March 2nd, 2012

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Interviewing, and Opinions

[Happy belated birthday to malvinareynolds! Almost a teenager, if I'm counting right. Hope puberty treats you well.]

Today's LinkedIn haul wasn't as inspiring as some weeks, but did have a pointer to an interesting article on The Number One Mistake People Are Making in Interviews: not sending a follow-up email. And I confess, I'm a little surprised by that: it's not a habit I've ever really been in myself, and I'm always surprised to receive one as an interviewer.

So I'm curious: do you send follow-ups? When you're interviewing, do you expect to receive one? Does it make a difference whether you are the "lead" in the hiring process? (I'm usually not -- while I conduct interviews frequently, I'm an Architect, not a Manager, so usually there is a manager who is actually in charge. This may color my experience a lot.)


Not from LinkedIn, but also along those good practice lines, is a great little article from 37signals, on Give It Five Minutes. (And a follow-on, of Ask Three Questions.)

Together, they make the salutary point that it is altogether too easy to get negative about ideas that are new to you, which can be asinine at best and genuinely harmful at worst, shutting down good ideas before they have a chance to flourish. So the two articles together suggest pausing and forcing yourself to ask a few questions (preferably positive and genuine questions) before dismissing an idea.

It's an excellent point, and one that is worth everybody's while to keep in the back of your mind. It's easy to be resistant to new ideas that contradict your existing beliefs -- or even simply because the easiest way to show off is to try and one-up those ideas. But it's more productive to keep an open mind and explore the ideas: even if they aren't completely correct, there is usually something to be learned in there...
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TRoOB -- Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl

[Here's something I don't think I've ever done in the twenty years of The Review of Obscure Books -- a TRoOB preview.]

Those of you who follow my LJ may remember my review, a year or so ago, of Phonogram -- The Singles Club. My assessment at the time was that it was the best comic of 2010, and that opinion has largely held up (with the possible exception of the equally-brilliant daytripper).

So thanks to hungrytiger for pointing me at the great news that Phonogram Volume 3 is coming in November. It will apparently be expanding on the story of Emily Aster, probably the most intriguing of the seven stories in The Singles Club. Emily's issue there hinted at a lot of backstory, and really didn't resolve much: now we're apparently going to get more depth.

It's great news, and I'm very much looking forward to it. I strongly recommend adding it to your pull list when it comes out, or at least planning to buy the inevitable collection afterwards. (I suspect I'll be getting both, but I'm impatient.)