Hiring Tips

Because you may have a long list of candidates, you should batch calls as often as possible. For example, set aside 15 minute segments in a 3 hour block daily. In a first-pass, I always ask:

  1. “Walk me through your resume”, to understand if the candidate is actually interested in a startup via a clear story, or just shotgunning their resume;
  2. “If you left a year from now, what would be the main reason why?”, to indirectly gauge what the candidate is optimizing for and what they care about;
  3. “Given your experience at X, what skill could you bring to the table in an analyst role? What do you want to improve most?” to assess strengths and weaknesses; 4) “What are your life values?” to quickly figure out their personalities and how they react to an unconventional question.

You should have a gut feel after asking these questions if the candidate is a “no,” “soft yes,” or “strong yes.”

Pro tip: don’t move candidates to the next step until you’ve gone through a couple of days’ worth of interviews; you don’t want to lower your bar as a result of initial poor applicant quality.


Three things I’ve learned from closing a candidate:

  1. Get an idea of strong candidate’s dealbreakers (e.g. compensation, timing, responsibilities) early and work to mitigate these with each round of interviews.
  2. Be willing to pay up for strong candidates; the short hit in budget will be paid back many times over. Furthermore, fight internally to get that candidate vetted as quickly as possible so you can move in on an offer.
  3. Even if the candidate is a superstar, their timeline and the company’s timeline must match. If the candidate isn’t available for another month, don’t get anchored.
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