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What questions do you ask when interviewing at a startup?

Leaving my job at Facebook soon. Thinking about joining a startup. Just starting to interview, what questions should I be asking them?
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Andreas Klinger
Andreas Klinger@andreasklinger · Tech at Product Hunt 💃
1) Research about the startup and basically ask them about their biggest obvious problems. If they answer in shallow standard (aka "💩 i tell VCs") answers that's a red flag. If they are honest and tell you their guesses it's a good sign You won't be able to solve problems if the team doesn't address them honestly. 2) Ask the person why they work at the company (as warm up), what they would change if they could change anything and then if they are happy at this job. This usually surprises people and you can tell a lot about the company with their initial reactions to those questions
Charu Kalia
Charu Kalia@charu_tweet1
Learn about the problem that the startup is solving. As @andreasklinger mentioned, research the company well and figure out if their answers are honest or just the usual VC pitch. Very important to understand where you and your role fits into the overall company strategy. Given that most startup teams are small, it is easy to get sucked into a lot of 'other' stuff. While it may be okay to take on more work, you must ensure that you are adding value to the core business that the company is in. Again, since startup teams are small, it is important to ask questions around the company culture. Will you face 'teething' problems when you join or will the role and responsibilities be well defined? Ask them about their roadmap. What is their strategy to beat competition and grow. While one learns a lot working at a startup, do ask about remuneration and appraisals. Given that you will be joining from Facebook, you may be used to certain perks :-)
Srebalaji Thirumalai
Srebalaji Thirumalai@srebalaji · Made in India. Startup enthusiast. Coder
Few things I would ask a startup if I'm joining them:
  1. Did you validate your idea with paying customers, if so how many pilot customers do you have, if not ask the reason behind it
  2. Did you validate whether the market is big enough to make the product profitable
  3. Ask about other team members and their expertise
  4. How do they see themselves in 10 years from now?
  5. Whether they are open for getting acquihire or getting acquire and ask the reason
  6. How is the product better than their competitors?
  7. If they have paying customers, ask them what's the churn rate?
  8. Ask them about the most convertible marketing channel they have experimented with
Marco D'Emilia
Marco D'Emilia@demiliag · Senior UX Designer
@srebalaji if they reply YES to the 5th question is that bad?
Srebalaji Thirumalai
Srebalaji Thirumalai@srebalaji · Made in India. Startup enthusiast. Coder
@demiliag The motive of that question is find whether the founders are passionate about their startup. There are startups that they build products to interest investors and/or unicorns to get acquired. You should try to avoid this pitfall. I think you get the picture here :)
Oluwole Oyekanmi
Oluwole Oyekanmi@jugger_nought · ex finance, now tech
This is a time to remove whatever doubt you have about a company cos you'll have a few. Below are a few questions to ask:
  • Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?
  • Where have successful employees previously in this position progressed to?
  • What are the most immediate projects that need to be addressed?
  • Is there anything that concerns you about my background being a fit for this role?
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