How to Ace a job interview at a Startup

Fri, Apr 9, 2021 12:51 AM
By Ibrahim

Sending your resume or CV does not win you the job, it might get you an interview but that’s just half of the problem. The next thing on your mind is acing the interview. The key to doing it, and doing it right starts from preparation. 

Interview tips

Research, Research, Research

When you are preparing for an interview, you can set yourself aside from the other candidate by your attention to detail. Days before the interview, you should conduct additional research on the industry, company missions and its history.  This should give you an idea of the startup’s culture and their goals. Once you understand the company values, think about how you can represent these values. If you’re truly passionate about what the startup is doing , make sure to express your enthusiasm during the interview.

One of the best ways to succeed is to try their product and understand what they do. Sign-up for the trial version, the free version of the product or whatever you can get your hands on, understanding the customer journey and experience is a big plus prior to interviewing. 

Be Confident and Positive.

Your level of confidence subconsciously affects how you are addressed and regarded. You should try to be confident when dealing with or addressing your interviewer without coming off as cocky. It starts with simple things like nonverbal communication, this can include the firmness of your handshake, how long you maintain eye contact, or the stiffness/smoothness of your voice.

Always remember to stay positive, and avoid whenever possible negative formulations, focus on what you want you to do, what you like or a positive experience instead of expressing what you don’t want to do, what you dislike or ruminating on a negative experience.

Be Honest

Do not oversell your achievements. Although it is important to be confident, you should not be overwhelmed or pressured into overstating some facts or claiming to have done things that you have not. If you get the job as a result of these false claims, it would be difficult to carry out the tasks you would be slated to handle or oversee.


One problem many people make is that they try to take over the interview, you must not forget that you are the one being interviewed and your job at that point is to answer the questions. So take your time to listen to the questions, try as much as possible to answer them when you are given the chance to, and avoid cutting your interviewer off mid-sentence. 

Ask Smart Questions

As much as you are the one being interviewed, it is also very important that you ask questions. This is a great opportunity to differentiate yourself, ask relevant questions based on the interview that just happened, and make sure the questions relate to yourself and the role.

Ex : I am really interested in …., because of my …., can you tell me more about ….?

Always follow-up

Writing a follow-up email is key after finishing your job interview. It will create a much stronger and lasting impression on the interviewer. When writing your follow-up email show your interest in the position, and demonstrate that you can summarize the most important points that the interviewer tried to convey during the interview. Try to write the follow-up email within 48 hours so that the interview is still in the interviewer’s mind and show a little spark of your personality. Just make sure it’s short and to the point.


If you follow the steps above, you’ll be more likely to ace the interview and be in a great position to be hired at the startup. Don’t forget that this is also an opportunity to learn more about the startup and its culture

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