Forget the puzzles, Facebook only needs one question to find the perfect candidate

Technology companies are notorious for favouring impossible job interviews.

Google’s questions range from logic puzzles (“how would you weigh an elephant without using a scale”?) to puzzles of a different sort altogether: it asks would-be music curators to put together a playlist that would please Susan Boyle fans, to make sure that they don’t accidentally hire music snobs.

Facebook too has its own range of interview questions. Their technical challenges are as tough as any other Silicon Valley firm, with candidates reportedly asked to write code to find words on a Boggle board, or find sums in an array of numbers. And even non-technical jobs are given their own head-scratchers: one executive assistant candidate in London was asked “If your exec was stuck in Paris and needed to get to Milan, but their flight was cancelled and their phone was dying, what would you do?”

But Facebook’s global head of recruiting, Miranda Kalinowski, says that the most important question the company asks candidates isn’t one of the mind-bending technical challenges, but a much simpler one that cuts to the heart of why people make good or bad employees:

“On your very best day at work – the day you come home and think you have the best job in the world – what did you do that day?”

Kalinowski, speaking to Business Insider, explained that, while not every candidate is asked the question, it’s a favourite for finding out what they’re passionate about, and whether that passion fits into Facebook.

Lori Goler, the company’s vice president of People Operations, added that whether or not the question is phrased that way, the best way for a candidate to prepare is to think about what they love doing at their job, and how that would translate into time at Facebook.

“People want to have an impact,” Goler said. “They want to know that what they’re working on matters. And they’re going to stay at a place where they feel like they have an impact, [where] they’re learning and growing and doing work they love.”

So what was your very best day at work? For me, it’s the day the servers melted and we all got to go home the day I wrote this piece, obviously. But let us know yours in the comments below.

Powered by article was written by , for on Wednesday 24th February 2016 09.45 Europe/ © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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