The One Question We Don’t Ask Interview Candidates

We already asked her what her superpower was. We asked her what is the hardest thing she has ever accomplished. We asked her what’s something interesting she’s been passionate about lately. Not many questions are off the table during our interview process.

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We already asked her what her superpower was. We asked her what is the hardest thing she has ever accomplished. We asked her what’s something interesting she’s been passionate about lately. Not many questions are off the table during our interview process.

However, the one question we were not about to ask her was this: “Do you want to make a difference?”

We already knew the answer. Her enthusiasm and the fact she applied to work at New Story answered that for us. We didn’t need to know if she wanted to help vulnerable families. We needed to know if she had the competence, tenacity, and humility it takes to make an outsized difference with our team. If you’re intrigued by the idea of working at New Story, we want you to understand how we think about building our most critical asset: the team.

We’re looking to expand the New Story team so we can multiply our impact and move closer to a world without homelessness. This article will give you an internal perspective of how we prioritize team and culture to accomplish that big dream.

We weren’t fans of the traditional nonprofit —  so we built a new one.

If you think nonprofits are outdated, have a lower bar for excellence, and pay in the lower percentile, you’re right — the majority do. We felt the same, and that’s why we started New Story.

Many believe in order to have a meaningful job, you have to sacrifice your professional dreams. Our team has spent the past six years proving that to be false. You don’t have to trade your ambition to impact lives.

We do a lot of things differently at New Story. Our time at Y Combinator taught us the same startup principles practiced by other graduates such as Stripe, Airbnb, and Doordash. It’s this framework that enabled us to go from an idea in 2015 to funding over 3,000 homes, raising more than $65M, and named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies three times by Fast Company.

We’re proud of the progress, but we’re more proud of the culture that makes it possible. Culture is where change starts.

We’re obsessed with creating a culture that’s different from traditional nonprofits. It begins by recruiting top-tier talent then empowering them to be as effective as any other world-class business. After all, that’s what every family lacking safe shelter deserves — our very best.  

Our goal is to build the most talented team in social impact and rank in the highest percentile of places to work.

Why do we obsess over team and culture?

In our 2020 culture survey, we scored a 9.4 / 10 in response to, “how strongly would you recommend New Story as a workplace to a friend?” I’m grateful to see this response in a year of so much personal and organizational difficulty.

Our team is the top reason we’ve had a strong start and our main strategy for impacting millions of people over the long haul.

From day one at New Story, I’ve said we want to build a team of people who could work wherever they want, but they choose to work at New Story. A compelling social mission is not enough to recruit and retain these types of team members.

You have to surround top talent with other motivated team members. When this happens, you get a blend of purposeful, life-changing work and extraordinary professional growth.

We’ve learned the best first step in creating this environment is to recruit talented people who will also love and care for their team members. One of our core values is a humble pursuit of excellence. The most talented person in the world will only hurt our long-term mission if they don’t care for those they work with.

Teams made of empathy and excellence can best tackle global problems together. A culture made of humility and high work standards is the rare combination that leads to remarkable performance and a place people love to work.

Where we’ve been and where we’re headed

In 2020, we were conservative with investments because of COVID-19. We couldn’t hire nearly as many team members as we wanted to, but we still brought in a record-high revenue of $13M.

Now, we’re ready to double the organization for two key reasons:

  • We have the funds and runway to invest in our team,
  • And we are more focused than ever before.

Robert Hohman, Co-founder of Glassdoor and New Story board member, recently told us, “focus will set you free.”

We spent the first six years at New Story experimenting with new solutions to ending global homelessness. We’ve found remarkable breakthroughs, and we’ve learned invaluable lessons. We’ll always innovate, but now we can leverage our experience to focus on the absolute essentials.

For 2021, we’re honing our focus on developing the team and strategy it takes to impact 1M people with safe housing over the next ten years.

What are we the best in the world at?

We believe we can be the best in the world at creating multi-generational life change for less than $1k per person housed. We’ll accomplish this through our passion for bringing world-class business practices and technology to the nonprofit sector.

When we innovate, it will be for one purpose: to accelerate the progress towards our milestone of housing 1M people over the next decade.

ot only will 1M lives be forever changed, but the world will then have a proven model for the most effective way to house the most impoverished families.

Join us in 2021

The people at New Story are self-motivated by the inner drive to produce the best results and to be part of creating something great. If you want to make the next chapter of your career some of the most growth-oriented, ambitious years of your life — this is the place for you.  

See our current openings here!