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Ask HN: Are you supposed to appear dumb during interviews?
3 points by emthrowaway 28 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 13 comments
Hello HN,

It might appear as a strange question, but after failing so many interviews with Goog, FB, Aws and few more similar companies - It's what I'm about to conclude. Now, I've a pool of interview questions. So, when I ask them those questions, they really don't have credible answers. So, not sure, how they are judging me.

I'm starting to believe - if as an interviewee, you come across as smarter, the interviewer might feel threatened and may fear that - if they select you - then you might progress faster than them. So, it's better for them to reject you.

If you're asking questions and not getting useful answers, you need to ask different questions (or maybe different people). Same thing happens on the other side of the interview, it's not useful to ask questions that nobody answers well, because it doesn't provide information that helps you decide about the candidate.

If you're interviewing at pooled hiring places like at least FB and Google, asking questions about a particular manager's style is not going to be useful anyway; chances are, if hired, you won't work with anyone you interviewed. If that's an issue for you (and it's fine if it is), then you should clarify that before interviewing.

Google has Team Matching interviews before starting the Candidate selection interviews. If you end-up clearing all the interviews rounds, then you can either select one of the teams from Team Match rounds or continue finding a team. If it's former then you know your manager.

I don’t think it’s a case of needing to act dumb to get a job. It’s probably a case of asking difficult questions that make the interviewer dislike you.

I definitely think you should ask questions, just carefully select which questions. I usually try to ask about company culture, the team and the expectations of the role itself.

Thanks. I'll keep that in mind.

I was asking them those questions to validate my answers and learn better ways to tackle those questions in the future.

First, you chose bad companies, as I can see from your list. Second, same here. I'm feeling myself a dumb, stupid numskull. If all those companies raise money with their crappy products, what's wrong with me?

What makes all of these companies “bad”?

Are your questions intentionally or not trying to make you look smart and them foolish with a half answer? That would not work in your favor.

You fed the questions back to the interviewers?

from the past interviews

What are these questions you are asking them?

Some standard questions -

1. Conflict resolution 2. Hiring/Firing 3. Strategy 4. 1:1s 5. Career management of DRs

i. For Hiring/Firing - One interviewer said - she don't like to fire people :-) ii. For conflict resolution - another interviewer has a made up story

I'll say that


changed my approach to job interviews from being something I dread to something I think is fun.


I was watching this[0] yday. It's hard to answer every question that way - STAR approach.

[0] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fwsc5Hm6AIA

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