How to Ace a Startup Interview

So let’s say you’re new to the business world. You have a fresh degree, and you’re ready to hit the ground running in your given field of choice. While the idea of working as an intern for Apple may sound good on paper, that doesn’t mean you’re automatically guaranteed a position or even a startup interview.

That sounds risky but think about it. You’ll work with a company trying to establish itself in the business world. That means the newcomers are likely to turn to you for advice or helpful tips to keep things running smoothly. That, along with a nice paycheck, can make a difference – and really help you establish a spot in the business world.

But you have to impress people with the startup interview first, right? Relax, we’ve got three helpful tips that will help you nail it. Just remember to be yourself. Follow these tips and nail that job!

With the Startup Interview, Know the Business and Product

The first thing you want to do with nailing a startup interview is show your expertise. That means studying the company that you might join, and what they’re doing for the business world. For instance, if a startup is focusing on robotics, you’ll want to study and explain how you can apply your best abilities to make it work.

So, during the interview, listen to the questions they ask. “What can you do for my business?” It’s here that you’ll be happy you did your homework. Providing the expertise they want to hear about is a huge plus. It makes them confident that you’re the right person for the job right off the bat.

That said, don’t be forced about it. Don’t sound like a robot yourself. Instead, be relaxed. Make it seem like you’re talking more to someone on your level rather than someone higher up than you. Don’t be too relaxed, but don’t be uptight. Instead, show that you’re a relaxed fit for the team – and you’ll nail that startup interview with no problem.

Let the Questions Be Asked, but Bring Some of Your Own

Those running a startup like to hear from someone that can bring something to the team. With that, as you get engaged with your conversation in your interview, think of good questions to ask.

Since you’re looking for jobs at startups, they’re looking for bright minds. You don’t want to waste their time. So, listen along and then see where the conversation goes. They’ll talk about the robotics field that you might work in, and you can ask what directions it can go from here. Future growth isn’t a bad question to ask at all. In fact, it shows the startup runners that you intend to stay for the long haul, and that shows dedication.

Just be aware to not ask too many questions. After all, it’s their startup interview, so they’ll direct the conversation. But that doesn’t mean you can’t inquire about certain things, like what they want, holidays, what more you can do, etc. Remember to make it a conversation that flows both ways, instead of just a Q & A that ends in a boring fashion. This makes things livelier and shows just how human you can be with a startup interview. And it’ll impress.

Don’t Be Too Eager

Finally, the thing with nailing a startup interview is realizing that it doesn’t have to be the be-all-end-all solution. Granted, if they offer you a job, that’s great. But you don’t want to show too much eagerness or, worse yet, desperation.

The thing is, if you make it seem like you can’t live without the job, it’ll show a lack of confidence on your part. That doesn’t mean you should be disinterested, by any means. However, make sure they see that you appreciate their time. Also, don’t automatically hop all over the first offer.

The goal is to hear everything that the startup interviewers give you. Listen and then, again, make sure you inquire about certain things. Ask about the direction of the business. Find out as much about them as they will about you. Remember, a good conversation finds its proper flow, and makes the startup interview that much better for it.

Also, if you can, make sure to dress properly, but don’t overdress. You don’t need a tuxedo to impress, but maybe wear a nice dress shirt, a tie, and slacks or shorts (depending on the weather), nicely ironed. Show that you’ve got business savvy, but you’re not all business.

Do all of these, and interviews with startups will go smoothly!