Staffing Insurance: Brain Teasers & Job Interviews

Staffing Insurance Brain Teasers & Job Interviews

Staffing Insurance: Brain Teasers & Job Interviews

We discussed the use of big data & hiring at Google in our blog last week. One of the changes Google made in their unique hiring process was eliminating brainteaser questions from the interview process.

  • How many rocks are on the face of the moon?
  • How many jellybeans can fit into a gallon jar?
  • Why are manhole covers round instead of square?

The idea behind brainteasers is it is supposed to show how a person will act and think in a given situation. Even if it is an extraordinarily difficult or odd question, the interviewer wants to see how you answer it. However, Google has dropped the practice, calling it “a complete waste of time.”

The New Yorker recently examined the psychology behind brain teasers in interviews and why they aren’t the best tactic. The problem is the situation. In an interview setting, the interviewee faces an often formal, high-stress, artificial session. Their objective is to make a good impression in a small window of time. When the brainteaser question is asked, they are forced to think quickly rather than think well.

This type of situation isn’t indicative of real life. The daily job requirement doesn’t require the same rigid, formal setting where the individual is forced to tailor their thinking to providing the quickest interview questions. Instead of determining how a candidate will perform in their job, using a brainteaser simply tests how they perform in an interview setting.

Interviews post a particular challenge when it comes to predicting success, namely because you are basing a judgment of a candidate’s potential on limited data. There are several ways to make the interview more successful. One is a standardized interview process- asking each candidate the same questions in the same order. It can produce a more objective measure or each candidate’s performance. The other tactic is to focus on relevant behavioral measures. Asking questions such as “Describe a situation where you did well on X” allows candidates to closely approximate past situations as an indicator to see how they would perform in the new job.

What do you think about the use of brainteaser questions in interviews? Have you found questions or a interview tactic that works particularly well? We’d love to hear from you.

World Wide Specialty Programs has always had a singular purpose – to design, develop and provide staffing insurance products for the staffing industry. Working with over 2,000 insurance brokers nationwide, we know the staffing industry better than anyone, and can provide great options for your staffing industry insurance needs. Contact us today for more information about our staffing agency insurance solutions. (877) 256-0468.