How to Impress a CEO—and Get Hired at a Startup
There are a few skills you’ll need to succeed at any startup—from a scrappy, do-whatever-it-takes mentality to the ability to adapt to constantly changing circumstances.
From there, though, every startup has its own idea of what types of people it wants and needs.
Twice, for example, is an online marketplace for secondhand clothes that’s bringing the fun of consignment shopping to the convenience of the digital age. Now three years in, employing 250 staffers, and not stopping anytime soon, it’s looking for people who can excel in the company’s well-established departments—operations, engineering, and marketing—while still helping it grow as a company and a brand. Oh, and people who are obsessed with e-commerce. (Obviously.)
Sound like a gig for you? We sat down with Noah Ready-Campbell, the SF-based company’s CEO, to learn more about what it takes to get a job at Twice. (Hint: Be passionate and on time.)
What are three things you look for in every new hire, regardless of role?
As an operational business, we have over 250 employees, with the bulk focused on warehouse operations (shipping, receiving, photography), and the rest in more typical startup roles like engineering, marketing, and design.
Still, across all these different departments, there are some core values that I look for in every team member. In particular, I love people who:
Take Pride in Their Work: In our business, the details matter—from the styling of a garment to the load time of our shopping cart—and we want people who push themselves to do their best.
Communicate Well: As we grow, coordinating between people and teams will be one of our biggest challenges. We need people who recognize this, and who “overcommunicate” in order to make sure that the overall team has the information needed to hit its potential.
Adapt to New Opportunities and Challenges: Though we’re getting bigger, we’re still a young startup (almost three years old!), and the opportunities and challenges we face are constantly changing. We want people who don’t shy away from learning new skills and who are willing to innovate and come up with improvements on their own.
What’s a standout application you still remember?
As part of our interview process, we ask candidates to complete a “take-home challenge,” or a short demo assignment based on the actual work responsibilities of the role they’re applying for. It serves two purposes: Candidates get a hands-on feel for the job, and we also get a great sense for how they would perform in the role.
Occasionally, candidates will do such a good job on their take-home challenge that they ask questions or come up with ideas that our team has never thought of before. Usually, we hire these people right away and make their first project putting their ideas into action.
What is a complete and total deal breaker for you in the hiring process—or a mistake you often see candidates make?
Be on time to the interview (but not too early)—shoot to arrive five or 10 minutes before your appointment. It’s a small thing, but it does indicate your level of professionalism and respect for others’ time. And, during the interview process, when both sides are mostly in the dark about their future working relationship, small things can mean a lot.
What positions are you hiring most aggressively for right now?
We’re hiring most aggressively for full-stack and mobile engineers. We currently have a stellar team of eight engineers (from places like Google, Oracle, MIT, and Harvard), and we’re looking to add about five more over the next year. Our web stack is Python, Flask, and MongoDB. One thing that’s a bit unusual about Twice is we don’t have product managers, so the engineering team plays a very big role in guiding our product roadmap and strategy.
We’re also hiring for people in marketing communications and analytics, as well as associates and managers within our operations team.
What advice would you give someone who wants to work at Twice?
If you’re passionate about what we’re building, then let us know directly at [email protected] Even if your background isn’t necessarily a fit for one of our current openings, we’d love to hear from you!
Apply to jobs at Twice below!
The Daily Muse is the daily publication of The Muse, your ultimate career destination that offers exciting job opportunities, expert advice, and a peek behind the scenes into fantastic companies and career paths. Learn more, contact us, and find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.More from this Author