Tuesday, September 19, 2017

My standard spiel.

The interview process is inherently stressful. Getting a job is a life-changing event, so the stakes are high. I think it is counterproductive for both parties if the interviewer creates any additional stress. It can interfere with your memory and reasoning skills, which makes it harder to answer questions.

So I'm telling you in advance what to expect from me.

  1. I am going to interrupt you. I interrupt everyone. It doesn't mean that things are going poorly. It's just that our time is finite. So don't let it bother you when I interrupt.
  2. Make sure that you understand my questions. If something isn't totally clear, ask me to repeat the question or rephrase it. Different companies can use different names for the same things. It could be that I'm using an unfamiliar term for something that you know by a different name.
  3. You don't have to answer right away. It's okay to pause before answering. And it's okay to pause in the middle of an answer. It's okay to pause in the middle of a sentence. That's fine with me.
  4. If a better answer pops into your head later on, go ahead and tell me. We can rewind. We're humans. That's fine.
  5. Sometimes your best answer could actually be "I don't know." That's okay. I might be asking you a question that I don't expect you to be able to answer. I may just be trying to probe the perimeter of your knowledge. So don't worry if you don't know the answer to a question.
  6. I don't have a secret question which you must answer correctly. Some interviewers have a pet question that everyone has to get right. If you bomb on a question, don't worry. It's not a landmine.
  7. Every interview website suggests that you ask your interviewer questions to show interest. You don't have to do that. I don't care if you have questions. That being said, do you have any questions? This is not a trick.

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