Radio Times

Job interviews and brainteaser questions

July 10, 2013

Guests: William Poundstone, Chris Wright

How many golf balls can fit in an airplane?  How would you weigh your head? How much would you charge to wash every window in Seattle?  Those are the kinds of interview questions Google used to ask perspective job candidates. But last month a company executive said in an interview that they were abandoning interview brainteasers because they don’t predict job performance. Still technology companies like Google and Microsoft have made logic puzzles and mathematical quandaries pare for the course in job interviews and potential hires have to be ready for anything. But is there anyway to prepare for these kinds of mind-bending and bizarre questions?  This hour, job interview questions – should anyone be subjected to this kind of mental gymnastics in an interview?  And what do they reveal about a potential employee?  Marty talks with guests WILLIAM POUNDSTONE, author of Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google?, and CHRIS WRIGHT, professor of Psychology at San Francisco State University.

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