“Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google?” asks William Poundstone…

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

Open Discussion on the Book Written by William Poundstone

Tuesday evening 01.24.12 at 7

Can you get "Smart Enough?"

Greetings All,

This is the one-hundredth post for this blog. I am not smart enough to work at Google, nor do I aspire to. Yet still, it seems that Google is the new epitome of W-2 and 1099’d success in these days. It demands consideration though of “what is ‘smart enough?’ to work at Google” or anywhere else that you might have ambitions. The equation appears to be a long and contorted one. Is it really? Or is it a delicate balance of many of the same standards that we confront on a daily basis? Research has shown that the traditional interview isn’t a very good predictor of actual job success.  The Google model of detailed “work sampling” offers a much better gauge as it illustrates flexibility, openness and creativity.

This intelligent book is for dedicated brainiacs, coder monkeys, interview mercenary guerrillas, seasoned contract workers, puzzler fanatics, consultants, analysts, and those addicted to challenge. Also still it should be considered seriously by those facing staunch challenges in an excruciatingly tight market, and those looking to add razor-sharp edge to their interviewing arsenal.  This book will certainly tweak and turbo-charge your thinking processes. It will also give you some peace of mind that in hiring matters “smart enough” is rarely a “mathematical definitive” and often (like horseshoes) more of a “theoretical approximation.” Because sometimes close enough is good enough.

Scary thought, even Wal-Mart uses some of these interview techniques.

 “Smart Enough” Discussion Points:

  • Are you “Smart Enough to Work at Google?” How would you prove that?
  • Can you get “smarter?” How?
  • Who decides “smart enough?” and how?
  • Once “smart” is confirmed what other factors must be proven? How?
  • What if you had interview without words or digital devices?
  • How much money is “Smart Enough” worth these days?
  • Is the algorithm weighted toward “smart” or something else?
  • What percentage of “smart” is generated from “experience?”
  • What percentage of “smart” is generated from “strategy?”
  • What percentage of “smart” is generated from “creativity?”
  • What percentage of “smart” in generated by “confidence?”
  • What part of “smart” is pure “dumb luck?” That includes guessing!
  • Why do the interviewees hate “offbeat questions?”


“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)

Our conversations are always intelligent, even if not so by Google hiring standards. We continue the discussion at Steak & Shake following $timulus.

Join us, won’t you?


Just how smart do you have to be today to gain entry at Google, or anywhere else?

$timulus: An Open Book and Networking Group

Barnes & Noble in the Streets of West Chester

(I-75 Exit 19 Union Centre Blvd., Past The Rave Theater)

9455 Civic Centre Boulevard, West Chester, OH 45069

Every Tuesday evening at 7:00 P.M. (Weather Permitting)

There is no charge for $timulus!!!

Monte at 513.769.6313 or montewashburn@gmail.com


About MonteWashburn

Greetings, Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Monte, a passionate lover of a great spectrum of nonfiction books and authors and in hoping to provide some guidance to the many currently unemployed or under-employed persons much of the content posted here will revolve around books of the job search, career, entrepreneurial pursuits and personal development. Other related blogs and material will be heralded here as well. And a little fiction just may sneak in as well from time to time. May you find your own stimulus here. Expectantly, Monte
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One Response to “Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google?” asks William Poundstone…

  1. this is very valuable post…smart is nothing about the confidence,creativity,understanding the concept…

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