- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (Sept. 4 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316099988
- ISBN-13: 978-0316099981
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 21 cm
- Shipping Weight: 272 g
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #168,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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 Paperback – Sep 4 2012
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"Serious ammunition to pack for your next job interview."―Kirkus
"Poundstone offers strategies for making the best of nerve-racking situations, decoding interviewer's hidden agendas, and salvaging a doomed interview, in a solid treatment peppered with mind-bending puzzles. Poundstone's energetic, compelling writing...makes the book fun even for nonjob seekers."―Publishers Weekly
"A neat little manifesto on interview technique...Touring through a huge number of puzzles, he provides a truly exhaustive account of all the factors you're meant to consider when thinking your way through the solutions. Tackling [them] is incredibly gratifying, when you're not withering under the baleful eye of a potential employer."―New Scientist Culture Lab
"For those in the job market, Poundstone provides a handy survey of killer questions and how to answer them. For others, he offers the challenge of matching wits with people at America's most innovative companies. As for employers, he presents a timely warning about creative thinking and why job interviews don't work...The format affords Poundstone room to display his scientific knowledge, mathematical fluency and knack for explaining the arcane in playfully precise sentences."―Bloomberg Businessweek
"A helpful guide."―Christian Science Monitor
About the Author
William Poundstone is the author of twelve books, including How Would You Move Mount Fuji? and Fortune's Formula, which was Amazon Editors' pick for the #1 nonfiction book of the year in 2005. He has written for the New York Times, Harper's, Harvard Business Review, and the Village Voice, among other publications. He lives in Los Angeles.
Top customer reviews
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Truffé d'anecdotes, basé sur des ouï-dire plus que sur des faits, le livre prétend reproduire le genre de questions posées aux candidats de Google. Mais très vite, on n'y croit plus'
Le livre fait état du « genre » de questions qui « pourraient » être posées lors d'une entrevue à Google (la deuxième moitié du livre fournit les réponses aux énigmes).
Ce n'est pas un livre sur Google. Le nom de l'entreprise n'est qu'un prétexte pour présenter des questions pièges, des énigmes. Si vous aimez le type trivia, peut-être que vous aimerez.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
It is a bit frustrating that it spends so much time explaining the reasoning behind these answers and is still wrong enough times to make the answers not trustworthy. It was a lot more fun until I started catching the errors - then it was just frustrating. The title feels especially pretentious when taken in context with the errors, and it means you can't really just listen to it or switch using whisper sync.
The most interesting thing I found in this book is the admission that other companies have adopted riddle questions because they are trying to be more like Google. However, such interviewers usually don't understand the reasoning or objectives behind Google's riddle/mathematical problems and therefore a worthy response to a riddle asked at Google may get you different results at other companies.
I had fun comparing my answers to the riddles to the answer key in the back of the book, but I believe that it has only made me marginally better as an interviewer. I still think that getting hit with a riddle during an interview at any company makes your success more of a crap shoot.
With an interview at Google imminent, I purchased the Kindle edition of the book on a whim to help study. It mostly plays on myths of what the interview questions are like at Google, i.e. "Trick Questions, Zen-like Riddles, Insanely Difficult Puzzles, and Other Devious Interviewing Techniques..." Unfortunately if you use this as a study guide for a Software Engineering position, it's going to waste your time. Let me say that again in another way: this book will not help to prepare you for a Software Engineering interview at Google. In fact it might be detrimental because you'll spend valuable time and brain cycles working out the (fun!) brain teasers in this book rather than brushing up on the algorithms and CS fundamentals that are so much more important.
(As an aside: I will say that despite the ban on brain teasers at Google, I *was* asked a brain teaser on one of my last interviews. Out of 8 interviews and well over 20 problems, it was only 1, though. And it isn't in the book.)
Read this book if you want to read fun brain teasers and work through challenging problems. The problem descriptions are good and the explanation of the solutions (including frequently working from the "easy" answer through to the "best" one) is very good for non-technical people to read. For software engineers, particularly reasonably experienced ones, the explanations can definitely border on pedantic and overly obvious. There's also some awkward use of technical terms that make it clear it's not written by an engineer. For non-technical people, however, it's written in an accessible style with good humor that will likely add to the fun. The problems are frequently legitimately tricky no matter who the audience is, but again, they're not the types of things that are asked at Google. It's a good thing to read on the subway to/from work -- problems are bite-sized, so you can knock one or two off during the ride and pick up where you left off.
I saw an exchange of comments between the author of this book and the author of "Cracking the Coding Interview" on a couple of reviews. For what it's worth, the author of "Cracking" is more accurate from my perspective -- and her book is far, far better at preparing for a software engineering interview.