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Be Prepared for These Questions When Interviewing for a Start-Up

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Summary: Start-ups are a different breed of company and require employees to understand them, so expect interview questions that are directly tied to what start-ups do.

Be ready for these questions:

“How did you hear about this opportunity?”

Determining which recruiting methods are working is important for a start-up so that they know how to proceed in the future. While they will welcome any answer you give as feedback, the place where you saw the job opening will demonstrate how much you know about the company. Seeing the opening on their website will be a good sign.

“Why do you want to work here?”

They want to know why you want to work at their company, not at any small company or in the particular field. Know the company’s mission and any past work the company has done that you are drawn to.

“Why is this role perfect for you?”

You also need to be able to explain why the position is right for you. Some applicants are so determined to work for a specific company that they will apply for any position, even if it really is not a good fit for them. Describe how the requirements of the position match your capabilities and not just how much you love the company.

“What is your work style?”

Never lie about your work style. Startups typically prefer employees that take initiative and are self-starters, but if your style doesn’t exactly align with that, it doesn’t mean you will be ruled out completely.

“What are you looking for in your next position?”

Start-ups offer specific experiences that cannot always be gained with larger companies. They expect their employees to figure things out on their own more than a large company does. Explain what your current position is not able to provide, such as leadership or management experience.

“What ideas do you have for the part of the company that you are applying to work in?”

This question is important for the interviewer to discover how much you know about the company as well as how imaginative, creative, and strategic you are. Develop some ideas before the interview and make sure they aren’t already implementing them. Be prepared to defend your ideas.

“How would you implement those ideas?”

They are looking for someone that is a self-starter, so they want to see that you are organized and put your ideas into action. The way you answer will also show your thought process through the steps of conception to completion.

“Why do want to work at a start-up?”

Start-ups are not fit for everyone. You have to really love what you do and what the company does to make it a success. The pace of work, type of high-level work, and atmosphere are important factors that you have to be able to show you are passionate about.


Be Prepared for These Questions When Interviewing for a Start-Up by
Authored by: Amanda Griffin