4 min. read
Is The Tech Company You're Joining Financially Stable?
5 Questions you should be asking your new employer during interviews
We’ve seen the tech industry enter a phase of economic turmoil as companies around the world lay off workers. As recruiters, we often get asked, “Is now a good time to change jobs?”. The answer? There will never be a “good time” to change jobs because this really depends on the unique circumstance of each individual, and the market you are working in.
Even with the economic uncertainty, there are still tonnes of startups and tech companies who are continuing to hire. Joining a startup can be daunting, although very rewarding if you join the right one. Helping to build a product from scratch in the beginning could make you a millionaire someday. Before we get ahead of ourselves, there are a couple of questions you should be asking your new potential employer to make sure the company you are joining is financially secure.
Here are 5 questions you should be asking in your interview to make sure the tech company you are joining is not about to go bust – you can thank us later:
1.Ask about the runway
If you’re not up to speed with tech startup jargon, “runway” refers to how many months the business can keep operating before it runs out of money. Having the right funding for the right period of time is essential for the business’s survival – and your job’s survival. You will want to join a company that has at least 12-18 months of runway. Knowing the startup runway will help you understand the company’s overall lifecycle.
2. Ask about Product Vision
The product vision of the company refers to the customer problem the product team and business hope to solve in the future with the creation of their product. The product vision will give you insight into why the company is building the product and how it addresses the customer’s needs in a way that will bring success to the company. Why is it important to ask about product vision? The product vision defines the root cause for the company’s existence and will make your work more meaningful. If the product vision aligns with your career path and values, then this could be the company for you.
3. Ask about Profitability
Is it ok to ask about the company’s profitability? Yes – absolutely. Since the economic shift in the last year, the industry’s priority has moved from high growth to profitability. Just like investors, you too should show an interest in the profitability of the company you are joining. You should do your own research but for a lot of private companies that information will not be able. Profitability is the main metric for knowing that the company you are joining is financially stable. But many startups might be months or even years from reaching this metric. In that case, you should ask how much capital the company requires to break even – your employer should know how much capital the company needs to be sustainable.
4. Ask who is backing you and how the company is funded
There are many types of funding sources such as series funding, crowdfunding, loans, venture capital and angel investors. Knowing how the company is funded and who the company is funded by will help you understand if the company is going to be a success or not. This serves two purposes: for one, you should check out the profile of the investors and assess whether they have a track record of investing in winning companies. Two, VCs will support the company’s growth. The startup is likely to succeed if the company is backed by a VC with strong expertise and a good network.
If you have been laid off in tech and you’re wondering what to do next, check out our top 7 tips for find a new job here.
5. Who are your clients and how do you generate revenue
Depending on the stage of the company, there may or may not be a final product. A startup should be solving a problem it understands and has the skills to address it. By understanding the product, you should understand who is the consumer the company is going after, what that market looks like, and who the competitors are. If the market is already saturated, then you might want to reassess whether you’re making the right career move.
And there you have it – 5 must ask questions for your next job interview in tech. If you haven’t found the answers you’re looking for, check out our jobs and speak to one of our recruiters today.