felt out of my comfort zone: begin with what you know, break it down into smaller pieces, and iterate the plan as more information becomes available. This strategy, which proved useful during the hiring process, continues to aid me in my role as Account Manager. 

Third CX Account Manager interview

Journey Mapping the CX Pilots' Account Manager role-interview three journey

I presented this project deliverable during my third interview with three new employees of CX Pilots. I had to remember this wasn’t a test of my industry knowledge but a platform to demonstrate my ability to work independently, manage tasks, and communicate effectively. I transformed from being daunted by the task to being delighted by the final product, the speed at which I was able to produce it, and its presentation to the team.

Proceeding through the interview process, I became acutely aware of the growth areas I needed to tackle to thrive in this new domain. The imposter syndrome that inevitably comes with such transitions was a realistic hurdle, but it fuelled my desire to learn and equip myself more. With each interview and assessment, I began to envision how I could contribute to the impactful work that CX Pilots was doing for businesses worldwide.

The phone call delivering the job offer news was a life-altering moment. Of course, there was a sadness to leave aspects of my previous job, but as C.S. Lewis says, “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” I had full confidence in this truth and couldn’t wait to contribute to the meaningful work of CX Pilots.

Negotiating the CX Account Manager position

Journey Mapping the CX Pilots' CX Account Manager role-negotiation journey

The conversations I had with my colleagues during the interview process equipped me for my role. I learned about their individual roles in the company and their contributions to CX Pilots' overall purpose. These interactions allowed me to build an early rapport with my future teammates and gain insights into the company's future vision. They also provided me with insights into the key deliverables of the Account Manager role and how it could support the efforts my colleagues were making.

Accepting the CX Account Manager position

Journey Mapping the CX Pilots' Account Manager role-acceptance journey

I’ve never come across a company that has candidates complete computer skills tests, a StrengthsFinder assessment, a project mimicking a job responsibility, and three interviews that involved interacting with almost every employee. However, that’s because I’ve never encountered a company with the values and vision of CX Pilots. Their intentionality in the hiring process is designed to safeguard and maintain the incredibly precious culture they’ve curated. It’s an extension of the excellence they uphold in all other facets of their processes and offerings. 

Today, I am not only an employee of CX Pilots but also an enthusiastic advocate of their hiring process. As I look forward to participating in future hiring processes, I am resolved to put forth the same clarity and support I received in my interview process to allow future candidates to shine.