You decide that you want a startup job. You even set your eyes on one particular one. They like the resume you sent AND they even call you in for a quick exchange. But you are not done. The interview is a vital part of securing any kind of job, so having it down to a science can only be beneficial in our hunt. Going to a startup interview is not different than any other interviews.
As with any other kind of activity, there are some aspects/steps that you need to follow in order to succeed.
Get ready. Preparation is the key. Before any startup interview, take your time to research the company, its current financial status, its culture and mentality. Put an emphasis on what makes it special, on notable success, recent mergers, some different policies or famous employees/managers/founders. The internet is your oyster, knock yourself out while trying to memorize as much as you can. Since having a well-documented and intelligent conversation about the company with your prospective employer will definitely give you a golden star. Especially since, in a startup, you will probably have the interview with the founder. He will take great pride in all the accomplishments of his ‘child’.
Dress nice. In any interview (not just in case of a startup interview), the first impression matters. Even though we like to think we are people who don’t really care about appearance, it does matter. You don’t have to get your prom dress out of your closet. You do have to be clean and have an outfit probably one step above on the ‘office’ scale than you would probably sport on a daily basis for this job. It is possible that you also chose a startup job because of the more laid back atmosphere in their offices. But you should compromise a bit on the day of the startup interview.
Get curious. The ending part of a startup interview usually is the one when they invite you to ask your own questions. The biggest possible mistake you could do here is to say that you don’t have any. The next one is focusing only on personal perks, such as salary, benefits or dental insurance. Very important thing you need to do is to research thoroughly the startup at which you will go to the interview. Start with basics, such as the hierarchy, why the person before you left the job. Then get to the more ‘serious’ ones, such as asking about some recent merger, the sudden growth of the company. Being a startup job the one you are aiming for, maybe ask about details of the service/product that you are providing. For example the age group they target with it.
Going to interviews is a sport very few enjoy but very many practice. Try to make it more enjoyable by being thoroughly prepared. Just think about how enjoyable and rewarding your new startup job will be and power through it!