Google recently decided to dispense with interview questions like brain teasers or the classic cliches (“What’s your greatest weakness?”) when a study they did of their own interviewing process deemed them ineffective:

On the hiring side, we found that brainteasers are a complete waste of time. How many golf balls can you fit into an airplane? How many gas stations in Manhattan? A complete waste of time. They don’t predict anything. They serve primarily to make the interviewer feel smart.

Instead, what works are structured “behavioral interviews,” where you have a consistent rubric for how you assess people.

A better approach is to ask someone to speak from experience:

Behavioral interviewing also works — where you’re not giving someone a hypothetical, but you’re starting with a question like, “Give me an example of a time when you solved an analytically difficult problem.” The interesting thing about the behavioral interview is that when you ask somebody to speak to their own experience, and you drill into that, you get two kinds of information. One is you get to see how they actually interacted in a real-world situation, and the valuable “meta” information you get about the candidate is a sense of what they consider to be difficult.

Continue reading the interview over at The New York Times.

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