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Additional YC interview tactics (jeffvyduna.com)
26 points by jvyduna on Apr 12, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 10 comments

"Do something weird/clever, give them something weird (snacks?), or wear something weird. I believe the AirBNB founders brought their ObamaO's."

I would not recommend gratuitous weirdness actually. The Airbnbs' cereal boxes were interesting because they were an organic part of an impressive story, not just a prop.

The best way to stick out is to seem like you deeply understand your domain and your users. That is (unfortunately) a surprisingly rare quality.

I'm astonished that that's rare. Do you tend to select companies to interview who aren't developing for themselves (non-young men programmers)?

It's rare simply because it's (nearly) identical with being good at starting a startup, and in this domain as in any other, being good is rare.

Probably not intentionally, but that is where the larger markets are. You can only sell so much to young men programmers.

Thanks. Post updated to emphasize memorable and relevant creativity. I don't want you guys inundated with the bizarre.

Ahh, but weirdness tends to result in creativity. "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

I have added this link to my list of blog entries about the YC Interview experience, bringing the total number of entries to 8 ( http://ycuniverse.com/interviewees.php ). If you have an interview lined up, I would read all of those upfront, study all of the known companies and founders that YC has already funded ( http://ycuniverse.com/ycombinator-companies.php ) and use all that information to your advantage.

Is it just me or does it seem like getting into and launching a company through YC seem a little like american idol? Can't say that I like the way its going.

It seems inevitable. Start a competition. Its prestige and monetary value attracts a large, rapidly growing pool of interested contestants. The organizers, with limited time and resources, have to decide between hundreds, or even thousands, of great applicants. Many applicants are so highly qualified as to be practically indistinguishable (at least on the basis of the requested materials).

College admissions work the same way. So does getting a tenure-track position with a PhD in physics. Or a PhD in philosophy, for that matter. You can probably filter out the obvious bozos with a high degree of accuracy, but it still leaves a huge number of smart, capable people to choose from. Result: crapshoot.

Hats off to YC if it can figure out a way to solve this problem — and please, share the solution with university hiring committees and admissions offices!

Lotteries are fair, simple and hard to game.

The first, and most important YC interview tactics, is to get accepted to be interviewed. So far, no success for me. Had a video, a kickass team, a neat project aaaand not a damn chance to explain it. Who cares thought, we don't need it, that would have just been a great experience.

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