How to Interview at a Startup Company
Hiring for startup companies can be extremely difficult. With limited finances, the company and candidate need to understand the other’s long-term potential. The candidate must believe in the product to justify joining a startup, and the company has to trust that the candidate possesses the skills to help it grow into something larger. Understanding how startups operate can help candidates better prepare for interviewing.
Startups will often require you to wear multiple hats and resolve problems without the luxury of a large team or budget. That’s why themes such as versatility, diversity, hands-on problem solving, and creative thinking are so important when interviewing at a startup.
A startup company may offer a different compensation package than larger companies. The salary may not be as large, but it could include shares in the company or other benefits that will grow as the company matures. Understanding finances and compensation structures of startups will help you better evaluate potential offers during the interviewing process.
Many startups don’t have dedicated HR or interviewing specialists, meaning you are more likely to deal with an inexperienced interviewer or encounter an illegal interview question. This is why it’s incredibly important to have a sound interviewing strategy from the get-go.
In addition to researching the startup and its staff, you’ll want to do some investigating to learn about the company investors. Understanding where the money comes from can tell you a great deal about how a startup company operates.
Most startups don’t have the resources to move slowly. Develop a 30-, 60-, and 90-day plan to show them how you’ll hit the ground running. Clearly demonstrating how you’ll achieve quick wins will be attractive to any startup.
For a small company, a single bad hire can be catastrophic. Even small decisions can drastically impact a startup’s growth, which is why careful steps should be taken when interviewing at an up-and-coming business.