400 words #007: Fast and slow

The other day I saw this tweet:

I’m always curious about what people think makes up a ‘good’ interview so I duly had a read through this list of 34 questions.

The first thoughts that struck me were; who is running interviews that are long enough to a) ask all of these questions and b) expect coherent responses to anything beyond the first few.

Interviews are stressful enough for the applicant at the best of times, being put in a situation where you have 34 heavy-duty and, to me, slightly odd questions fired at you isn’t going to be a useful or enjoyable use of anyone’s time.

Add in the fact that there is research that shows (some) interviews are almost totally useless.

Putting that to on side for a second I tried to understand what these questions are trying to identify – which seems to be, on the face of it, an ability to ‘think fast’.

Presumably this is because of an assumption that the ‘move fast and break things’ mantra is something to be embraced (fwiw I don’t think it is).

This obsession with speed, with rapid progress, with immediacy isn’t new. And it isn’t just confined to startups.

It has becoming one of the defining features of our lives.

Immediacy. Impatience.

But, along with hundreds of other things, it feels like this set of expectations has perhaps been tempered slightly by lockdown and all the changes that have come with that.

Increasingly we are having to become more comfortable with remote working, and that means we need to become comfortable with better and clearer, but also asynchronous, communication.

Which means being comfortable with a slower pace. It also forces us all to think more deeply about how and why we are communicating things, along with what we are communicating.

And that is no bad thing.

If the post-lockdown world is a slower, more considered place to be then I think we’ll all be thankful.

One Comment

  1. Ash! I’ve lost your email address. Be lovely to hear from you. This time 8 years ago we were in the heart of Hansel of Film. Happy memories.


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