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47 Interview Questions for Startups, with Examples of Answers

47 Interview Questions for Startups, with Examples of Answers

If you work at a new company, you might be able to shape it as it grows. During your interview, the employer will probably ask you a lot of questions to find out how you and your experiences might fit into the culture of their startup. If you know about these questions, you can give answers that are detailed and will impress the hiring manager. In this article, we talk about and give examples of answers to some of the most common startup interview questions. Interview Questions for Startups,

General questions

Expect to be asked some general questions that aren’t directly about the job, like the ones below:

  • Tell me a little bit about yourself.
  • What do you do really well?
  • What do you think is your worst trait?
  • What kind of work are you looking for?
  • In your job, where do you want to be in 10 years?
  • What three words would you use to describe yourself if you had to?
  • How much money do you want?
  • How do you want to benefit from it?
  • When do you want to start?
  • Would you be willing to move if you got this job?
  • What do you do to relax?
  • What is a skill you have that isn’t related to your job?
  • Tell me about a special gift you gave to a friend or member of your family.
  • What is a skill you’ve learned in the past year?
  • Do you think hard work is more important than talent?
  • How do you deal with having a lot of things to do at once?
  • If you could only have one superpower, what would it be?

Questions about work and history from the past

The interviewer is interested in your past jobs, so they may ask you:

  • How long have you worked at this place?
  • What have you done before that has prepared you for this job?
  • What you’ve learned will help our business in what ways?
  • What skills did you learn at your last job that you think will help you at this one?
  • How would your last boss describe the work you did for them?
  • What do you think your former coworkers would say about the work you did?
  • What was the worst part of your last job?
  • What was the best thing about your last job?
  • What’s the best business tip anyone has ever given you?
  • What is the most impressive thing you’ve done at work?
  • How have you used modern technology in your work?
  • What about your last job do you wish you could change?
  • What do you think is the most important thing you’ve done at work?

In-depth questions

Some questions might ask you to show how much you know about the job, such as:

  • What do you think are the three skills you have that will help our new business the most?
  • What would you do if you were in charge of everything at our company?
  • If you were to start a business, what would it be?
  • Give me an example of something your boss asked you to do that you didn’t want to do. What did you say?
  • What are you most worried about when you join a new company?
  • How do you think you’ll spend your first month on the job if we hire you?
  • What do you know about our plans for our new business?
  • What are the biggest risks that a new business in our field faces?
  • Who do you think is our biggest competitor?
  • What can you offer that none of the other candidates can?

Sample answers to questions about a startup at an interview

You can get ready for your interview by going over some of these common questions and sample answers:

Do you work better alone or in a group?

Startups are often more open to different ways of working because they are still figuring out what works best for their employees and how they work. Depending on the project, your boss may also ask you to switch between working alone and with a team. Tell the hiring manager how you like to work when you answer this question. This will help them see how you might fit into the company.

Example: “I’m fine working with others, but I do my best work by myself. I’ve found that the best way for me to work on a team is to meet as a group to talk about the whole project and get assignments, then work on assignments by myself.”

What’s the best thing about working for a new company rather than an old one?

Startups are different from established businesses in many ways, from how they are set up to how much input team members can have. It helps to talk about what you like about startup culture that you wouldn’t normally find at a big company. Try to tell the person in charge of hiring why you want to work there and what you like about it.

Example: “I think it would be exciting to work with a new company. You seem to care a lot about your job, and I want to help your company do well by sharing that care. I really want to use my sales and marketing skills to learn and grow with your company.”

Why do you think you could help our new business?

Startups usually have fewer employees than big companies, so it’s important for them to make sure that each team member fits into the structure. Look into the company carefully to learn more about its goals, products, and business practices. Choose one or two things that you can relate to your own skills to show that you would be a good team player and help the business do well.

Example: “I think I’d be a good fit for the open atmosphere you’ve made so far. I think people should always talk to each other to share the most up-to-date information and keep tasks on track, so I think I could start helping your team right away. I’m also interested in the company’s larger goal, which is to give people in low-income areas more chances.”

Do you like working in person or from home?

Many startups are starting to use remote workspaces, so the hiring manager could ask you this to see how comfortable you are working from home. Describe your ideal setup, but if you can, try to be as flexible as possible.

Example: “Working from home gives me a lot of freedom. I can start my day a little earlier or work a little later now that I don’t have to drive to work. In my ideal situation, I would do most of my work from home and meet with my team once in a while to talk about how things are going.”

Do you think it’s better to be good at a lot of things or to be great at just one?

For a new business, like a startup, you may be part of a smaller team, so it may be more helpful to have a wide range of skills. Think about the job you’re applying for and whether it would be better for you to have one specific skill or a wide range of skills. Think about how well you can change when you answer this question.

Example: “I think it’s better to be good at a lot of different things than to be good at just one. By having a lot of skills, I’m better able to change and ready to take on any challenges that come my way.”

You’ve been working on a project for two weeks when your boss tells you to start over because the whole thing needs to be redone. What will you say?

When new businesses try out new procedures and programs, the way they do things can change more often. It is important to show that you can adapt quickly and still get a lot done. Use the STAR method to tell a story about a time when you were in a similar situation. This method lets you give a clear example of how you can change and adapt, which gives hiring managers a good idea of how you work.

Example: “At my last job, a client wanted to change the design of their website completely a month into the project. Recently, the same thing happened to me. As the graphic designer, it meant I would have to throw away everything I had done and start over. Even though it was frustrating, the client agreed to a new budget and timeline, and it’s important to me that the client is happy with the end result. I also learned how to use a few new features in my favorite editing program, which I still use today.”

What do you think about getting paid by getting stock options?

Some startups try to keep their budgets in check by coming up with new ideas. Many companies give employees stock options in exchange for a slightly lower salary as a way to solve the problem. If you think about how a lower salary would affect your budget, the interviewer might ask you this. Be honest about how badly you want the job, and always answer in a way that makes the company look good.

Example: “I know how important it is to get a fair wage that lets me keep living the way I want to, but I’m excited about the possibility of getting stock in the company as part of my pay. Even though I know that is a sacrifice in the short term, I believe in the company and think that having stock investments is a win-win situation if the company does well like I expect it to.”

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