5 questions to avoid while interviewing for a startup position

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After clinching your undergrad degree, you would often hear hordes of relatives doling out unwarranted but seemingly career illuminating advice.


It would usually be about joining a secure, salaried job with plenty of government holidays with fixed time frames. Suggestions to ally with a startup brings along long looks of despair.

This is fairly justified, considering the hardships they have had to face to make ends meet. However, what they overlook are the exponential and technological advancements in league with financial growth towards which the nation is galloping.

A recent news piece about Qualcomm investing $150 million in Indian startups, after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, portrays an optimistic future.

Firstly, we know something interesting is happening in the entrepreneurial world when the leader of one of the fastest growing economies, is pitching the Indian Startup Ecosystem to global investors!

Secondly, international firms are readily showing confidence in Indian entrepreneurs, and in turn motivate and encourage holistic mindsets.

Unlike previous decades where only the ‘business class’ would enter into new ventures, founding your own startup or expanding it is now becoming much more of a prevalent practice.

So joining a startup to further hone your skills, learn and earn, has turned out to be a doubly-sure maxim.

At Bizongo, we resorted to expand our team by holding campus placement drives to find a perfect cocktail of skills, mindsets and passions. It was our first time being on the other side of the dais but the overwhelming response of the final year students reprimed the entire process.

A set of confused questions being asked repeatedly turned out to be an amusing experience!

This was probably because of the reputation a startup, somewhat in a doddering manner, attains. We realised that it is necessary to enlist a few things that are implied once you choose to enter the domain.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions:

1 …so, what about the work hours?

No, beginners don’t work for 18 hours a day. Having said that, we do not set a time limit to push boundaries; it is our passion that drives us! Also, there are no fixed ‘work hours’ because technically you are always working; be it reading a news article, surfing through social media portals or merely listening to songs. How? You source every activity back to your work and find innovative ways to incorporate them.

2. Do my contributions mean anything?

If you are unsure that nurturing a coconut plant every day will ensure its towering growth, you are in the wrong interview room! Every drop of water to the process of nurturing is paramount.

And, be rest assured that the most miniscule of your effort goes a long way in creating a seismic impact for the company’s growth.

A line of code, a touch of photoshop, a business deal or a blog article in total builds a company.

Concept of teamwork and individuality is engrained in the work culture at an initial level.

3. What is an appraisal system?

You do not get yearly ratings so no yearly appraisal system as a consequence. If you are responsible and exceptional, you will automatically become an indispensable member of the company leading to a monetary growth.

Also, startups famously offer ESOPs to their employees, which have an additional value over the basic salary. Thus, when you help a startup grow, it takes care of your financial growth at the same time. Exciting paradox, isn’t it?

4. If I fail, will I be fired?

In a startup, you can build things from scratch and see your hard work to fruition. There are days when you fail but such people are welcomed because they took that plunge. Showing proactiveness and failing is preferred over going by the rulebook. Thinking out of the box is not just appreciated but is a necessity.

5. I have an idea. How quickly can it become a project?

Approaching the founding team to discuss your idea is an effortless task. Post approval, the only paperwork involved is penning down details of this idea. Request mails are for work delegation to various departments and use their expertise for project transformation! You instantly get to manage the technology, marketing and business aspects in order to execute it perfectly. There is no hierarchy in a startup. You work with the founding team. Furthermore, you can even ping them round the clock for the same.

If you want to make every moment of your life count and work passionately on something that you love, joining a startup is a great move. There is never a dull day in office. You start setting targets for yourself which are slightly more ambitious than the day before. So, the next time you want to hack a startup interview, avoid asking these questions! Rather focus on convincing them that your skillset combined with your passion can richly contribute to their product, expansion plans, operations and work culture.