How Would You Move Mount Fuji?: Microsoft's Cult of the Puzzle - How the World's Smartest Companies Select the Most Creative Thinkersby William Poundstone
For years, Microsoft and other high-tech companies have been posing riddles and logic puzzles like these in their notoriously grueling job interviews. Now "puzzle interviews" have become a hot new trend in hiring. From Wall Street to Silicon Valley, employers are using tough and tricky questions to gauge job candidates' intelligence, imagination, and… See more details below
For years, Microsoft and other high-tech companies have been posing riddles and logic puzzles like these in their notoriously grueling job interviews. Now "puzzle interviews" have become a hot new trend in hiring. From Wall Street to Silicon Valley, employers are using tough and tricky questions to gauge job candidates' intelligence, imagination, and problem-solving ability -- qualities needed to survive in today's hypercompetitive global marketplace. For the first time, William Poundstone reveals the toughest questions used at Microsoft and other Fortune 500 companies -- and supplies the answers. He traces the rise and controversial fall of employer-mandated IQ tests, the peculiar obsessions of Bill Gates (who plays jigsaw puzzles as a competitive sport), the sadistic mind games of Wall Street (which reportedly led one job seeker to smash a forty-third-story window), and the bizarre excesses of today's hiring managers (who may start off your interview with a box of Legos or a game of virtual Russian roulette). How Would You Move Mount Fuji? is an indispensable book for anyone in business. Managers seeking the most talented employees will learn to incorporate puzzle interviews in their search for the top candidates. Job seekers will discover how to tackle even the most brain-busting questions, and gain the advantage that could win the job of a lifetime. And anyone who has ever dreamed of going up against the best minds in business may discover that these puzzles are simply a lot of fun. Why are beer cans tapered on the end, anyway?
- Little, Brown and Company
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Hachette Digital, Inc.
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 879 KB
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An excellent work; interesting; thought-provoking; tractable; and genuinely helpful: Poundstone goes far, far beyond the conventional job interview prep-books that advise readers to use action words or to prepare stock answers for hackneyed questions. And Poundstone goes beyond the usually puzzle books, too. Poundstone is focused on the value of demonstrable clear thinking for businesses, job seekers, and candidate interviewers. Poundstone starts with a brief history of the evolution of intelligence tests, thought-provoking interview questions and puzzles, and their values and weaknesses. There is a long list of sample questions and puzzles--more examples than one would see in a lifetime of interviewing--and a separate chapter with answers and (more importantly) explanations of the logic need to get to the answer, if there is one. Of course, interviewers are searching for the same strengths in problem solving that they hope candidates can and will apply to their new jobs, if hired. After answering many of the sample questions, certain patterns form. Poundstone then talks about these ¿meta-puzzles,¿ that is the fundamental and generic roots of many puzzles and questions, so the reader can prepare for twists and restatements of puzzles. Finally there are excellent resource and bibliography sections. This book is not bedtime reading; it is vigorous mental exercise: Prepare paper and pen to scratch and to scribble all possible outcomes to a few questions, and thus find remarkable solutions. Put yourself in the situation, to see as an uninterested overhead observer cannot. Imagine all possible outcomes--including the right one--to avoid obvious (and incorrect) answers. Alternate between the real-world and mathematical-analogies. Persevere. (Poundstone makes much of the value of demonstrating good reasoning skills, but without perseverance there are few good answers. Equally important for job seekers and candidate evaluators, the absence or presence of both perseverance and clear thinking says something profound about future performance, work, and suitability. You may be surprised at the effort required by 1 or 2 minutes of concentration and work on some solutions.) Remember, as far as some computer companies are concerned, solutions are preferred when they use classic programming techniques like reiteration, recursion, working backwards, counting in binary, and manipulating many cases and big numbers. See if you have ¿similar but different¿ solutions. And see if you too challenge some of Poundstone¿s ¿answers¿: Everest is not 35,000 feet high. A truly ¿infinite¿ series has unlimited terms, not just many. Four chasing dogs will meet almost immediately in a small 3-foot cage; take longer-and-longer in a larger-and-larger fenced farm; and never meet when rendered into small imaginary dots in an unending geometric spiral.