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interview biases as a candidate
umm actually they're priors
Going through interview loops as a candidate has reminded me that I’m still just a bundle of biases. Some of the ones in play for me:
Effort justification — the more effort we’ve put into something, the more we value it. The more challenging the interview loop - the longer it was, the more I had to prepare for it - the more I wanted to get the job.
Mere exposure effect / familiarity principle — we become more fond of something the more we’re exposed to it; we tend to like what we’re familiar with. With a longer interview process, not only is it more effort that I’ve put in, but I’ve also spent more time talking to the recruiter and various people and thinking about the company and role. I’ve started to get a bit attached and can better imagine myself there.
Recency bias — it’s easier to recall more recent events so they seem more important; we discount what happened further in the past. The last conversation feels the most fresh in my mind; the closing call works.
Anchoring bias — what we know becomes an anchoring point from which we evaluate new information. A starting number for salary negotiations anchors expectations. The first company becomes the comparison point for the others.
Default effect & status quo bias — people prefer the default option! The last time I voluntarily left a job was a surprisingly tough decision. I think managers have a decent chance at a save if they can catch flight risks early.
other little social pressures
If I’ve enjoyed working with the recruiter and it feels like they’ve been rooting for me, it feels a little worse to let them down.
Is there a friend who referred me?
I love receiving congratulatory emails from a team after receiving an offer. Do I want them because they want me? Excitement is contagious.
Acknowledging all these biases might temper their influence? and I can grade each opportunity like a candidate scorecard with weightings for attributes like supportive manager, personal interest in the product, competitive compensation, inspiring leadership, etc. but tbh, in the end, I still make the decision going off of feel — biases and all.
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