What to Ask a Co-Founder When Interviewing Them

By  Zainab Agha

January 25, 2022 10:54 am EST

It is a big decision to take on a co-founder for your app startup. Most entrepreneurs make the mistake of partnering up with someone simply because they are their friends or family. This does not necessarily denote that they will share your vision for the startup. 

In order to find a co-founder suited to your business objectives, here is a list of questions you can ask them. 

  • What is your motivation to bring this app into the real world? Do you want to boast a technical solution, does it advance a niche you want to help? And so on.
  • How do you deal with challenges?
  • How do you cope with stress in the workplace?
  • What in your opinion would be a thing I would never be able to guess about you?
  • Will this be a side hustle for you?
  • How much time will you be committing to the startup during the week?
  • How would you describe your working style in your own words?
  • What would you deem some of your failures?
  • Is there anything about the app that you are set on, and would not change for anything?
  • How much should each of us be compensated? Are you okay to go unpaid till we churn revenue?
  • How do you propose we go by seeking funding?
  • Where would the startup be located? Will it be remote?
  • As a co-founder what kind of corporate culture would you like to see?
  • What values would you pick out when hiring our top employees?
  • What will you change in this startup that you wished could be changed in your last company?
  • What would you like to keep the same from your last company?
  • How many management roles do you think we will require?
  • What existinng apps do you admire? Why do you like them?
  • What areas of the startup do you think you will want to be more on hands with? 
  • What areas do you feel you are not an expert in?
  • How will the two of us arrive at decisions when it comes to hiring, firing, finances etc. 
  • If one of us gets fired or leaves the company, what do we take with us?
  • Do you have a seat in any competitor’s board? Do you advise or mentor a startup that may pose as a conflict of interest?
  • Will you be investing money in the startup? If so, how would that model work?
  • How will be split equity?
  • How do we give feedback to one another?
  • Do we hire a CEO? Or is it going to be one of us? If yes, how do we arrive at that decision?

And finally, the most important question…

  • Why do you think I will make a good co-founder for you? 

You want to know how you will operate as a team. Before you make your definite decision, do not hesitate to ask for references and call in the last place this person worked at. 


Zainab Agha

Zainab started her career in advertising as a copywriter; which taught her how valuable moxie was in the boardroom and translates that in her campaigns. Building brands has led her to explore digital marketing, communication concepts, and what it takes to grow an idea from scratch. In her free time (let’s assume she is a badass with balancing work and play) she travels in heels then complains, experiments with innovative creative solutions that sell, and does stand-up comedy.

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