Preparing yourself for an job interview is always difficult, but we have 6 rules that will help you ace it.
At UsabilityTools, we have interviewed hundreds of job candidates.
Sometimes we’re blown away, but often 30 minutes of the first Skype call are a waste of time.
Startups thrive because of hard work and they can be demanding of their employees. The rewards from working in one include feeling you’ve made an impact in your industry.
Another advantage of working in a startup is the pace of learning and self-improvement. Both are fast.
The most valuable compensation for working at a startup as opposed to a “normal job” is a dramatically higher rate-of-learning (ROL).
Startups are also good for people who enjoy socializing with co-workers. But it’s not all fun and games.
There are challenges and they are rewarding.
If you love the rush, the risk, or the impact you can make together with your team, consider joining a startup.
Your interviewer wants to know how much you can contribute in two days, two months, and two years. They want to learn how you’re going to fit in a small team and whether the current members will want to sit next to you every day.
To help you with preparations, below are 6 lessons every person should keep in mind before his or her next job interview at a SaaS startup.
1. Do your homework
Preparation is key for all job interviews.
But with a startup you’ve got to prove you know a lot about the company, its mission, and their industry. It’s not enough to know the startup makes X, Y, or Z.
Read, read, and re-read about the company. And then read about it some more.
Research who they are, what they do, who they do it for, and not just by having a cursory glance around their website.
2. Be able to answer ‘Why?’
“Why do you want to work for us?”
Prepare to answer why this startup is the best place for you to spend the next 2-5 years of your career.
If you don’t have a clear answer to this question, you might want to reconsider why you’re applying.
Most of the companies with a startup vibe want to hire missionaries, not mercenaries.
3. Use the product
No matter what role you’re interviewing for – engineering, sales, marketing – you should always use the startup’s product first.
Doing this will help you determine whether you can be passionate about the company and their product. You’ll be able to convey that passion to your interviewer.
This will help you answer when asked how would you improve the product. And they’ll definitely ask you that question.
There’s no excuse for not having tried the product.
4. How will you add value from day one?
Now that you’re familiar with the product, arm yourself with ideas how you’d like to improve it.
Building what features would excite you? How would you engage users? How could the company increase conversions? How would you improve customer service?
How will you help push the company forward?
5. Know the industry and competitors
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to make some Google research on the company and its competitors. It’s a no brainer, to be honest.
What makes you stand out as a candidate is if you know all the companies that could be a competitor to the company.
This shows you know the market.
Go through all materials on the website, read articles and reviews, and talk to anyone who used other products.
You may be nervous, but remember that interviewers are people too.
All they need are enthusiastic and intelligent people, who will help them make their company a success.
If you are passionate about the job, they’ll be able to tell.
Are you ready to step into the fire?
Startups are hard work and can push you to exhaustion – mentally and physically. Don’t find yourself surprised by that after you take a startup job.
Young companies are looking for someone who can take some direction, but you will have to figure many things out on your own. Looking for hand-holding during the interview will not go well.
At UsabilityTools, we look for growth hackers. We want to see people that can get a lot done fast, and with few resources. We are looking for people who are passionate not only about what they do but also about the company.
Before you decide to apply, make sure you fulfill all these requirements. They are universal to every job opening at UsabilityTools:
- you are coachable and put your feedback into practice,
- you are fluent in English and have great communicational skills,
- you know how to get shit done and you are not afraid to take lead,
- you can learn new things fast,
- you are passionate about new technologies.
So what’s next?
If you’re a sales, lead gen or marketing specialist and you’re reading this – you are on our wish list.
UsabilityTools is growing Sales and Marketing teams at the moment, so go to our career page and apply!