5 things you should say in a startup interview

Forget qualifications or even experience. With these tips, most will be falling over themselves to hire you…

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

1. Self-awareness

Take a personality test. The important things you need to find out from it are a) what are the best conditions you need to be in in order to produce the best results and b) what are the best ways for people to deliver feedback to you. Invaluable information that you can communicate and will give the employer the knowledge that your self-awareness is way above average. Which is a huge positive. If you’re interested in this, you might want to take a look at this article I wrote about heightening your self-awareness.

2. Intuition

They don’t want someone who they need to handhold every step of the way. They want someone who will try to work out the answer to the question before asking it. You should make it clear you are practised in the art of google and research and your instinct is not to question, it’s to see if you can find the answer yourself using the tools and resources you have available. Expecting someone else to spell everything out for you isn’t a desirable trait. Having the intuition to work out 50% of a puzzle will set you apart from the rest.

3. Positivity

They don’t want someone who is going to bring the mood down. They want someone who will see negatives as challenges and be ‘glass half full’. they don’t want someone who is going to make their life harder in certain situations. They want someone who has the ability to become a chameleon and interact on different levels.

4. Self-taught

Demonstrate you have self-taught something at some point. This is invaluable. People who are interested in finding out more about something and actually go ahead and act on that interest are gold dust. It shows how keen you are to learn and your self-development is constantly growing. It demonstrates that if you find something interesting, you will go above and beyond to learn more, propelled by your own motivation.

5. Office-ready

This doesn’t mean an excel qualification or a touch-typing course. This is about understanding office etiquette. Things they never teach you in school or uni. Things like, how interact with your colleagues as peers, not the ‘adult / child’ dynamo you’re used to in education. Things like offering everyone a cup of tea when you go to get yourself one. Things like being unafraid to switch on the lights if you notice it’s a bit dark and no one has noticed. Or sending an email round the office to tell everyone about a new lunch market that’s popped up that no one knows about yet. This is all about group interaction and being able to make your mark on the team. Having a ‘team player’ attitude and being able to slip into office culture effortlessly.

This article has actually been turned into a workshop by the author Sam and her business partner Mae. Watch or listen to them chat through the reasons for creating the article and how they’ve actioned these points in their own lives here.

This workshop is the first in a series titled ‘The Career & Self-Development Series by ERIC’. Click here to see the rest of the workshops — all are action-focused and designed to not only help you know what you want from a career but also find companies that are hiring, get in touch with them, interview with them and find people who can help you get the future you want.

Mae & Sam run ERIC together, a community that empowers Gen Z creatives through career & self-development content.

ERIC are launching a career and self-development app. Sign up to be an app tester at meet-eric.co/app.



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Samantha Hornsby

Co-founder of ERIC. Likes writing, loves listening. Immersive experience obsessive.