New startup companies are launching each day, and if you’re lucky, you just might snag your dream job working for one of them. Unfortunately, there’s a long list of candidates that are probably just as qualified as you are on paper. Here are some pointers from a guy that has interviewed hundreds of people just like you, and some pointers to give you an edge.
#1 Research the Company and People
It’s incredible how many people apply for a job and have absolutely no idea what the company does, what it stands for, or anything about the people involved. There’s a good chance the company you’re seeking employment from has a website loaded with information. Most companies these days even have a staff page that could offer facts about people you’re likely to meet during your interview process. Does your CEO love dogs? Maybe you love dogs, too. Don’t be surprised to see one of the people on the staff page across the table from you.
#2 Be a Human Being
Seems like something dumb to put in an article, right? Wrong. The first and probably most important question you’ll be asked in an interview will probably go something like this: “Tell me about yourself.” It’s not really a question at all. It’s a test, and if you can’t pass this, you’re already going to the bottom of the stack. Often times, we spend so much time preparing for the business related questions that we overlook how we present ourselves as human beings. Realize this… these people are going to spend a great deal of time with you in a confined space. This isn’t a trick; we really do want to know what you do outside the office. Nobody wants to work with a bore fest. Everyone has something interesting about them! Take the time to organize what you’re going to say, even if it means drawing out one of those little idea clouds you learned in elementary school. Do it! Trust me; I’m a guy from the internet.
#3 Present Ideas That Might Improve the Company
Out of the hundreds of people I’ve interviewed over the years, the most impressive candidates have walked in and hit me with something we’re not doing, or even something we can improve on. Regardless of what job you’re applying for, whether it’s something in marketing, sales, or customer service; you’ll immediately set yourself apart from the others. You’re immediately demonstrating that you have an entrepreneurial mind, and that’s a big deal in the startup world. Remember, despite what anyone tells you, the most important part of a startup company is the people involved. It doesn’t matter if you rack up millions of dollars in funding, without the right people on board; your ship is going to sink.
#4 Acknowledge That You Know What a Startup Company Is
Guess what? Startup companies are called startups for a reason, and that’s because it’s a new company, still requires mountains of work, long hours, and inherently, a lot of stress. Are you prepared for the 14 hour shifts, no weekends, and having to actually work instead of browsing Facebook all day? Employers love when candidates understand what the position will be like. It demonstrates a positive work ethic, and even more, it shows you really want the job and will work for it.