SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 12: Google Senior Vice President of People Operations Laszlo Bock attends The New York Times Next New World Conference on June 12, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Times)
Google was known for its ridiculous interview questions that made candidates scratch their heads in disbelief. Now, there are several questions banned from interviews.
Why are manhole covers round?
How many piano tuners are there in the entire world?
How much should you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle?
You are shrunk to the height of a nickel and your mass is proportionally reduced so as to maintain your original density. You are then thrown into an empty glass blender. The blades will start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do?
How many golf balls can fit in a school bus?
The idea of the questions was to get candidates to think on their feet and perhaps show some creative thinking, but it may have just served to weed out perfectly fine candidates.
"On the hiring side, we found that brainteasers are a complete waste of time. How many golf balls can you fit into an airplane? How many gas stations in Manhattan? A complete waste of time. They don’t predict anything. They serve primarily to make the interviewer feel smart," Laszlo Bock, Google's senior vice president of people operations told the New York Times.
Instead, Bock now favors "behavior interviews" where candidates come up with examples of their proficiency at a job. According to Bock, Google isnt' always looking for college and graduate degrees anymore, but people who are good at learning "on the fly."
While this doesn't help out those thousands of Googlers who missed out on a job because of a lack of ingenuity about how to best way to encrypt a friend's cell number on a card, it may save future candidates from enduring a kind of HR purgatory.