Thursday, January 19, 2012

Review of Are You Smart Enough To Work At Google By: William Poundstone

Are You Smart Enough To Work At Google
By: William Poundstone

Summery from Amazon:

You are shrunk to the height of a nickel and thrown in a blender. The blades start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do? If you want to work at Google, or any of America's best companies, you need to have an answer to this and other puzzling questions.

ARE YOU SMART ENOUGH TO WORK AT GOOGLE? guides readers through the surprising solutions to dozens of the most challenging interview questions. The book covers the importance of creative thinking, ways to get a leg up on the competition, what your Facebook page says about you, and much more. ARE YOU SMART ENOUGH TO WORK AT GOOGLE? is a must read for anyone who wants to succeed in today's job market.

My Review:

I loved this book!  It was funny and informative.  Poundstone  presents some of the toughest interview questions that are actually being asked by companies today. In addition to the answers, he delves into the histories of the questions themselves.   Who thought them up, how they relate to the job at hand, and how some don't have any relevance to the job at all, but why the interviewer is asking them anyway.   I found the background on some of the questions almost as interesting as some of the questions themselves.  It was also quite fun trying to figure out the answers.  I read with two bookmarks.  One keeping my place in beginning of the book, and one in the back were Poundstone had listed each questions answer in order that they had appeared in the book itself.  I'm not going to even try to pretend that I have the genius to work at google, or some of the other companies that these  questions were gleaned from, so it shouldn't be a surprise when I say that more often then not the answers I came up with were no where near correct. I still had fun though.
 The author also gave quite a few tips on what to do if you're hit with questions you don't quite know how to answer.  How to brainstorm on the fly, ways to question you interviewer to buy time and get extra hints to help solve the problem.  Also ways to phrase your answers so that even if they are wrong you don't look like a complete idiot.  Plus other interview tips, such as making sure you research the company you are applying at and making sure you clean up your public sites, such as facebook or myspace, before applying. After all if you are googling them, then they definitely are googling you. Especially if the company you are applying for is GOOGLE!.   Whether you have interviews looming in the near future, or  if you just want to give your brain a good work out this book is definitely gonna help either way. Even if you plan on being the interviewer instead of the interviewee it might help.  After all, according to the data the author presents, interviews really are no true reflection on how the applicant is actually going to perform on the job.   But maybe if you use some of these more interesting questions, or versions of them, you can  at least see who REALLY wants the job. (if they are going to put up with some of the crazier questions  and actually try to answer them, then obviously they want it right?)

In compliance with FTC guidelines, I'm disclosing that I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.