Questions to Ask a Potential Start-up Team Member

My first start-up, Handshake Media, Incorporated, is now entering its fifth year in business and I've launched another start-up with a co-founder.  As I contemplate entrepreneurial lessons learned and my approaching service as a mentor at Startup Weekend Blacksburg, I have derived this list of questions to ask potential team members who may join me on the new start-up's management team. 

Questions to ask start-up team membersOur ability to work individually and together to execute our individual and team tasks will create the synergy needed to bring the project to a successful outcome.  A “successful outcome” is defined as _____________ (fill in the blank with your definition of success).

If we know ourselves and each other well, we increase the likelihood that our work together will achieve the success we seek.

Please answer the questions below to share with our team members.  Their answers will be shared with you as well.

A) What are your top strengths (3-5) most often praised or cited by those who work with you?

B) What are your top traits (3-5) that co-workers most often cite as challenges to working with you?

C) How do you handle conflict at work?

D) What are your top pet peeves (3-5) about working with others?

“People make me crazy when they __________.”

E) What is your ideal job description for working on this project?  Please write that description in 3-5 sentences and/or bullet points.

F) What motivates and rewards you?

G) What requirements in a job description would be dealbreakers for you?

I handed these questions to a potential management team member. He read them then said, "If these won't work, the whole thing won't work."


. . . . .

Anne Giles Clelland will be a mentor at Startup Weekend Blacksburg, September 14-16, 2012, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

Mike Drzal, partner with law firm LeClairRyan, is a GAP 50 Regional Ambassador for the GAP 50 Entrepreneur Awards, a program designed to identify and celebrate Virginia's next generation of entrepreneurs in the areas of life sciences, technology and energy.  Nominate Virginia entrepreneurs here through September 20, 2012.

Sponsored by LeClairRyan specialized in high-tech corporate law.LeClairRyan, an entrepreneurial law firm with offices from Virginia to New York to California, providing business counsel and client representation in matters of corporate law and high-stakes litigation. The Blacksburg, Virginia-based office of LeClairRyan offers venture capital, angel investor funding, and intellectual property law services for startups, entrepreneurs, and technology-based companies.  It also offers Outside General Counsel services covering the full gamut of clients' corporate, employment and business litigation needs. For more information, please contact Jim Cowan or Mike Drzal at 540-961-2600.

LeClairRyan and VT KnowledgeWorks are clients of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

Research for Handshake 2.0
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