Students: Speed dating advice for your five minutes of glory

Your interview starts before you start talking

Treat each startup rep like they’re the person you’ve been waiting to see all day. Shake hands firmly, maintain eye contact and smile. Both sides should try make each other feel at ease immediately.

Think about what the startup should know about you

Some questions/conversation points to fall back on:

  • “Hi  I’m Jane X.” (Basic one, but can be easy to forget in the heat of the moment).
  • “I would like to tell you a bit about myself.”
  • “I’m a 4th year electrical engineering student at Macquarie.”
  • “I’m interested in your business because…”
  • “The sorts of skills/experience I have are….

Be curious about your interviewer and their company

  • “What sort of things are you looking for in a student?”
  • “Tell me about your business plans for the next 12 months.”
  • “What did you study?”
  • “What made you get involved in startups?”
  • “What’s your advice for anyone who wants to start their own company?”

Winding up the session

  • Indicate when you would like to work, i.e. end of semester, one day per week.
  • Thank them for their time and if you are interested in the role provide further info such as a CV.
  • Offer any work samples i.e. writing examples, design portfolios, GitHub links etc.

Dressing for your ‘dates’

While you don’t need the full power suit ensemble, it’s important to look polished and professional. Us Ribit folk generally aren’t into modelling our own outfits, so we’ve headed down the Pinterest route if anyone requires some visual cues.

  • Guys – think slacks/pants and button up shirt. Tie is optional.
  • Ladies – women always have more variety (and let’s face it, more fun) when it comes to clothes. Skirts, pants, blouses, anything neat and not too revealing basically works.