The Rule of Three, Life Hacks to make your Interviews (and just about anything else) Easier

The rule

The Rule of Three is quite simple. In terms of any topic, commit to summarizing that topic in 3 points. Not two. Not four. Three.

Applying the rule: the interview process

As a novice interviewer, I found the interview process to always be overwhelming. Even the rudimentary ritual of coughing up the ‘elevator’ speech always felt ham-handed, incomplete, and unsatisfying. Nowadays, I can recite it pretty smoothly:

“My name is Michael Landry, I am a business owner, and software engineer, with experience in the government and financial industries”

I’ll admit, it’s not the greatest elevator speech ever spoken, but I am comfortable with it, as comfortable as I am with just about most things, and it is the ease of mind that is so wonderful about the Rule of Three. By applying the Rule of Three, you know when you are ‘Done.’ By only providing two points, it feels incomplete. By providing four points, it takes on a sense of rambling, which has always been a weakness of mine. Five is simply right out. Three is the correct amount for just about any topic, and if we need to go deeper or extend on a point, you can simply take any point you already mentioned, and recursively apply the Rule of Three on a subpoint of the topic. Easy.

Use it everywhere

I use this rule to shop for hotels, research something new, collect information, and just about anything. It’s a good guide for making sure I don’t waste too much time overkilling something that just needs a little attention, while supplying enough data points to establish patterns.

Published by Michael Landry

Entrepreneur and software engineer in the Atlanta area.

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