Curse of Knowledge Plays a Major Role in the Interview Time
It happens to the majority of us; during a lecture or an everyday conversation, we may find it difficult to comprehend what is being said even though the speaker seems to think we understand and continues. The Curse of Knowledge is a deviation from the normal judgment of an individual, when communicating with others, as a result of him falsely assuming that the others have a background knowledge of the subject.
One of the classic examples of this cognitive bias is the classroom setting. An experienced professor will find it difficult to understand the problems of his students with respect to the subject. He may feel some of the basic concepts should be easily grasped by the student or that they would have a prior knowledge of them.
Curse of Knowledge: Interviews
Of all the places this Curse of Knowledge could play a role, interviews are the major ones. Why wouldn’t it be, it checks all the right boxes- Does it involve two or more people? Yes. Does it involve complicated subjects? Yes. Are the people involved having different levels of experience? Yes. Do they have different areas of expertise? Maybe.
As the world rides on the wave of technological revolution, new fields of study and expertise are there for the taking. The onus is on the interviewer to be abreast of latest developments and concepts. The chances that the person on the other side of the table is a step ahead of the interview does not bode well for the interviewer. The victim of the curse of knowledge- the interviewer has to learn as well.
Grey area in technical interviews:
Another important grey area in technical interviews is when the interviewer underestimates the scope of his knowledge. He may be an expert in the field or may have come across some information quite easily. During these times, they expect the interviewee to know it as well. They assume that since they know, the interviewee is in a position to know it as well. They sometimes fail to understand that programming is an ocean, you might be on one end but the interviewee might be at the other end. The ocean is all that matters.
Understanding this difference in this cognitive positions can go a great length in interviewers making decisive decisions based entirely on the person’s abilities.
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Author: Sanjana Murali
I write about Customer Success, Videos in Education, Optimization & Marketing. When the ‘creative’ muse turns down on me, you can find me with a book.