No right answers

In The Blissful Interview Candidate Gavin Terrill writes about an interview question he often asks[*], the various steps of the question, how people usually perform, etc.

One of the main points of his post is something that often I feel candidates don’t really understand: there is no Right Answer to the interview question and that is not what the interviewer is looking for, anyway. In Terrill’s words:

The point of this exercise is not for the candidate to get everything right, but to see how they operate when they don't know an answer. My observation is that the more competent you are, the more intelligent a conversation you can have, and that is really what I'm looking for here. I like to see candidates who are on a voyage of discovery, buoyed by a passion for knowledge and personal improvement.

So the next time you have a technical interview, don’t try to guess what perfect answer is expected from you. Just be yourself, think about the problem and aim to have an intelligent discussion with the your interviewer. That tends to work out better.



[*] Yes, Singletons are the root of all evil. But that is not the point here, so let go of your anger and reflect on the nature of job interviews instead.