Interviews Are Not Game Shows

Riddles have no place in job interviews

It’s one thing to ask an open-ended technical question that lends itself to straightforward answers (e.g., “What are some things you could do to minimize the time spent in garbage collection?”). It’s quite another to subject the interviewee to game-show riddles. “Four people want to cross a bridge. They all begin on the same side. You have twelve minutes to get all of them across to the other side. It is night. There is one flashlight. A maximum of two people can cross at one time,” etc.

My reply to a riddle question would be this riddle: “How many times do you think your lips can fit on my ass? Because my answer is, ‘Go kiss my ass.’.”

All of these people who think they are so smart could not figure out the answer to the non-riddle question Steve Jobs asked: “How do you re-invent the phone?”

Don’t be intimidated by any of them. They’re not as smart as they think.


What Android Handsets Looked Like Before and After the iPhone
Original Google Android Phone Looked Nothing Like the iPhone



Filed under Personal

2 responses to “Interviews Are Not Game Shows

  1. Slim Jim Shreeve

    Problem is people show off – highly inflated opinion of themselves, and use interviewees to boost their own egos with smart-ass questions. Showing kindness and enthusiasm for prospective employees would be a lot better.

  2. IF they want you to solve it (because, as Jimmy Lee notes, it’s probably an ego-boosting exercise for the interviewer), it’s because they want to see if you’ll solve it in a manner they approve.

    Thirteen years ago (there’s a reason for that weird number), I would’ve tried. And failed. And beat myself up for failing and being deficient. Then I worked at a company who was off-the-charts dysfunctional and thought I was the Wizard of Oz, complete with stars in their eyes.

    Now, I would rather do mindless data entry or sling hash than deal with a place like that, but since I work for myself– Oh, wait, what? People like me USUALLY end up severely underemployed or self-employed? Right. Precisely. And the interviewing company stumbles along with its groupthink.

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