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Tips for Interviewing With Smaller, Entrepreneurial Companies

"Ken Sundheim"

"Ken Sundheim"

Interviewing With Entrepreneurial Companies

Entrepreneurial companies are entrepreneurial in nature because they have one focus in mind: making money and doing it quickly.

Working For An Entrepreneurial Company

Entrepreneurial companies are exceedingly fun, yet taxing to work for. They have a different agenda than corporate, and they’re going to expect that you take on more aspects of the business than just one particular role.

They won’t be sending you to a formalized training and putting you in a cubicle.

As a job seeker, if you choose the right firm and learn, execute and work accordingly, you can make much more than a “nice living” at an entrepreneurial company. However, remember that entrepreneurial companies aren’t an entirely different beast: it’s still business.

In order to reap the benefits, you have to be in a work condition and mental state that is sharper than you’ve probably needed before in your career.

In the end, entrepreneurial companies are not weight down by useless intangibles including bureaucracy, lack of leadership or frequent turnover that might otherwise cause firms to lose focus on their drive for high-end market share.

At the same time, entrepreneurial companies have to work harder – and they expect you to work harder – to obtain that market share.

2 Examples of  Common Questions You May Be Asked When Interviewing with Small Business 

1) Q: In what ways can you help us grow this business?

Entrepreneurial thinkers don’t just want an employee who can sing, they want one who can sing, dance, act and make it all look easy. So, when asked this question, have the mentality that you are ready and that you have some expertise, but you will work overtime to gain more expertise and fill in the gaps necessary for the company to be successful.

While this answer may scare away corporate HR personnel seeking one thing and one thing only, this is the only answer that will not scare away the entrepreneurial hiring decision-maker.

2) Q: What would you do if a client was very unhappy, and they wouldn’t listen to you and your boss was out of reach?

This may seem like a typical situational interview question that you would get with Google, etc. But it has a different meaning for the business owner themselves, and they look for a different answer.

Because entrepreneurs have a scatterbrained way of thinking, it may be best to answer this question saying, “This is how I would do it at my old job… How do you think this methodology would work here? What are your preferences as the owner of this business?”

Remember that small business owners have a lot more stress than corporate human resource managers, and use that fact to answer more intuitively than the other job seekers seeking the same position.

How Do You Choose the Right Small Business to Work for?

Choosing the right entrepreneurial company is crucial on the job seeker’s part.  If the job seeker has multiple turnovers due to entrepreneurial companies going out of business, their value on the open job market is going to get lower with each job that doesn’t work out.

Look for an office that is busy, people who seem very engaged in their work, and the complete antithesis of cubicles full of people just punching the clock and the keyboard.

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