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Interviewing for a Startup Technology Role? Here’s What They Might Ask You

If you’re a developer or technologist looking to work at a startup or small business, you might feel uncertain about what to expect in the interview process.

You need to have the technical skills to succeed, but there are also qualities that can determine whether you can succeed in a fast-paced, flexible, and growing environment.

We asked startup technical leaders and hiring managers what kind of questions they ask in the interview process.

In this article, we cover:

  • The ways hiring managers structure the interview process to find those qualities
  • The specific questions startups ask candidates

Qualities You Want to Convey in the Startup Interview Process

Many developers love the idea of working at a startup or small business. We cover the reasons why in this article.

If you’re one of them, then you’ll want to make sure you communicate that you have what it takes to work in this environment.

Here are the top 5 things to communicate during the interview process.

  1. You can handle pressure and stress. How have you navigated stressful work experiences in the past? Are you able to work under pressure? Some days the work at a startup can be stressful, but it’s also incredibly rewarding.
  2. You’re teachable and have a sense of humility. Demonstrate times when you made a mistake, messed up, and had to bounce back. What did you learn from the experience? At a startup, the entire team is learning and growing. Having humility and a willingness to learn will go a long way when it comes to success in that environment.
  3. You can work in a fast-paced environment. Share examples of projects with tight deadlines or times you worked on live production issues. This will help you communicate that you’re able to move fast when you need to.
  4. You aren’t afraid to fail. Do you have any examples of times that you failed? What did you learn from the experience? Failure is a natural part of working in the startup space. Startups will want to know that you’re creative and willing to try new things, even if failure is a possibility.

How Startups Determine Whether You’re a Good Fit

So how do startups determine whether you have those qualities?

During our conversations with technical hiring managers, we asked: How do you determine whether this candidate is a good fit for the startup space?

Here’s what they had to say:

Questions That Startups Ask Candidates

We asked these startup leaders and hiring managers what questions they ask during the interview process. Below we share some of the more common questions that they bring up.

To determine personality and work philosophy:

  • Where do you find your drive/what makes you “tick”?
  • What’s a project you’re proud of? (Is it building a treehouse for your kid? Running a marathon? Something work-related? A failed cupcake shop?)
  • Describe your ideal manager
  • Describe your ideal team (size, mix of collaboration vs independence, etc).
  • Describe how you would solve a problem you haven’t seen but that’s related to things you’ve done?
  • When stumped, what do you typically do? Where do you turn for help?
  • Are there any circumstances under which you feel that asking a co-worker for help is or is not appropriate?
  • What is your philosophy on software testing?

To learn about past experience

  • Tell me about a time when you had a difficult client or customer-how did you handle them, and what did you learn from that experience?
  • Tell me about a project you’ve worked on. What was your role like, what did you learn, what was your reasoning behind the key decisions you made, what feedback did you get and how did you handle any criticism?
  • Tell me about a time when a task or project you were working on fell behind and it became clear that you would not get it done on time. What steps did you take and when? How did it work out?

To discover career goals

  • Where do you want to head in your career?
  • How do you want to grow professionally?

Originally published at https://www.myhatchpad.com.



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