- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; Reprint edition (2 April 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316778494
- ISBN-13: 978-0316778497
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 21 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #42,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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How Would You Move Mount Fuji? Paperback – 2 Apr 2004
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...how puzzles can - and cannot - identify the potential stars of a competitive company (BOSTON Globe)
A fun read, useful and enjoyable, not just for those in the job market. Poundstone's engaging, easy-going writing style steers readers through (USA TODAY)
It's all about thinking out of the box (WIRED)
* How the world's smartest companies select the most creative thinkersSee all Product description
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
If you are reading the book for an interview in a time crunch, read Chapter 8 first. Poundstone discusses the generic puzzle solving technique and the mental preparation process you should follow after you hear or read the question. It worked well as I applied it to several puzzles in the book. Of course, lest you forget, as Poundstone put it, `For the purposes of a job interview, the reasoning is the "answer"`.'
The author extends a helping hand to provide solid advice to companies who consider these techniques for interviews. He reminds them what to conclude and what not to conclude based on the candidate's response, the best ways to utilize this technique in an interview and ways to win the race of seeking and securing the best talent. He particularly reminds them that while the answer to the puzzle may not be as expected, it is in their best interest to place great value in the reasoning and logical approach taken by the candidate. By the same token, if the candidate has heard of the puzzle and knows only the answer, there are ways to test further their real understanding and further measure their puzzle solving skills, as well as eliminating those who have memorized a few answers to popular puzzles.
There are some cases where there is no singular solution. For instance, in the types of questions where you are asked to design xyz, you can exercise more freedom and especially creativity, as long as you are aware of boundaries for acceptable responses. Therefore, if you are testing your reasoning abilities, do not read the answers until you have exhausted all your options.
Remember, whatever you take away or learn, always stay aligned to a perfectly logical being when you want to solve a puzzle.
The puzzles themselves were somewhat disappointing, some being somewhat odd (although one cannot fault the author for this, given he didn't choose the questions to ask), with most of the explanations being disappointing. The explanations were WAY too wordy, taking up maybe five times the space necessary. However, this is a relatively minor point, taking the book as a whole.
I would definitely recommend it, especially as an ebook, which it's inexpensive and I felt well worth the investment.
* Learn about more riddles and enjoy the challenge: This goal you will achieve, even though puzzles and answered are not organized to be useful as a reference
* Learn about the hiring practices in the most successful IT organizations: This you will achieve too, but it is not a recruiters handbook either
* I was curious how well that book would prepare an applicant who would try to memorize solutions to the puzzles: It will help you with that as well.
It does all of the above sufficiently well, so this was what I wanted. Overall, I felt it is an interesting read but not a classics which you come back to.