Welcome!

Release Management Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, David H Deans, Liz McMillan, Jnan Dash

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Industrial IoT, Mobile IoT, Cognitive Computing , Release Management , Apache

Agile Computing: Blog Post

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace Being Wrong

The last in a series on the pitfalls of interviewing

There are times in life when you have to put your hands up to being in the minority, especially when you're in the business of putting your opinions out there in the market for all to see. As a lifelong holder of minority opinions, this is not new to me.

So effusive was the disagreement with my first blog in this series, that arrived from all corners of our growing community here, that I feel compelled to present the opposite view. I will wipe the spit and fumes from my face and in all probability convince myself that I was actually wrong in the first place. The source of our disagreement all comes down to this question:

How long should you take making decisions about people?

Last time round, I advocated taking an approach to interviewing that actively sought to avoid a hasty judgment. Bide your time I said. Make sure your first impression doesn't reinforce itself in an unhelpful way, asking easy questions of the person you like, or tough questions of the person you're not so sure about, I said. Give them the whole time you've allotted to present an overall impression, I said.

Balls. You said.

Almost all the feedback I received, including one rather irate phone call, told me I was talking out of my hat. (And they didn't say hat either.)

Prevailing wisdom it seems tends massively toward the opposite view, which in the spirit of seasonal democracy, I present to you now. Had this been one of my original blogs on interviewing mistakes I should probably have called it: ‘Trust your primary response, you will make the same decision eventually anyway.'

Some of my many dissenters on the subject refer to rapid cognition, often in reference to Malcolm Gladwell's hugely successful book ‘Blink', which explores what happens in our brains in the first two seconds that we encounter a given situation - a job interview being a perfectly good example.

Most of the feedback was less scientific, it just argued the case for calling it early and not wasting time over analyzing something if you know you're going to do it anyway. The point that stuck in my mind was the Managing Director of a well known oil field services company who told me that while you can change decisions, or walk back mistakes, you can never have back the time it took you to make the decision in the first place. His point was simply that mistakes are so common place in all areas of life, human interaction being based almost exclusively on the actual experience that comes after the fact, that you are as well to make a very quick decision and then be prepared to be equally quick to reverse or adapt it if it turns out to be the wrong one.

To use the example he used, you can navel-gaze over what vacation destination is right for you, you can research it all day long, but you simply aren't going to know if it's right for you until you get there. Rather than endlessly debating whether or not you're making the right decision, you'd be better served ensuring you're in a position to act quickly if you find you've made the wrong decision and correct it. Over time, he argued, you'll find that you enjoyed 95% of your vacations and not 5%, and that the time you spent second guessing your original thought ‘I feel like skiing, let's go to Colorado', was entirely wasted. If Colorado turns out to be too ‘this' or too ‘that', it was always going to be anyway. Have an escape plan to the place you've always liked in Napa Valley, and don't ever go back.

A surprising number of people wanted to talk about intuition. This honestly alarms me; sufficed to say that I believe that what people describe as their ability to intrinsically know things with no basis is simply a combination of subconscious sound judgment based on experience, combined with mathematical probabilities and our wonderful human ability to ignore all the facts that don't suit our narrative. I always trust my intuition. I've always been able to know what's right for me. Really? You've been divorced twice, so you might want to put your skills to better use.

Overall, I might even be convinced. There is so much to be said for being decisive, but accepting fallibility. We have a huge amount of experience that we can call upon, whether we realize it or not. Our brains do this for us at speeds we cannot comprehend.
I have heard it suggested that the phenomenon of our lives flashing before our lives as we drown is nothing more than our brains scanning for anything useful it can find from previous experience that might help it escape the danger it is in.

Ultimately, the world is faster than the mind and we will see ourselves pushed and pulled by the decisions we make no matter how smart we are and how convinced we are that we are right. Perhaps it's time to realize that we may need to jump quickly, and then be ready to jump again.

So in the spirit of quick resolutions, here's the final Top 5 mistakes made in the interview process from all sides - you can believe me or not, argue or not (I hope you do) and offer, as always - any other ideas:

>

1. The first impression trap

2. Getting the talking / listening balance wrong

3. Not trusting your first response

4. Allowing decisions to slide

5. Accepting uninformed outside advice

Next week, a new topic, new arguments to start and yet more opportunities for you to tell me how wrong I am.

 

Helpful information:
Help me find a job
About mechanical engineering
About civil engineering
manufacturing job descriptions

More Stories By Richard Spragg

Richard Spragg is currently the Senior VP of Marketing for Talascend. Talascend is a provider of human resources in the engineering, construction, technology and manufacturing industries. Today, Talascend brings its clients the opportunity to fully staff projects from a single source, creating an opening for substantial cost savings and increased efficiency. Richard has 14 years of experience in marketing, engineering and construction, HR & staffing in both the UK and USA. Richard's specialties include marketing, recruitment operations, public realtions and business development. He writes on various subjects including global engineering jobs, staffing and marketing in the technical sector.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to great conferences, helping you discover new conferences and increase your return on investment.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER gives detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPOalso offers sp...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Global Network has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The IoT Global Network is a platform where you can connect with industry experts and network across the IoT community to build the successful IoT business of the future.