Elevator Pitch: Take the Interview

This HR start-up makes it easy to screen job candidates. Can it raise $1.25 million?

Weinblatt - Image - Courtesy INC.com
Weinblatt - Image - Courtesy INC.com

FOUNDER: Danielle Weinblatt

LOCATION: Cambridge, Massachusetts

EMPLOYEES: Five full time; three part time

FOUNDED: January 2011

2011 PROJECTED REVENUE: $100,000

NUMBER OF USERS: 100 (including Cactus Restaurants, Harvard Business School, and Deloitte)


COST: $45 for one posting; $70—$300 for up to six postings a month; about $25,000 for an enterprise package

PREVIOUS FUNDING: $200,000 in angel funding

FUNDING SOUGHT: $1.25 million

The Pitch: “Screening job candidates is a huge waste of time. Recruiters often know after just a few minutes whether a candidate is worth an in-person interview, but they go on interviewing anyway. For big companies with endless recruits, this is a problem. That’s where Take the Interview comes in. It’s a video interviewing platform that lets employers ask three to five important questions to multiple candidates and receive video responses. Employers pay us a subscription fee to post job openings; applicants get one shot to answer the questions, just like in a real interview. We’re raising money to build a sales team and create a mobile application.”

The Experts Weigh In

Find a Partner
I like that Take the Interview is addressing a real problem that affects a large market. The pricing seems pretty on target, and it has a good number of businesses using the system already. It would definitely save businesses money, because it makes recruiters more productive. My main questions are, how hard is this to do, and could a site like Monster.com do it itself? Weinblatt might consider partnering with established job sites before doing it herself. That said, if Take the Interview’s clients say this is working for them, I certainly think it’s an investment Canaan would consider.
Maha Ibrahim, general partner
Canaan Partners
Menlo Park, California

Charge More
It’s an interesting idea. The question is whether the company is charging enough to pay its salespeople. Good enterprise salespeople can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. If you can’t pay that, they’ll take a job elsewhere. Take the Interview’s most expensive package is only in the tens of thousands of dollars. Ideally, it would be in the hundreds of thousands. Before Weinblatt worries about mobile applications, she needs to add more features to the enterprise package to justify a higher price. It’s too early for venture capital, but I think the company might be able to attract some angel funding.
Jeremy Liew, managing director
Lightspeed Venture Partners
Menlo Park, California

More Bells and Whistles
I like this idea, but I think Take the Interview could add other features besides video to make this a company, not just a product. It could compile a database on each candidate, with questions that don’t require video. For instance, if you’re hiring a salesperson, you could ask candidates simple questions, such as, “Did you meet your quotas in your last job?” or “Did you get promoted?” This could be an opportunity to build a database that’s both data driven and presentation driven. The more information it has on each candidate, the more valuable it becomes. For early-stage investors, this is a good idea, one we would definitely look at.
Habib Kairouz, managing partner
Rho Ventures
New York City

By Issie Lapowsky |  From the October 2011 issue of Inc. magazine

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