“So tell me about yourself..” A standard interview opener but if the interviewer and interviewee are from different cultures the answer can derail the interview before it has barely started.
Do you sell yourself and your individual accomplishments or share your pepeha to give context and credence to yourself in terms of your family and community?
Answering in a different way to the interviewer’s expectations can lead to confusion and create an unfavourable first impression. Knowing as much as you can about the company’s culture, the job requirements and the style and expectations of the interview helps prepare you to best demonstrate your suitability for the role.
For interviewers, your job is to find evidence of how well each candidate meets the job competencies. Unconscious bias comes in many forms and can be avoided through cultural awareness and ranking candidates against job specifics rather than ‘gut reactions’ or ignorance of cultural etiquette.