The Top Interview Questions Asked by Venture Capitalists
July 11, 2017

Starting a company is already hard enough. Now imagine trying to sell your company to a bunch of investors who have heard hundreds of thousands of pitches before yours. We get it; it’s extremely nerve-wracking, but we’re here to help! As a young Venture Capital Fund in New York City, we’ve conducted our fair share of interviews and we’re going to tell you what kinds of questions to expect and why we ask them!

To Start Off:

The first part of the interview will be you pitching the basics of your company (such as what you do and why you do it). With every new accelerator program, we read through thousands of applications online. The last thing we want to hear is a monotonous word-by-word readthrough of your application. Engage us with your excitement and passion!

  1. Explain your company to us in a simple way. (Pro tip: if you are working in a technical industry, be sure to explain things in digestible terms and not drag us through the specific details. Not all of us will know what Chlorhexidine gluconate is!)
  2. Why did you start this company?
  3. What is unique about your company/what problem(s) is it solving?

This is how we get a rough idea of what what you do and try to gauge your passion. How can a company be successful if the founders themselves don’t believe in it?

Getting down to the nitty-gritty:

After a general pitch, we’ll focus on the details. This is the time to explain your product or service, the market size, and how you generate money. Not only is this crucial for us to conduct our analysis, it’s also a good way for us to see which companies did their research thoroughly.

  1. What is the product or service?
  2. What is the status of the product or service (in market, MVP, concept, etc.)? Pro tip: we like to avoid products or services still in their concept stage. Show us you’ve done something to make your dreams come true!
  3. What is the estimated market size (Total Available Market(TAM), Serviceable Available Market(SAM), Serviceable Obtainable Market(SOM))?
  4. How does the product or service generate money (now and in the future)?
Show us the numbers:

Here at Quake and at other VC funds, traction is important. Show us the numbers to prove that people love your product/service and will continue to use it. You’ve gained 10k users in 5 months? Solid work. 10k users in 5 years? We will probably pass. Once again, a VC fund will look into tens of thousands of ventures in any given year - why will we invest in a company nobody uses?

  1. How many people (in total) have used the product or service since launch?
  2. How many people used the product or service in the last 30 days?
  3. What is the Customer Acquisition Cost(CAC), CAC Payback Period and Customer Lifetime Value(CLV)?
And finally...

Once we’ve gotten the information we need about your company, we want to know how we can help you. Do you need a bigger and more experienced team? Connections with industry professionals? Help perfecting your pitch? At the end of the day, we want you to reach your full potential and do well (for you and for us)!

         What can Quake do to help you?

These are just some questions we ask during our interview process. Of course, questions often vary depending on the company we’re interviewing but if you can confidently answer all the questions here, you’re on the right track.

If you have any questions, reach out to Quake on Facebook or Twitter and we'd be happy to answer!

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