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Prohibited interview questions at Google

This has led it to adopt an unusual method towards recruitment

Are you preparing for an interview at Google? If so, stop and read this article, as you will learn some of those questions that the search giant has already banned from its recruitment procedure.

Google is one of the best companies to work for in today’s digital world, but potential employees have to work hard to secure a place with the search engine. As a vibrant, energetic, relevant and creative company, Google wants to ensure it chooses candidates who can bring the right skills and values to the organisation and who fit well within its culture.

There are a variety of interview styles and HR departments or managers generally determine the approach adopted. Standard topics focus on the candidate’s skills, but some companies believe that people can rehearse for these questions, and this may not truly show their full potential. As a result, more and more firms have decided to proceed with more gruelling and unexpected challenges during the interview process.

Google is one such organisation; it introduced the idea of asking interviewees brainteasers. These types of questions are not designed to produce a correct answer, rather, to show the recruiters how candidates perform under immense pressure. They are intended to demonstrate the logic and strategy behind a person’s thought process, whether they can pick out the relevant information from complex content, how confidently they deal with a situation when taken out of their comfort zone and the level of their communication skills.

The aspiration was honourable, but, in practice, the questions were actually so random, irrelevant and difficult that company experts soon realised that they served no purpose and did not reflect the person’s ability to undertake the role for which they were applying. Questions included how much money should you ask for washing all the windows in Seattle, how many golf balls can be placed on a school bus, how would you explain a database briefly to a young child, how would you organise your wardrobe so you can easily find a shirt, how many piano tuners exist in the world or how many hoovers are made in the US every year. Clearly, these are not relevant to someone applying for the role of a programmer. Google recognised its mistakes and eventually banished, once and for all, most of these types of questions from its hiring process.

If you are one of the lucky ones with a meeting with this major internet organisation, you don’t need to worry about expecting brainteasers anymore. Instead, as with all interviews, the best advice is to prepare, recognise and be clear about your knowledge and skills, and to bring plenty of real life experience related to the job you are applying for. Questions that require thinking out of the box and on the spot will definitely be asked, but they should all be relevant to your future role. Creative thinking, an open-minded attitude and an outgoing personality will take you far.

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