The 1:2 interview


To get to know our applicants individual, passionate people: we interview 70 candidates that have moved on from the written application round in 30 minute slots over two days. Interviewees chat with two Spark members and get a chance to ask their own questions about Spark.

When you have your interview, we give you a one-pager with some key information about Spark so that you don't need to know everything about Spark off the top of your head. Please check your email for the location of the interviews and latest information about this step in the process!

Here's what we'll ask about in 1:2 interviews:

  • You, communities you're part of, and your role in those communities
  • What you like to work on, what you’re passionate about, and what you do for fun
  • Your connection to our mission
  • Your interest in our work

We look for Passion & Drive, Creative-Thinking, Mission Fit, and Initiative & Scrappiness.

Application tip Take note of what we're not asking about.

Spark doesn't recruit for skills, so while you can spend time telling us about those skills, we care more about what those skills mean to you and your passions. Why do you like doing what you do? What's your approach to it?

We're not explicitly asking whether you've built a business, interned somewhere impressive, or founded your own startup. While those things are typical ways to get exposure to entrepreneurship, we welcome all kinds of entrepreneurial thinking in Spark. If you’ve built, created, or worked on something you’re genuinely passionate about or proud of — feel free to talk about them! But, don’t feel as though there’s a specific type of person or discipline we’re looking for. We purposely don't recruit applicants based on specific resume accomplishments like startup entrepreneurship or consulting internships – in fact, a spectrum of different experiences with self-startership, diligence, and personal growth helps diversify our board's approach to leadership.

Remember that joining Spark Board won't help you accelerate your venture. We encourage you to mention any work relevant to the interview topics we listed above, whether that's being proud of your minimum-wage job, your tutoring side-hustle, or your academic research.

FAQ: Why is this a 1:2 interview? We take notes during all of our interviews so that we have an accurate record of what you say. Our philosophy is to base our decisions on what you say, rather than how you appear or act, so an accurate record matters a lot. It's a little awkward, though, to talk to someone whose attention isn't fully trained on you, so we have one interviewer ask questions while another interviewer takes notes.

The criteria we look for is the same as our written application criteria, but we replace Growth Mindset with Initiative & scrappiness:

  • Initiative & scrappiness
  • Does this person demonstrate proactivity when faced with a challenge?

    Does this person take initiative to solve problems around them?

    Does this person try to implement solutions with the resources available?

For Creative thinking, Passion & drive, and Mission fit, see above or in or written application blog post.

1:2 interview decisions After all 1:2 interviews are over, all interviewers work together to determine who best fits our criteria and picks 20 candidates to move onto the group interview round. You'll hear back with your results within a day or two of your first interview.