Interviews

Interviews with Startup Founders

Startups #nofilter has been interviewing startup founders and CEO’s since 2016. With 50+ interviews underway, you can read some awesome, #nofilter interviews and answers from startup founders. If you’re a founder or CEO & want your startup to get interviewed, then make sure to reach out on our Facebook page!

What Makes a Good Interview with a Startup Founder?

There is no template for interviewing a startup founder or CEO, as startup leaders and creators are not your generic C-Suite. They look to disrupt industries, make the world more efficient, and live a lifestyle that opens itself to interesting information.

Startup Interview Questions & Topics to Expect from Founders

Assuming you’ve read all of our interviews with startup founders above, you have a good sense of how startup founders think. However, often times the roles are reversed, and startup founders will be interviewing others, who are interested in a job or a role at said startup. Here are a few things to expect to hear from startup founders:

  1. Market and niche. Startup founders almost always inquire about respective markets and the niche potential of various products or services.
  2. Offering a solution. Unless you’re creating a new field which requires education, it is important that your startup offers a solution to an existing problem.
  3. Scalable: Assuming you have established an MVP, it is important to show scalability – startup founder questions will often entail asking you about your means and methodology for scaling.

What Questions will a Startup Founder Ask You?

This is a broad topic, but based on research (and some anecdotal evidence), here are the 3 most common questions to expect from a startup founder:

  1. Describe one skill that you’re great at. Often times startup founders want to cut to the chase and see what serviceable skill you can offer them.
  2. What was your biggest failure. This is a great question, and the key here is to choose a failure which displays level headed thinking, and, more importantly, to display how you have learned from your failure.
  3. Where do you see yourself in 5 years. This question does indeed sound corny and generic, but is crucial for a startup that may disappear in 3 months. Startup founders want to hear that you’re all in, but that you have prepared backup plans as well.

Tips to Nail Your Next Startup Interview

Though this page is mostly interviews with startup founders about their respective startup companies, there is a lot of crossover in terms of questions that a startup founder or CEO will ask you, the applicant. As such, here are 5 tips to nail your next interview with a startup founder or CEO:

  1. Research the startup and its market as much as possible, and offer insights as to competitors strategies.
  2. Research and discuss new opportunities of growth that you envision for the startup company you have applied for.
  3. Ask tough questions about the startup company. Don’t be afraid to ask a startup founder the tough questions about their company’s survival and profit expectations.
  4. Ask your interviewer about their work history and how they ended up launching their startup.
  5. Reference a success. Though startup founders will assuredly ask you about your failures, make sure to sneak in a reference to a recent win which demonstrates intelligence and hustle.

Additional Startup Interview Resources

  • 46 Startup Interview Questions for Building an Amazing Team (link)
  • Global Founders Program from Berkeley University (link)
  • Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale University (link)
  • Startup accelerator programs in the United States (link)
  • Your Startup Life: Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship (link)
  • Startup Blog – Our very own tech Website for Startups (link)