The answer to that and other tricky posers used by Google in interviews can be found in William Poundstone’s Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google?: Trick Questions, Zen-like Riddles, Insanely Difficult Puzzles, and Other Devious Interviewing Techniques You Need to Know to Get a Job Anywhere in the New Economy. Since its first recruiting campaign in 2004, Google has been notorious for conducting some of the toughest job interviews. They include brainteasers and other open-ended mental challenges, along with the standard behavioral questions to identify the candidates most capable of creative problem solving. In adopting this approach, Google is looking to better predict employee performance, seeing where candidates run out of ideas. The questions are designed to measure mental flexibility, entrepreneurial potential, and the ability to innovate.
Google is a cutting-edge company where Human Resources is called People Operations (People Ops) and every job candidate is the subject of a 50-page package. In addition to the usual academic, professional and social history, this report also critiques the potential employee’s overall “Googliness.” The perks associated with working at the Google campus are legendary and include free food, coin-free laundry facilities, and an annual ski trip.
Other employers have taken notice, and today, along with passing social network checks and displaying above-average intelligence, candidates must sit through more interviews than ever before and pass questions that try to screen for a particular personality. Poundstone offers strategies for making the best of these nerve-racking situations, identifies interviewers’ hidden agendas, and offers tips for saving a failing interview. This informative title will appeal to job seekers looking for inside information and interview strategy. Those safely employed will enjoy the compelling writing and puzzles and be glad they don’t have to face such an ordeal.
Try your hand at the Google interview at http://www.csmonitor.com/Books/2012/0208/Would-Google-hire-you-10-test-questions-to-find-out/A-plane-flight. And just so you don’t have to swim in syrup, the surprising answer to the question above is that there is no difference in speed!