I’ve interviewed hundreds of job candidates. Occasionally, I’m blown away but, more often than not, I immediately regret that we’re going to spend the next 30 minutes wasting each other’s time.
Below are seven lessons every person should keep in mind before his or her next job interview at a startup.
1. Punch above your weight class
Serial entrepreneur turned VC Mark Suster wrote a solid post a few years ago about why startups should only hire people who want to punch above their weight class. This is true for the startup world, and beyond. Superstars don’t become superstars because they’re naturally gifted. Superstars are exceptionally ambitious. They are confident they can learn or do almost anything. This means that you should absolutely apply for jobs that you don’t technically qualify for on paper. Once you get the interview, prove why you’re going to kill it anyway.
2. Openly discuss your weaknesses
World-class people are acutely self aware. They can acknowledge that they’re terrible at many things. Employers want to hear from your mouth, with zero hesitation, what your biggest flaws are, and how you plan to offset those weaknesses, so that your presence is a net positive to the company.
3. Demonstrate why you’re world class
You will be hired for the one thing that you can do better than anyone in the company, despite your many flaws. Find a way to demonstrate this skill in the first interview.