Interview Patterns and Anti-Patterns Combined


August 8, 2017 by Kenneth Fisher

T-SQL Tuesday It’s that time again. T-SQL Tuesday. The monthly blog party started by Adam Machanic (b/t) seven and a half years ago!! We have a host, who picks a topic (on the first Tuesday of the month) and then we all write about that topic over the next week and all post on the same day (the second Tuesday of the month). This month our host is Kendra Little (b/t) and the subject is Interviewing Patterns and Anti-Patterns.

I have to admit my first thought when I saw that was

Hmm, if I write about anti-patterns and patterns in the same post will my post cancel itself out?

And of course, since like most of my thoughts I posted it on twitter, I got a response. From Pat Phelan (t):

No, when patterns and anti-patterns meet it is kind of like matter and anti-matter. Massive change and chaos, but not simple cancellation.

Ok, so how does that turn into a blog about interviewing patterns and anti-patterns? Well here’s the thing. It’s completely unreasonable to expect an interview to go perfectly. Some people are better at interviewing than others, but no one is perfect. You will have both patterns and anti-patterns in the same interview.

I read a relationship book years ago that had a great concept. In the book, it was called the love bank. Positive interactions were a credit, negative a debt. The higher the total balance the better (obviously). Well, the same applies in an interview. Each time you answer a question clearly and confidently it’s a positive. Each time you are obviously using Google to answer a question that’s a negative. Have enough positives and you leave behind an overall positive interaction.

Unfortunately, negatives tend to be worth more than positives but that doesn’t mean if you have a few issues in an interview that it can’t be an overall positive experience.

So what do you do when you make a mistake in an interview?

4 thoughts on “Interview Patterns and Anti-Patterns Combined

  1. Jeff Mlakar says:

    I like the love bank analogy. I’ve found the more you interview the better you become…and I’m a rather introverted guy…

  2. sqlmac says:

    I don’t think Google’ing an answer should be held against anyone. It’s become an everyday part of the job. Provided you can find the correct answer from a quality source, there should be points for using tools.

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