Interviewing CTO for a technology startup

photo by People Creations

The underperformance of a CTO brings about technical and budget problems to a technology startup. The CTO is a crucial figure, and he should possess competent technical and soft skills for the startup to grow. Both written and spoken communication skills are critical factors inĀ 

 evaluating the CTO to hire.

 Duties of a CTO

It will be wise to have proper knowledge of the task the CTO will perform once hired. Hire a CTO who is flexible to change functions as the startup grows.


The CTO is responsible for recruiting developers to execute development tasks.

Delegate duties

The CTO delegates duties to junior staff for a streamlined workflow.

Solve critical issues

In case of serious technical problems, the CTO assumes the responsibility.

Enact laws and regulations

The CTO is in charge of setting legal requirements for the product to meet the required standard.

 Procedure for interviewing CTO candidate

 When hiring a CTO candidate, consider the one who can work from both work and remote work. Since the hiring process and determining the right CTO is hard, it is good to consider a well-established tech company to undertake the CTO role. 

If the founding team is lucky to possess validating skills, this paper gives the best tips for interviewing CTOs.

Test the ability to write code

 Before the interview, send the candidates a complex problem that needs a series of procedures and let them do it. For a better overview of a candidate’s coding skills, you can use assessment tools such as KillerCoder.

Use whiteboard test

Test the candidate’s ability to work with minimal assistance by using a whiteboard test. Give the candidate a simple task to do on the panel without internet assistance or second party intervention.

Consider technical questions

Though technical questions are good in evaluating a candidate’s competence, consider open and accessible questions. The questions prove the candidate’s ability to recall what they learned in the class or previous experience.

 Potential candidates for the CTO position

#1 Co-founder

 Considering a CTO from within and who will work from the workstation has both pros and cons. Work station CTO can be found from the nearby local area make regular visits to conferences to identify one from the attendants. If the workmates are mature enough, you can consider referral candidates as well. 



In~person appearance in the office improves communication, decision making, and understanding with team members. 

In-house CTOs are more productive than remote since they hardly multitask. Investor~startup communication and feedback is enhanced because the co-founder CTO partially owns the business hence eliminating negative attitude.


Finding a CTO from the local area is challenging, more so if you live outside California. Their rigidity retards market share and low-quality products. Delayed decision-making due to a large number of participants hinders startup growth. It is expensive to maintain a co-founder CTO because they attract big salaries, which is not affordable.

 #2 Remote contractor

 Working from home does not necessarily mean that you have to be a student or part~time employee. Freelancers are a good source of CTO for a startup that wants to save on operational costs. Though getting a CTO from these networks is easy, most are not job seekers, and negotiation can take longer.


Remote contractors are cheaper to hire as compared to co~founders. Online work platforms are ideal for getting freelancers because you can get testimonials from previous projects. It is simple to cancel a contract if you are not satisfied with the services.


Though remote contractors can successfully execute the projects, they are less interested in the success of the startups. Long~term plans are not in the minds of small contractors, and they are after finishing the project at hand. Since geographical differences do not limit freelancers, 

 communication barriers may arise. If you lack technical knowledge invalidating remote contractors, a specialized recruiting agency can remove the hassle of finding the perfect developer.

#3 Software development agency

 If you prefer a software development agency as your CTO, delegate all other tech~related tasks to them. 


 Development agencies adopt new technology and tools to maintain the competitors. As a result, they produce quality products within the speculated time. As opposed to remote hiring, a development agency comes with developers’ whole team, hence quality decision-making.


Hiring a development team is more costly because you will end up incurring the cost for each employee. Due to geographical location differences, time zones can be a challenge, thus poor communication.


CTO is usually at the core of any business, and failing to hire one can delay market performance. When hiring, consider a CTO willing to adopt new technology and culture and contribute to the startup’s success.