New ways startup founders are interviewing (Part 1)

At Kandidate we get to learn a lot of different interview techniques and processes from our company clients, and we hear how candidates react to the process.  Here are a few methods that we think get the best outcomes (none of these are revolutionary, but it’s too easy to shortcut the process when deadlines are looming or you think you have found “the one” – so sticking to your hiring process is crucial).

Group interviews – the kind where you have 5 or 6 candidates for a 2 hour period. The GM starts by making the candidates tea and gives them a 20-minute presentation.  It’s such a nice way to promote the company and see how the candidates react in a group setting.  The candidates then have 3 separate 10-minute interviews with the GM, Head of Sales and VP International.  While the other candidates are waiting, they can ask a current team member (someone in the role or team they are applying for) questions.  We think that interaction is probably one of the most effective for telling if a candidate is suited to the company.  Afterwards, the hiring team comes together (including the team member who sat with the candidates) and compares notes to see if they agree on certain things.  Successful candidates are asked back for a “role play” where they are given 30 minutes to prepare with a sales deck.

Pros: Time efficient and naturally includes team members as well as senior management.
Cons: This works especially well for junior sales roles but probably wouldn’t work well for more senior roles.

Multiple interviews – with different team members on different days. This may seem like the norm, but some companies do multiple interviews on the same day. Spreading the interviews over multiple weeks is time consuming for both candidate and client but we think it tests the commitment of the candidate. As you get to see the candidate on different days you will notice patterns and changes.  For senior roles, we are seeing an increase towards group interviews with 3 or 4 senior management which can happen multiple times.  Having one session where the candidate is presenting or running a session, seems to be the most productive as its engaged and full of fast interaction where both sides get to see each other in full flow.

Pros: Thorough and if there are any red flags they are more likely get caughtCons:Time consuming, and top candidates may take other offers as the process can take weeks.  The Head of Talent or recruiter needs to take charge of the process and keeping the candidate warm as there is a high chance the candidate loses interest


Curve ball questions - a few recent ones we have heard of “What do you not like about my colleague who just interviewed you?” or “Have you ever committed a crime?” is a cracker and leaves room for some compelling answers.

Pros: You get to see how the candidate thinks on their feet.  For sales related jobs this can be crucial.
Cons: We are not a fan of the gotcha question as we think a good or bad answer can carry too much weight in your assessment of the candidate.

I’ll post Part 2 later this week….

Our clients include: 

Houzz, Global App Testing, Wercker, Stuart, Deliveroo, Patrick Mavros,, Splittable, City Pantry


Alex van Klaveren

Kandidate, 73 Grafton Rd, Flat 3, London, NW5 4BB, United Kingdom