But working in a startup is not for everyone. In order to be successful in a startup one must be ready to accept the challenges of working in a changing environment with constant ups and downs.
After 5 years working at a startup and interviewing over 250 candidates, I’ve found three key traits that ensure success for the startup employee.
The first key to being a great candidate in a startup job interview is by demonstrating the capacity to work autonomously. Autonomy is the capacity to implement a concrete solution to a problem on one’s own. A startup requires people who can provide solutions and don’t need instructions.
The best way to demonstrate this capacity to the interviewer is to highlight an issue you see within the company and then lay out your solution for that problem. Even if your answer isn’t necessarily the way the company wants to go with solving the particular issue, the interviewer will note your willingness to tackle a problem head on. Every startup is looking for candidates that will take responsibility for important tasks, and you have the chance to be that candidate.
2) Willingness to learn
One of the most appreciated traits for getting a job within a startup is the ability to constantly learn new skills. The best way to transmit this capacity to an interviewer is to briefly discuss the speed and ease you with which you were able to acquire new skills in the past. Also, highlight any training, workshops, or conferences you’ve attended. This will show your commitment to continued growth as an individual and professional.
When applying to a job at a startup, those who lack experience but have a strong predisposition to quickly acquiring new skills will often have the advantage.
The third trait of a great startup job candidate is flexibility. Startup employees need to be flexible with location --able to work from home, from an office, and possibly abroad if necessary.
You must also be flexible in your expectations. You may come into a position with certain salary expectations and benefits or expectations about the role. You may have to adjust those expectations to fit within the budget of the particular startup you are joining, or the needs of the startup as they change.
Personally, I can assure you, working in a startup offers exciting challenges and gives you many opportunities to improve your skills. If you demonstrate your autonomy, willingness to learn, and flexibility to hiring managers, you’ll be sure to land a job at a startup!
Search Startup Jobs.Virginia González and Engineer Cristian Angel - Co-developer of oMelhorTrato.com, an Online Entrepreneurship site focused on Brazil.