Interview Mistake #3 - Neglecting Context for the Interviewer
Ignoring your audience and their background. Advice from my interview experience at Amazon, Facebook, and Bezos Academy.
This is the third post in my "Interview Mistake" series.
Context is critical when being interviewed. Without it, you frustrate your interviewer, and waste everyone's time.
Me: “To begin the interview, I'd like to hear more about your responsibilities in your last position.”
Candidate: “I reported to Irene, and I was responsible for the SQZ system, fullating the releases in the incoming pipeline, and refreshing the lists.”
That sentence meant nothing to me, and I now have a long list of 'what the heck is that' questions I need to ask.
Me: “You mentioned you fixed a bug in how long pages took to load. What was the bug?”
Candidate: “I found a memory leak in the squib page renderer, so that was it.”
This... told me nothing. I asked this question for a reason, and you felt that answer might help me decide to hire you?
What does ‘context’ in an interview mean?
Candidates often assume that their interviewer has the same background and base knowledge that they have. They assume we understand their company acronyms, processes they work with, people's names at their company, and more. A more complex problem is that candidates often assume general industry context from people who will clearly not have context.
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