Bock goes on to say the secret sauce to hiring effectively at Google is—wait for it—behavioral interviewing.
Have you ever had an interviewer ask you,
- “How many golf balls could you fit in an airplane?”
- “How would you move Mt. Fuji?”
Google was famous for using these types of questions at job interviews, but now considers them a waste of time. They now believe the most effective way to interview is with a behavioral interview.
What is a behavioral interview? Theladders.com’s article “Acing the Behavioral Interview” defines behavioral interviews as having “job candidates to relate stories about how they handled challenges related to the skill sets the company requires for the position.” So expect questions like:
- Tell me about a setting when you had to learn something new in a short time.
- Have you ever worked in a situation where the rules and guidelines were not clear? Tell me about it. How did you feel about it? How did you react?
- How do you handle problems with customers? Give an example.
A whole list of behavioral interview questions from the University of New Mexico are listed here. It’s a .pdf file so you need Adobe Reader installed (it’s free and can be downloaded here). Preparing yourself for these behavioral questions will help you get very far in getting your next job. Here are some books that can help you prepare your answers:
101 great answers to the toughest interview questions / Ron Fry.
The 250 job interview questions you’ll most likely be asked : and the answers that will get you hired / by Peter Veruki.
The art of effective interviewing : a how to, step-by-step instruction guide for the job seeker / Peter Honig.
And if you get asked a brainteaser question at a job interview, use this book:
Are you smart enough to work at Google? : trick questions, zen-like riddles, insanely difficult puzzles, and other devious interviewing techniques you need to know to get a job anywhere in the new economy / William Poundstone.