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When I was a boy of maybe 8 or 9 I remember many occasions where I would enthusiastically approach a potential friend (any kid in the playground) with what I thought was an hilarious opening line. Usually something absurdist; my childish version of a Python sketch for instance.
I made a few great friends (one is still a friend almost 25 years later), but I also had a lot of misses. Actually, mostly I had misses, nearly all the time.
What my young self didn't realise was that my enthusiatic wavelength was not a universal constant. In other words, and to mangle a metaphor, it is very hard to surf with someone if you can't catch their wave.
Of course, now that I'm practically perfect in every way1, I realise that before I can interact freely with another, I have to establish some kind of connection. I have to break the ice, so to speak, and take a long cold swim around in their personal pond2.
Here at PerlMonks, it's easy - "Hi, I'm EdwardG, and I'm addicted to perl". But regular social interaction (say for instance at a party) is a slightly harder wheel to get turning, takes a little more social lubricant, but overall it's something most folk can deal with.
And getting that damn wheel turning at an interview takes a whole lot more lubricant than most folks carry without embarrassment. Within the confines of usually just a few hours, both the Interviewer and the Interviewee want to go from strangers to confidantes. Takes some courage and more than a few personal risks on both sides.
But on balance I would say that the Interviewee has more at stake than the Interviewer (certainly personally, perhaps professionally, and perhaps monetarily). Sure the Interviewer is perhaps looking to make a large financial and professional commitment, but the personal stakes are not evenly matched.
And that's why I strongly believe that it's up to the Interviewer to make the bigger effort.
1I share this quality with Mary Poppins
2Sorry, I have a bad habit of overstretching metaphors
In reply to Re: Number 1 mistake to not avoid during an interview