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What to say to the founder of a company in an interview

Being interviewed by a company founder is a big deal. Use our tips to impress and ask the founder the right questions!

What to say to the founder of a company in an interview

Preparing for an interview with a company founder is a big step and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Remember, the business is the founder’s baby and they’ve poured a lot of sweat, blood and tears into creating their vision. So, they’ll want to be certain they’re bringing the right talent into their business. Interviewing with a founder shouldn’t be treated the same as being interviewed by an employee. Not to scare you but it’s kind of a big deal.

Use our interview tips to be sure to nail your interview with the company founder.

How to ace an interview with the company founder

Stand to greet them

Whether you’re in the waiting room or already in the interview room when you meet the founder, make a strong first impression by standing up to greet them and shake their hand. This shows a certain level of respect and that you’re a proactive person. If you’re interviewing for a role where you’ll be dealing with customers, this greeting will be sure to impress the founder.

Prepare questions specifically for the founder

At this stage of the interview process, you’ll want to put aside all the normal questions to ask at the end of an interview.  You need to go one step further and prepare questions specifically for the founder. Company founders are busy people and are therefore selective about the number of interviews they carry out. Therefore, preparing questions specifically for them shows you recognise it’s an opportunity to gain some unique insights.

Show you’ve done your research

Whatever you do, don’t go in blind for your interview with the founder. Although you’ll want to prepare intelligent questions to ask them, you also want to show you’ve taken the time to do your research and learn a bit about their background. Use LinkedIn and the company website to dig deep. It’s not likely that the founder will ask you, ‘What do you know about me?’. So you’ll need to find ways to naturally drop your findings into conversation.

Be prepared to revisit questions

Although you’ll probably have had one or two interviews prior to this one, it’s quite possible all the information from the previous stages hasn’t reached the founder. So revise your interview questions and answers as it’s likely the founder will repeat some of the most common interview questions like ‘Tell me about yourself’ and ‘What makes you right for this position?’.

7 questions to ask a company founder in an interview

  • What is your long-term vision for the company?
  • What inspired you to start the company?
  • What you’ve built is very impressive. But what would you say is your company’s biggest achievement?
  • What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced with building your company and how did you overcome it?
  • How do you inspire the team to work towards your vision?
  • Every business has its challenges. What challenges is your company facing and how do you plan on overcoming them?
  • I understand your vision as a company. But could you tell me more about your vision as an employer?

You’ve got this

Although interviewing with a company founder is the ultimate step, the one thing you need to remember is to be confident and be yourself. Remember your value and that you’re an asset to any company.

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