Joining a startup could either mean being a part of a successful company’s growth (and benefiting financially and professionally) or a bad company’s legacy.
We spoke with founders, HR experts, and startup hiring managers to gather the best questions you should be asking in a job interview to determine whether a startup is worth working for.
They mentioned bringing up runway, core values, company culture, and benefits as a way to vet a company’s management, mission, and potential.
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Joining a startup could be the best career move you ever make — or the worst. That’s because if you pick a winner and get in on the ground floor of what later becomes a successful company, you stand to reap substantial benefits, both financially and professionally. But if your radar is off and you sign on with a dud, the inverse is true — and it can take years to recover from the damages.
So how do you know when a company has potential? Is it all just luck whether you land at the next Facebook or become part of the often-quoted statistic that says that around 90% of startups fail? Should you take the huge risk that’s inherent in being part of launching a new venture?
The answer can be found in the types of questions you ask the startup’s hiring team before making your decision. During the interview process, bring up the following questions to extract the information you need from the company’s founders, managers, and employees.
What does this company’s runway look like?
Understanding the concept of “runway” as it applies to startups should be one of your first orders of business when considering whether or not to join one. The blog Coding VC describes runway as “how long your company can survive if your income and expenses stay constant,” and suggests that fledgling firms should have around 18 months of runway at the seed stage.
By asking about the startup’s runway, you’re in essence finding out how financially stable it is. If you learn that the company only has six months of runway, for example, that may indicate that layoffs could occur in less than a year if fundraising doesn’t go as planned or the burn rate increases faster than projected.
Ben Mercer, who has worked in startups and also hired people for them as the co-founder of Personify XP, believes that asking about runway is the most important topic that a prospective staff member can hone in on. “You want job security, and knowing that you may only have a few months before the startup goes bust may not be a risk that you want to take,” says Mercer.
What are this company’s core values?
If you feel assured about the startup’s financial longevity, the next step is to probe into whether the organization seems like a good fit for you by asking about corporate values.
Pratibha Vuppuluri, who has more than a decade of experience in the financial services …read more
Source:: Business Insider – Tech