Start-Up Interview Questions

Expect unexpected questions when you interview with a start-up.
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If you have an upcoming job interview with a start-up, prepare for the meeting with the open, creative and motivated mindset a developing business needs. Familiarize yourself with the company culture of the enterprise you want to work at and tailor your answers to potential queries to show how well you will fit into the workplace. Let your answers demonstrate that you can help take the business from start-up to success story.


A start-up needs to know that you are a Renaissance worker capable of wearing many hats. When you apply for a position as a social media specialist, your actual duties could stretch to include other marketing efforts or running errands before a key pitch. The interviewer may throw this question at you in a variety of ways. From the simple “Would you fetch coffee?” to the more serious “How comfortable are you performing work not normally assigned to a social media specialist?”


Recently launched and growing start-ups usually possess a naturally can-do and enthusiastic staff capable of supporting an entrepreneurial effort. However, you must still prepare to answer questions related to your level of self-motivation and industriousness. Until the company’s feet are firmly planted, times in the workplace may get tough. The business needs to know that your morale and ability to work effectively aren’t based entirely on crowd enthusiasm.

Why You Want to Work There

Most interviewers want to know what made you decide to apply for a specific job during the hiring process, but this question becomes even more important when you meet with a start-up. Start-ups require workers dedicated to the goals of the organization to succeed in crowded marketplaces. If you believe in the products or services the business offers, articulate why. When you interview at a start-up focused on a cause, be prepared to discuss your passion for that cause and how you can help refine, publicize or manage the message of the enterprise.

Wild Card Questions

A start-up interview may also include several wild card questions on non-business topics. Usually, your answers to these questions don’t matter. Instead, the interviewer judges how well you respond to the curve ball of an odd moment that requires you to think on your feet. If you have researched the start-up, you already know how it operates and can articulate your answers to fit the conversational, professional or bold tone the company prefers. Be yourself, and let your personality shine through.

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