With our first company, my business partner and I would schedule interviews at the coffee shop  at 6:30 in the morning.

Sure, I get up early. I think that’s important. But, I really wanted to see how people reacted to a 6:30am interview.

I understand that if you’re not a morning person, being ready and on for a 6:30am interview is a challenging situation. But how you react to that challenge tells me a lot about not only your character, but also how you choose to handle situations that take you out of your comfort zone.

  • I’ve had people show up late for a 6:30am interview.
  • I’ve had people flat-out turn down that interview time.
  • I’ve had people show up on time, but tell me how brutal it was getting there.

On that note, there IS a bit of a hidden challenge in this meeting time request – I am paying attention to the first thing out of your mouth. It tells me even more about you. 

  • Are you talking about how frighteningly early it is?
  • Are you blaming your tardiness on everyone else – the kids, the dog, the traffic?
  • Are you apologizing for how tired you look?


  • Are you admitting this was a challenge, but only because you love your own morning routine you’ve spent years perfecting, sharing what you find works well for you in the morning?
  • Are you talking up where you like to work out or run every morning? How it’s part of a larger event you’re training for?
  • Are you graciously explaining what you’ve learned about mornings and productivity?

I care so much because how you show up and the first thing out of your mouth when you do show up tell me about what you’re going to do when I’m not interviewing you – when you’re going to meet with our top investor and he just changed the meeting time on you or when you grab a meal with a top
client in a new, unfamiliar city.

So, think about how you show up when you’re out of our comfort zone.

What you say and how you react say it all.

Yours in startups,


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