Nail your onsite interview with these 50 startup interview questions – 2023 update

Review these 50 startup interview questions to prepare for your upcoming interviews!

Updated in 2023

Applying and interviewing with startups often feels different than going through the process with big tech companies or more established organizations. Startups are typically more casual in their appearance, but because their teams are often smaller, their work is more bootstrapped and employees are expected to wear many hats.

In order to prepare for your startup interviews, we’ve compiled this list of 50 startup interview questions so you can practice.

Startup interview questions

  1. Booking questionIf you know there are 2 improvements that need to be made, but can only make 1, how would you prioritize?
  2. Stripe question – How do you collaborate with others?
  3. Rakuten question – Who has influenced you in your career?
  4. Do you find that you get overwhelmed often at work? How do you combat that?
  5. Intercom question – What team would you assemble to get your solution implemented assuming unlimited resources?
  6. Autodesk question – How would you handle a situation in which you were getting a lot of negative feedback in the middle of a presentation?
  7. Roblox question – Tell me about a mistake you made and what you learned from it.  
  8. DoorDash questionWhat project(s) have you worked on that demonstrate your skills?  
  9. Coursera questionWhat is your most significant accomplishment at your current job?
  10. Roblox question – What is an example of a difficult conversation you have had with a stakeholder?
  11. Intercom question – What do you do when you are procrastinating?
  12. Zenefits question – How do you set people up for success?
  13. TripAdvisor question – What websites do you spend a lot of time on?
  14. Hubspot question – Give examples of situations where you have shown effectiveness, empathy, adaptability, & humbleness.
  15. Eventbrite question – What are some examples of how you think through difficult problems?  
  16. Slack question – Have you handled a difficult situation with a coworker? How?
  17. AppDirect question – What are three reasons why we should not hire you?
  18. Asana question – How do you deal with a situation when someone else thinks your solution is wrong?  

More startup interview questions

  1. Peloton question – What’s your favorite project you’ve done before?
  2. Brex questionWhat is the hardest problem you have worked on?
  3. Thumbtack question – How are you different than your friends?
  4. Magic Leap question – Explain one of the projects on your resume as if I had no idea about the background
  5. Checkr question – Describe a time when you have worked on a cross-functional team.
  6. Compass questionWalk me through a challenging decision you had to make
  7. Apartment List question – When tackling a particular software problem, do you approach it by gut or by analysis and research?  
  8. Dataminr questionWalk me through a project you worked on from beginning to end
  9. Coursera question– How would your previous manager describe you? what would he say is your weaknesses?
  10. DoorDash questionWhat 3 things do you look for the most in a company?
  11. Gusto questionHow do you manage your to-do list?
  12. Intercom questionTell me about a time when you had a big feature to deliver (estimated time > 1 month). How did you tackle the problem?  
  13. InVision question – Give examples of good and managers you have had in the past and why you came to those conclusions.
  14. Cloudflare question– Do you prefer to work on new items or build up older features/projects?
  15. Lookout question – Talk about the apps on your phone that you use the most and why you use them
  16. Algolia question – How do you handle continuous change?

Even more startup interview questions

  1. Machine Zone question – Tell us about a conflict you have had with a manager.
  2. Anaplan question – How would other employees describe your work style and ethics?
  3. OpenDoor question – Outside of work, what are your interests?
  4. Clever question – Describe a great team you have worked on.
  5. Oscar question – How do you measure success?
  6. Optimizely question – What’s an opinion you have that most others disagree with?  
  7. Roblox question – What part of your field is most interesting to you?
  8. Apartment List question – What is your favorite software or app that you use every day, and why do you like it so much?
  9. Samsara question – What do you want to focus on in the future?
  10. Thumbtack question – What is one thing you can teach me in five minutes? (Doesn’t have to be related to the job)  
  11. Tradeshift question – How do you motivate your team?
  12. Warby Parker question – What are some tech publications you read?
  13. Algolia question – In one of the projects on your resume, what would you have done differently?
  14. Peloton question – What is a feature in an app that you use that could be changed?
  15. Eventbrite question – What are 3 character flaws you have?  
  16. Sprinklr question – How did your interest in this topic start?

Keep in mind

Practicing responses to these startup interview questions can help you build confidence so you go into your sessions set up for success. However, we also have some tips for you to follow so you can nail your startup interviews.

Keep their mission in the forefront

Do research on the company to learn about their mission and values so that you can talk about how you connect to their goals. Early stage startups are small and culture fit is extremely important because most people work closely with one another. Therefore, they want to see how you’d fit in with the culture before moving you on or making an offer. Showcasing your alignment early is a great way to get them excited to move you forward.

Mix “I” and “we”

When it comes to taking credit, if you were on a team, use “I” to denote what your responsibilities were clearly. Then, use “we” to give your team credit for overall accomplishments. Alongside that, mention how grateful you are or how much you learned, which helps avoid sounding too braggy.

Stay focused

We see this a lot: interviewees think that adding more information makes their answer better. And while it’s definitely important to tell your story and answer the question that they ask, it’s better to have them ask for more info than for you to run on and on with your answer. Make us of, “happy to go into more detail, if you’d like” to curb yourself.

With these questions and knowledge at hand, you should be able to go into your behavioral interviews prepared and with confidence. Practice even more questions with our list of behavioral interview questions from top tech companies.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. With these tips and guidance, our fellows double their interview scores.

If you want to work with our mentors 1-on-1 to get help with your interviews or with any other aspect of the job search, become a Pathrise fellow.

Apply today.


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