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Career Advice

Interviewing for a Startup- Tips and Advice

Generally speaking, when we consider the term ‘Job Search’ the tendency is to assume that the majority of people are in search of a stable role, within a well established and successful organisation.interviewsign

Of course there are many benefits which come from working in such an organisation, but it is becoming increasingly common, in some fields, for job seekers to specifically target startup businesses over the course of their job search.

There are numerous reasons that some folk choose to work for a startup company, indeed there is often an assortment of benefits accessible, which are not usually found together within a larger company.

It seems to us then, in light of the fact that this career direction is becoming increasingly popular, that the time has come to give you all some useful pointers, tips and advice on interviewing for a job in a startup.

Of course many of the techniques and skills that you would hope to exhibit during a typical interview still apply, so we have selected 4 key areas which we think need particular attention when interviewing for a startup.


Know the businessresearch1

For obvious reasons, researching a startup will usually pose many more problems and challenges, than researching a more established business.  This does not mean however, that you shouldn’t work hard to find out as much information about the company as you possibly can.

There is a tendency to assume that because there is a distinct lack of online information about a business, that the interviewer will fill you in on any specific details that you need to know during the interview. Whilst this is sometimes the case, you should see this lack of online information as an opportunity rather than a hindrance. You now have the chance to distinguish yourself  from the other candidates, by being the one who went above and beyond in their preparation for the interview.

Being well versed in the startup’s products / services and history, will also place you in a very good position to hold a well informed and productive conversation with the interviewer, rather than one which is general and arbitrary.


Display your ideas

One of the skills that startups are well known for placing a high value on is creativity.  Being creative doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be artistic and eclectic, but rather that you have good problem solving skills, can visualise outcomes, intercept issues and have a generally pragmatic approach to your work.

These are some of the key skills that you should be trying to display during an interview with a startup, since they will present you as a person who is willing and able to meet the unique and othen numerous challenges which arise over the course of developing a startup into a fully fledged and well established business.


Show willingness and ability to developtemporary work

Another key factor which most startups will take into consideration, is whether or not you have demonstrated a willingness and ability to grow and develop alongside the business.

Due to many factors, but especially the fact that startups are often unable to pay salaries comparable to their larger counterparts, most startups hire people who haven’t yet reached the peak of their potential.

This can create a rather convenient set of circumstances whereby employees are able to grow and develop professionally alongside the business, gaining the experience necessary to carry it forward and gaining the expertise necessary to operate it smoothly.

It is therefore important that you demonstrate to the employer, that you are the sort of person who is well suited to this employment arrangement, through the previous experiences which you select to discuss and the general attitude that you display.
Ask Questionsquestion-mark (1)

Within any job interview situation, it is really important that you take the opportunity to ask questions when you are given it. It is usually the case that this opportunity comes towards the end of the interview, and rather than prolonging the situation any longer than necessary most people will simply reply that they have no questions and essentially terminate the interview.  This is the waste of a really good opportunity.

Before attending the interview you need to think of some questions that you would like to ask the interviewer. You should select the questions based on your genuine curiosity and not your desire to impress the interviewer.  Having a few good questions to ask at the end of the interview process can show a genuine interest in the business, and a desire to understand better how it works. It can also be a great way to begin a discussion with the interviewer, giving you another opportunity to make yourself a memorable candidate.

Hopefully these quick pointers will come in handy the next time you are interviewing for a startup.

Here at TheEmployable we have a wealth of great tips and advice on the topic of job interviews.  Here’s a little taster of what we’ve got.

How to get more job interviews

How to conduct a practice interview

How to handle interview nerves

Bad interview?  Here’s some tips on how to recover



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