According to a Tech:NYC study published in Bloomberg, New York-based tech jobs increased 30% over the past 10 years; twice the city’s economic growth in the same time period. Politicians are funding major Tech Accelerators and Institutions to further drive the tech boom, one of biggest initiatives being Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute. More commonly known as Cornell-Tech, the campus opened in September 2017 on Roosevelt Island with the help of a $100 million grant from the city. With the industry growing rapidly, the question is, how do you choose the right talent for your company. Below are the top five questions Inc. lists as the “must ask”.
Top 5 Interview Questions Startups should ask:
1. Tell me about a time there was no clear answer to a project. What did you do? How did you move forward?Startups succeed when comprised of an enterprising team, a team that thrives on the challenge of brainstorming, analyzing, testing, refining. Look for resourceful, action-oriented talent. Candidates that are comfortable with building as they go.
2. Tell me about a time when you worked in a fast-changing environment. What did you do when priorities shifted? Since the nature of a startup is to disrupt an industry, there will not always be a clear plan for how; it will take some trial and error. Entrepreneurs that are agile and react quickly are great hires.
3. Tell me about a time you were given constructive feedback. How did you respond? Feedback is pivotal for any job – there’s a reason professional athletes spend hours watching Game Day tapes; it’s important for personal growth to learn from any mistakes or to recreate any good plays. Employees that do well with honest, transparent feedback as part of the constant learning process are the best employees.
4. Tell me about the last time your day ended before you were able to get everything done. This is a clever way of asking if the prospective hire will be okay working long hours. Of course, determine what your company culture is before asking this question – is it an occasional late night or two, or is your company a 24/7 type culture? You’ll also learn insights into the candidate’s soft skills; how do they communicate if their workload is too much or if the deadline will not be met.
5. Tell me about a time you had to raise an uncomfortable issue with another employee. Then tell me about a time you praised a coworker. What did you do? Culture is extremely important. Particularly when hiring for a team that works closely together, and on challenging projects, which is pretty much how every startup operates. “In a challenging environment like a startup, people tend to be closer-knit and form tighter bonds. The best startup teams support each other, embrace a common purpose, feel that they are in it together… and in the process, transform what was a collection of individuals into a real team.”
Once the talent is hired, the next step is retention. The office environment is frequently cited as a big factor in retention. According to Business.com, 74% of coworkers are more productive in a coworking space. In our coworking space, we definitely see that productivity is the norm. Most of our members are so productive that they achieve work/life balance, leaving the office by 6pm, and throughout the day they make the startup life look effortless and fun.
Workville’s office design and personal, hospitality approach to helping members leads to productivity. This is a primary reason Workville has a high membership retention rate, 95% of our member companies stay with us, with the 5% moving out largely because of location change to a new city or because they are moving into an accelerator program. The member companies themselves have high retention rates too. Member companies often feature Workville in promotional videos for employee prospecting, as a showcase of the happy, productive, inspiring culture.
The Workville team loves supporting our scaling member companies. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our member retention rate and the best practices our members use to successfully hire and retain leading talent.