Since I interact with early stage startups usually hiring their first PM in india, here is my thinking behind that gig. Look for \1. Founder who will be a mentor \2. Your keen-ness of the industry \3. Growth of the company and your growth with it. D
Founder - as a young team you learn most from this person. You have to know who your captain is. You’ve to find things you love about their work, their craft and most importantly find things you want to learn from them.
Industry - PM seems very fancy, but it really should not be hyped like it is. You cannot say - this company will take me as a PM so I’ll join them. Don’t sabotage them and your career like that. See if the industry gets you going and you’re genuinely keen to learn.
Growth - you need to have a plan here. You’ve to know if they’ll raise or what their money angle looks like. Ofcourse hustle your way through but make sure there is a plan that this hustle will be worth for. Find out what your role could grow into.
When you work at early stage you’re bound to be sold by the hype of the founder on the internet, the over valuation of a certain sector or your earnestness of wanting a job. don’t lean into it. Talk to ppl that seem to know about the space and make a sound decision
You can have a spreadsheet, but more often than not you don’t know enough criteria to wage your bets. So take your time. Have multiple conversations before you signup for this if your intention is to join a place where you want your own hockey stick growth. If you can, don’t choose the highest pay, choose the better growth and role. It is what will help you grab the pay scale and growth scale you want to be at.