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10 Interview Questions to Nail if You Want to Work at a Startup

Everyone wants to work at a startup, so standing out in your interview is crucial. If you nail these interview questions you're a shoe in.…

How to Prepare for a Startup Job Interview

 As Fueled has grown from its infancy into a worldwide company, we have come across more and more top talent. Our People Ops team regularly interviews candidates who can answer the standard interview questions in their sleep. While these candidates’ majors, universities, and goals reliably give a basic background information, it’s the deeper insight that makes a candidate stand out. We're not evangelical about which college you went to. It's hardly the most important part of a resume. These questions, and how they are answered open a window into who the person is, how they think, and what kind of employee they will make.

We know what we are looking for, and have found that the answers to these questions help us find it. So for young startups, here’s a couple of questions that will help you select the perfect candidate for the position. And for everyone on the other side of the interview desk, sweating through their blazer, maybe this will help you land the job that will make your dog (you better have a dog) proud.

Remember, there is such thing as too much eye contact.

What's the best app I haven't heard of?

We want the apps we make to be relevant as well as trendy, so if your favorite apps are Clash of Clans and Instagram, we have a problem. Tell me about something I haven’t heard of yet. I like when a candidate knows about apps that I don't — as long as they're not tragically boring. And, here’s the twist: Tell me what you would change about this app. “It’s a cool app” is a rather pedestrian opinion.

What do you hate about apps that you use frequently?

The best project managers are typically the whiniest members of the office. If you have no critiques about an app, then how will you help Fueled build the best apps in the market? Never settle for what other companies have deemed adequate for consumption. We want innovative employees who strive for perfection.

What start-up idea would you work on if you had the money to do so?

I don't want to see your business plan. I want to hear genuine enthusiasm about the ideas that you have. Why would other people be interested in it? What makes your idea the best? We deal in concepts. People pitch us concepts all day. Also, if your startup dream is to open a speakeasy ice cream shop or create a lightweight duffel bag, you probably shouldn't be interviewing at a tech company.

How many people live in New York City?

We like people who possess a lot of general knowledge, because you never know how it might come in handy. With a city population estimate, it’s okay to be off by a couple of million. But if you think there are 100,000 or 100,000,000 New York City residents, that might be a bad sign. If we wanted to create an app targeting a New York audience, how can we expect you to build out a business model if you don't know the size of the audience?

What's the latest news you've heard from the tech industry?

If your dream is to work in tech, then the industry's news should be important and interesting to you. You should be able to speak about startups and the tech scene in general. Where do companies find funding? Who's doing poorly? You should also have opinions and predictions about the news. We like people who possess a critical eye and an entrepreneurial spirit.

How does the internet work?

Explain it to me as if I am your 80-year-old nanna with a short attention span and a tendency to doze off. If you want to work in a technical position you should have a good enough understanding that you can simplify it enough for any audience. And for positions not directly related to tech, it's a bonus when we find people who understand technology really well.

Who's your favorite band? What books do you read? What's your favorite movie?

What are you into? We love robots, but we don't want to hire them.

What did you do over the weekend?

No judgment (unless you murdered someone or ate pizza with a fork). I don't care about what you did over the weekend. I care about how you tell me what you did. A big part of being conceptual is being a good storyteller. Being able to verbally convey information well is important. If your weekend was spent watching Netflix and drinking PBR, that is still something. Even sleeping in can be an interesting story if you make it one. Get crafty.

Who would win in a fight?

This one is just pure fun. So simple, yet so complex. Don't specify who is in said fight, Leave it up to your candidate. There is no good answer to this stupid question, I just like to see who will play the game and whose mind short circuits.

How good are you at ping-pong?

Crucial information. Don't F this one up.

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