Asking extremely basic questions to win arguments - Name the bias or the fallacy at play

Recently I went to a product manager interview.

They asked a few questions, for which I gave the answers. But eventually, one interviewer asked extremely trivial questions i.e. the first year of graduation questions - How does the wifi router work? How does DNS work? How does internet work? These questions are so generic, trivial and basic but at the same time, nobody can remember everything. These questions do not require you to use your logic either. It is a simple memory-based question. But since I wrote the answers to these questions over 10 years ago, it is impossible for me to remember them. I understood the bias at play here, but I could not give a name to it. There might be multiple fallacies or biases at play here. Can you please help me pin point them?
asked on Sunday, Sep 29, 2019 07:15:00 AM by boniaditya

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Bo Bennett, PhD
We can say the implied argument goes as follows:

1. Qualified applicants know X.
2. You do not know X.
3. Therefore, you are not a qualified applicant.

Your claim is that premise #1 is not true. This might be the case, or it might not. This reminds me of the famous anecdote of Henry Ford who was given a hard time about his lack of schooling and general knowledge. To one lawyer he responded,

If I should really WANT to answer the foolish question you have just asked, or any of the other questions you have been asking me, let me remind you that I have a row of electric push-buttons on my desk, and by pushing the right button, I can summon to my aid men who can answer ANY question I desire to ask concerning the business to which I am devoting most of my efforts. Now, will you kindly tell me, WHY I should clutter up my mind with general knowledge, for the purpose of being able to answer questions, when I have men around me who can supply any knowledge I require?

Today, we can substitute "a row of electric push-buttons" with "Google."
answered on Sunday, Sep 29, 2019 08:06:36 AM by Bo Bennett, PhD


I don't see a fallacy, just a difference of opinion between you and the interviewer.

Note that hiring managers operate by the golden rule: whoever has the gold makes the rules. If the manager thinks these questions are important, that becomes his/her call to make.
answered on Monday, Sep 30, 2019 12:21:24 AM by Bill