Startup Interview Questions: The Personal Ones

Startup Interview Questions: The Personal Ones

In our previous post, we wrote about startup interview questions that are business/career related. Now, things are about to get personal.
After you've met the candidate knowledge wise and everything is going O.K, try to find more about them, through these personal startup interview questions:

What motivates you to get out of the bed in the morning?

If the candidate says 'money', know that it is not the right answer. Yes, we all work to survive and provide ourselves and our families few nice things, but working just for the money is simply wrong. If a candidate is not interested in engaging in your company's mission and contribute to its goals, this is not the place for him/her.

What is your dream job?

You should ask this question in order to find out what are interviewee's goals in life. Maybe he/she wants to become a founder. Maybe he/she dreams of working in a large company and wants to help your startup get there.

Additional tip: If the candidate says that this position is his/her dream job, dig a little bit deeper and try to find out if this is the truth or just a cliche.

Why do you do what you do?

This is a question that Joe Coleman, the CEO of Contently stated on the article as the one he always asks the candidate. Again, by asking similar startup interview questions to this one, you will understand candidate's background and motivation.

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What is your biggest advantage and what your biggest weakness?

You see how we used singular - one advantage and one flaw. It's not an easy question and it requires a wise answer. For the people that are a bit full of themselves is hard to find the one advantage and for the people that don't have enough confidence is hard to find just one weakness.
If you want to get to know the candidate better, go ahead and ask him/her to name at least three.

Additional tip: Candidate should feel free enough to tell what's the thing that he is not familiar with or doesn't know. If there is a willingness to learn, you are all good. On the other hand, if the candidate says that he/she knows everything, for the love of God, hire another one. No one knows everything!

What is your hobby?/What do you like to do outside of the work?

This is a question that provides a glimpse into candidates personality and how he/she will fit in the company culture. You shouldn't hire someone who doesn't have some other interest except waking up in the morning, working, getting home and going to sleep.
You can also ask the candidate to tell you more about their life story. You'd be surprised with some stories.

What would be your startup idea?

This is a demonstration of startup interview questions can be fun and imaginative. Explain to the candidate that he/she has all the money that is needed to develop a business idea. Then, ask what that idea would be and from where he/she would start.

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In the end, do you have to do all of this?

Well, you don't actually need this startup interview questions (business and personal ones). That is if you are prepared to improvise.
You can just welcome the candidate and start a conversation like you would with the girl/boy at the bar. However, this is the harder way, because you have to make it seem like it is just a relaxed conversation. Be prepared and follow the course of the conversation.
The candidate will be surprised, no doubt there.

Hope you found these startup interview questions helpful and if you have any questions for us, let us know. Also, if you have a startup team already, be sure to check out our previous blog post on how to make a team work.

Keep in mind the sentence "If you think hiring professionals is expensive, try hiring amateurs".