Don’t Ask Stupid Questions

Props to Lance Haun of Rehaul for his post today: he calls it “Are You Hiring Clowns?” but we like “Don’t Ask Stupid Questions.”

“Look, I get it. You heard about some tech company doing it. You read How Would You Move Mt. Fuji? and thought it was brilliant. You want to be innovative. Or hip. Or whatever. Hell if I know, I’ve never been any of these things.”

Puzzle questions, like “How would you move Mt. Fuji” or “how would you find the heavy coin among similar-looking ones” are supposed to show how a candidate thinks rather than just prove that she has some knowledge. In fact, the questions are so often about the process that even the interviewers don’t know the answers.

Haun argues:

I… have a problem with making people who aren’t clowns put on a circus act and jump through hoops…

[D]oing well in [interviews] rarely has anything to do with the job at hand. Let’s stop pretending that we are savants when it comes to interviewing and realize that successfully finding the right fit based on a standard resume and interview protocol is more of a happy stroke of luck than anything else.

What’s the worst puzzle-style interview question you’ve been asked? Would you be happy to see ’em go?

(Counter Argument: Why Logic Puzzles Make Good Interview Questions)