Support Marketplace

Want a job at Google?: No more brainteasers

Attendees work on laptops during the Google I/O developers conference at the Moscone Center on May 15, 2013 in San Francisco, Calif.

This final note today, in which the truth about Google and its notorious job interviews finally comes out.

For the uninitiated, the biggest search firm in the world is infamous for its, shall we say, tortured job interview questions.

To wit: "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?"

Anyway, I read in pages of the New York Times yesterday this quote from Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations at Google: "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?"

"They don't predict anything. They serve primarily to make the interviewer feel smart," Bock said.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...