#1 Interview Question for Startups

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Interviewing is one of the most important jobs for startup founders. According to Fred Wilson, the three most important things a CEO does include sets overall vision and communicates it with stakeholders; hires, recruits, and retains the very best people; and makes sure there’s always enough cash in the bank. For our interview process we do a combination of interviewing with a half dozen people, two page essay, product exercise, reference checks, and more to make sure we hire the right people. Nothing is more important than getting the right people on the bus.

Here’s the number one interview question we like to ask:

Tell us what we do and why you want to join our team?

This seems like such a simple question but it really reveals how serious and excited they are about the position and company. The key is getting them to talk about your company because it shows how much research they’ve done, how much they’ve visualized working for you, and what type of team member they’ll be. My recommendation is to incorporate this question into your interview process and never settle hiring anyone but a great fit for your team.

5 thoughts on “#1 Interview Question for Startups

  1. definitely a great interview question. My favorite, worded one way or another is:

    “of all your career accomplishments, which is the most significant, and can you tell me all about it?”

    I’ll then proceed to dig in deep and understand all the elements of that particular accomplishment.

    Answers to this and the many follow ups it provides enable me to understand the candidate’s competence level, focus & priorities, motivation, team skills, self awareness, communication skills, etc, etc.

    This questions + yours + “if you were to get this job, how would you go about solving X?”

    would definitely make up my top three…

  2. Excellent question. I’ll be using it. I also ask, “What would your 3 most recent bosses say about you, and may I have their phone numbers?”

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