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August 10, 2023

Brainteasers in interviews - stop it!


You may have heard of these so-called "clever" interview questions designed to test the mind, challenge creativity, or whatever the justification.

Questions like "How many golf balls can you fit in a VW Golf?" or "How heavy is New York?" may seem interesting or unexpected at first glance. But what's really behind them?
Are they test questions to gauge your problem-solving ability, or are they simply a way to throw you off your game? What exactly is a candidate supposed to take away from this question, and what does it say about the company culture that asks such questions?

Let's be clear: These questions are not clever or smart. They are not challenging. They're not even particularly interesting. What they are is stressful, confusing, and a surefire way to lose talented candidates in the interview process.

These types of questions do NOT go over well.

Do you really want to know if your candidate has the ability to answer a completely irrelevant and impossible question? What exactly does that tell you about their ability to succeed at your company?

Imagine being the applicant who is looking forward to a serious career opportunity, only to be confronted with such childish shenanigans. Is that fun? Does it foster confidence? I think not!

IIt's time to stop this practice in interviews. Ask about the candidate's skills, experience and ambitions. Ask about the things that really matter. Ask about what makes sense!