David Tuite offers bad interview advice

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

David Tuite writes:

Expressing confusion in an interview doesn’t make you appear dumb. In reality it’s quite the opposite.

This is terrible advice. The advice is common, but it is wrong. Multiple studies show that your questions can have a subconscious effect on the person interviewing you. Even if they say “Please feel free to ask questions” if you phrase the question the wrong way, or ask a question outside the bounds of what they were expecting, it becomes a mark against you. The effect can be subconscious, but the bias will cost you a job. When you are in the presence of someone who really wants you to ask questions, that typically becomes apparent after a few minutes of talking to them, and in those cases you can feel free to ask what’s relevant — however, it is unwise to start with the assumption that the person who is interviewing you will automatically give you the benefit of the doubt — it is much wiser to start off cautiously and figure out who you are talking to, before you ask too much.

Tuite was, in part, responding to what I wrote in “Embarrassing code I wrote under stress at a job interview.”

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