Interview Question Tinder’s Head of HR Says You Should Always Be Prepared to Answer

At its most recent valuation, Tinder was worth $3 billion. Since the dating app launched in 2012, the app has amassed millions of users. If you’re sick of hearing about swiping right, you have Tinder to blame.

As one of the most in-demand dating apps, getting an offer to join Tinder’s 300-person team is no small feat. Lina Alcala, who is the company’s vice president of HR, recently spoke with CNBC’s Make It to offer insight about the company’s process. Her advice applies not only to acing an interview at Tinder, but for any interview.

Dig into the competitive landscape

Like most HR folks, Alcala recommends you do quite a bit of research about the company before you head to your interview.

She drills candidates to make sure they’ve done that heavy lifting. Her favorite questions to throw at candidates? “What are some of the challenges we’re facing?” and “What’s the competitive landscape?”

How candidates respond reveals all. Have they actually done that research? If so, they should be prepared to come with solutions to those problems. Alcala’s not asking every candidates to waltz in the door with all of Tinder’s problems solved. But they should walk in with an idea of the challenges they might face on the job — and ideas about how to address them.

Show your value

Coming in under-informed reflects poorly on your ability to the do the job. Ideally you have been able to connect with other individuals who work at the company to get their take. You’ve read every article written about the company ever. You’ve read all their blog posts and you’ve used their product. (Or if you’re interviewing at Tinder and not on the dating platform, you’ve spoken your friends who use the app.)

Yes, it’s a lot of work. Just for an interview. You might not get the job. But what you will do is blow every other candidate out of the water by coming in far more prepared than they have.

Tinder has been around for five and a half years. It’s not the same company it was at launch. It’s not the same company it was two years ago or even six months ago. Startups are fast-changing environments, so you should be well-versed on what they’ve accomplished to date and what’s on the horizon ahead. “So when you’re face-to-face with a real business problem or solution, you have the context needed to suggest possible solutions,” Alcala goes onto explain.

Walk in with solutions

Bring solutions, not problems. It’s the same strategy Mark Cuban has recommended to become golden in the eyes of your boss. This shows you’re prepared to move the needle for your future employer. You’ve taken the initiative to dive deep and understand their pain points. By doing so, it also shows that you really want the job.

With adequate research, even the questions you ask your interviewer (you are asking lots of questions, right?) will be more insightful. Instead of the generic “What does your day-to-day look like?” you can ask “How are you tackling X problem in your day-to-day work?”

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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