1. What do you give a damn about?
A job is a job, but that doesn’t mean it should suck.
When I’m interviewing you, I want to know which part of your job you actually LOVE. Which part wakes you up in the morning and keeps you going throughout the night.
When you love what you do, your efforts aren’t confined by meeting a number of hours or expecting the next paycheck. When you love what you do, your efforts are defined by your drive to be better than you were yesterday.
I can’t help but fall in love with people who get ridiculously nerdy when they tell me what they’re passionate about.
I’m drawn to that. It’s magnetic.
I may not understand all the details of your A/B testing strategy or why you like data analytics more than your boyfriend. But if I can see that spark in your eye, I know you’ll own it.
2. Do people like you?
When you join the team, you join a tight-knit family.
We’re going to be spending a lot of time together. If we’re spending 40-80 hours a week together, you’d better be an additive part of my excitement to do so.
This is incredibly important. If I don’t want to spend time with you, I can’t expect my colleagues to either. Startups are fragile. A single toxic person can take an entire company down.
I’m not trying to hire my next BFF but I do ask myself are you truly a good person. Will you be considerate of other people’s ideas and opinions? Will you bring a positive energy into the office? Especially when those late nights turn to early morning sessions?
In a start-up, your colleagues are not your office mates – they’re your family.
You do everything together. You share meals and even bathrooms. You wake up and Slack them before you say good morning to your girlfriend. When you’re on an early morning call in California with the rest of the team on the other side of the world, they are literally in bed with you.
I can be cranky when I wake up. If I don’t enjoy your company, I may start missing those meetings… Don’t make me do that. I love those meetings.
3. Can I trust you?
This is the biggest thing for me.
I know that I can’t be fully certain I will trust you with everything. After all, I’m forced to make this judgement from only a couple of interviews.
You need to show me yourself.
I need to get a true sense of who you are and what you stand for. I need to be certain that you want to be a part of this family.
I promise to always have your back, but I need to know I can trust you to have mine too. Its simple, just convince me you care.
I trust people who care.
I don’t expect you to come in and know everything. I’ve learned that if you really care, you’ll define your goals and figure out how to get there.
It’s the only way that we’ll be able to build something together.