Kristy WieberRfR Co Founder and President Kristy Wieber is the Co-Founder and President at Rent frock Repeat (RfR), an ecommerce collaborative consumption company that allows women all across Canada to RENT designer dresses instead of buying them

Before starting RfR, Kristy spent over 3 years as a VP in marketing and account management, 15 years in retail sales and management and worked as an Executive Recruiter for 3 years.

In March 2010, Kristy and her Co-Founder, Lisa Owen (previously Delorme), were invited to attend a wedding. Neither wanted to spend money on another dress that would be worn once then subsequently sit in their closet collecting dust. Determined to make sure no Canadian woman found herself in the same dilemma, Kristy and Lisa founded Rent frock Repeat in August of 2010.

As Co-Founder of a start-up, Kristy has to wear many hats at the same time, touching on all areas of the business, but her main areas of focus are operations, marketing, sales, human resources, and technology in addition to overall growth and leadership. Kristy has spoken at such events such as the W100 Idea Exchange, Retail Council of Canada’s MySTORE, MySTORY, Rotman’s Women’s Leadership Symposium, Girls in Tech, Emerge Conference, Rotman’s Women’s Leadership Symposium and more.

The Search for Startup Employees, Part Three: The RfR Interview

So, you got past the wolves at the gate and got an interview with a startup. When we ask someone to come in for an interview at RfR we are certainly looking to see if they are the right fit, but keep in mind that the interview isn’t just for our benefit – it’s a chance for you to see if the culture and fit are right for YOU and to have a clear understanding of the expectations, especially those at a startup.

With that in mind, what are some things you can do to make sure that a startup sees you as the right fit during the interview process?

#1. Use the product. Go to the website and go through the customer process, go to the store and touch the product, use the technology, go as far as you can until you’re at checkout and required to pay. I’m amazed at how many times I’ve asked, “Tell me what you know about RfR.” and have heard the most simplistic, vague and even WRONG responses. I don’t expect you to know everything, but if your answer is, “RfR is a dress rental company.” then you’ve missed the point.

#2. Know who you are meeting with. Always ask who you are going to be interviewing with. You might be thinking you’re interviewing with the President of the company, but may end up interviewing with someone who’s already doing your job or someone that you’ll be working closely with. Once you know who, research them online – read articles or blogs that they’ve written; check out their social media, review their resume on LinkedIN. Dedicate at least an hour to this, and you’ll be ahead of the game.

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Photo Credit: Quick Meme

#3. Demonstrate your fit through your answers. If I ask you why you want to work at RfR and you say it’s because you have a passion for fashion, I’m immediately disappointed. Mostly, because I’ve heard it a million times and it offers no real insight into your motivation, but also because I don’t consider us a fashion company – we’re a service company that’s part of the sharing economy, so I’m wondering at this point if you didn’t do your research.

Your answers are such an amazing opportunity for you to share things that can’t be contained in a cover letter or resume. Tell me a time when you solved a problem, overcame a challenge or took care of something without being asked. If your resume is short on experience or is from a different industry and you still got an interview, then I saw potential. You need to be able to articulate that potential.

On our job description, one of the qualities we list is “Loves dogs and have the ability to master some type of chocolate dessert.” I actually had a candidate come in with a chocolate dessert she made not just for me, but for the entire team. This showed me that not only did she really read the job description but she took EFFORT and was THOUGHTFUL.

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#4. Yes, you need to ask questions at the end, but more importantly, you should be interviewing US. It’s nothing new to say that you need to ask questions at the end of the interview, but beyond the standard “where is the company going in the next 5 years” now is your chance to interview us. Ask about the company culture, how we measure success (and what does success look like to RfR), what our biggest challenges are, what does a typical day in your role look like, etc.   What do you really need to understand so that you have a clear picture of what it would be like to work there?

If you’re just starting to consider working at a startup, read this blog The Search for Startup Employees: What we look for when hiring for RfR (and what you should know about working for a startup)”. If you’re working on your resume, go here The Search for Startup Employees: How to Tailor Your Resume to Stand Out at a Startup”.

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