5 Things you should not say in a job interview with a...

5 Things you should not say in a job interview with a start-up


Probably what is going to be discussed in this article could be applied for many other types of companies or job interview. The article refers to the startup world because it is known to be more competitive than other companies due to the need to optimise capital resources and the need to grow very fast in the market with an innovative idea.

The startup concept is increasingly getting acceptance in the business world. New success stories of entrepreneur people which in a couple of years create these multi-millionaire companies are constantly on TV. It sounds crazy for common people to see these stories on the news. No wonder therefore that “start-ups” are increasingly attracting talent, but also where even the cleaning ladies end up being millionaires.

Not to screw up the job interview and to become the perfect candidate requires good skills on the field you want to work in and also a positive attitude towards the creative job you apply for. So here in the article it is going to be discussed the second part of the equation. To show a good attitude for these kind of jobs you should avoid the following questions and answers.

job interview

1. Questions about working hours and holidays.

If you are not ready to fully give a few years of your life for the company, then apply for some other type of job. Generally at the beginning start-ups offer long hours and low wages. Then if the business is successful the wage situation gets progressively better.  There will come more than a moment where you will have to stay longer in the office as extra hours. If one of your first questions at the interview go on holiday schedules and the interviewer senses that you are not comfortable staying longer it won’t help you at all.

2. What is the company doing…? What kind of job will I be doing…?

To ask for the activity of the start-up is a clear lack of interest in it. This type of information is available online. To find out information about the company on your own before the interview will help you to ask specific questions and show the interviewer some interest and maybe some creativity. Sometimes these kind of companies just need intelligent people to solve all kind of IT problems, marketing, logistics, etc. Jobs are very flexible and sometimes the company itself doesn’t know exactly what job you will be doing in 2 weeks time.

3. “I haven’t had time to …”

Coming to any context, never answer with the excuse of lack of time. Actually it would be better for you to say something that will encourage the interviewer to know more about you, like for example: “I was focused in doing (something you like) at the time”. Sometimes it is better to be honest even if revealing some small human weakness.

4. “I am ready to do anything…”

You may think that the interviewer will understand that you are a true professional with the best attitude and may just get the exact opposite. Startups look for very specific profiles that can bring them something new in their business field. “I would do anything,” sounds as to do a little of everything without highlighting anything. Start-ups look for young geniuses which haven’t had the opportunity yet to prove they are.

5. “I don’t know…”

99% of the knowledge of a start-up comes from scratch of a group of people. Not knowing how to do something at the beginning is part of the status quo of these companies. When someone interviews you what wants to see is that you are not afraid of something new and that you are happy to do something challenging for you. “I don’t know” is like saying “I cannot do it” and that leaves no room for what they want to hear in your job interview. “I’ve never done it but I’ll get to it” it is a much better answer. Attitude counts more than knowledge in many situations.