Tech startup corporate finance interview prep

Hello monkeys, 

I'm currently interviewing to make a lateral industry move, from an mature private company into the start-up/tech space. While the nature of my work will still be corporate finance I'd like to get a feel for what I need to prepare for that is expected in tech startups versus a late stage company. 

Any advice would be much appreciated. 

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Comments (2)

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  • Associate 1 in CorpDev
Nov 17, 2021 - 2:24pm

You need to understand startups. Your technical know-how is assumed and will be tested for most likely but you'll be asked fit and strategic questions that are as important as technical skills. Here are some key questions to explore and understand especially relative to your experience at a big company. You need to demonstrate that you get the company, startups in general, and its competitive environment. 

How does the startup grow and scale effectively? How do you contribute to this plan?

Do you understand the nature of startups and decision making? Execution and flexibility in changing course is often more important than planning. Planning is vital but execution and learning from doing is more important than planning. This dynamic changes a bit when a company is bigger. 

What is your vision for the space the company is in? What are the risks and opportunities in growth and capturing market share?

Do you understand what metrics are most important? This can be broken down to investors and internally.

Are you willing and capable of wearing multiple hats? Said in another way, are you able to pick up new responsibilities, work cross functionally, and manage projects by influence and not necessarily control?

If this seems like a lot, it is if you are not familiar with how startups work. But do some research and you'll get better context on startup culture. 

Nov 17, 2021 - 5:12pm

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