How Would You Move Mount Fuji? - AchieveMax® Top Ten Book Review
For a number of reasons, today's hiring managers from Wall Street to the Silicon Valley are totally restructuring their approach to interviewing job prospects. Few will admit it has anything to do with the fact that our litigious society makes it very difficult to ask almost any personal question of today's job applicant. The majority of those interviewing today don't even bother checking references because they know anyone they call will provide little or no information on the employee in question for fear of legal retribution. Again, few will admit these facts for obvious reasons. However, for these and other motives including a hypercompetitive global marketplace, a hot new trend in hiring is emerging. "Puzzle interviews" using tough and tricky questions to gauge job candidates' intelligence, imagination, and problem-solving ability, are becoming the norm in many companies.
How Would You Move Mount Fuji?: Microsoft's Cult of the Puzzle - How the World's Smartest Company Selects the Most Creative Thinkers is a study of corporate hiring, an assessment of IQ testing's value, a history of interviewing and a puzzle book. The author, William Poundstone, is a science writer who explains the thinking behind this kind of interviewing. In a straightforward manner, the author describes the roots of logic questions in interviews, drawing on the history of IQ testing in hiring interviews, psychological studies and interviews with Microsoft ex-interviewers and interviewees. He certainly makes a strong case for eliminating standard questions like "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" and replacing them with logic puzzles.
For years, Microsoft's interview process has included a notoriously grueling sequence of brain-busting questions that separate the most creative thinkers from the merely brilliant. Anyone who's interviewed for a job at Microsoft is intimately familiar with questions like the one in this book's title (How would you move Mount Fuji?) They've probably also pondered such problems as:
- Why are manhole covers round?
- How do they make M&Ms?
- What does all the ice in a hockey rink weigh?
- How many piano tuners are there in the world?
Questions like these, which test problem-solving abilities, not specific competencies, are commonplace during job interviews at Microsoft and the many other firms who have adapted this unique approach.
Basically, this book is separated into two parts: The first discusses the history of puzzles and their intellectual and academic standing. This section starts off by narrating the origin of puzzle-solving as a criterion for selecting people; then, it talks about how and why many companies use them in interviews. Mr. Poundstone talks about the general approaches to solving puzzles, and then closes on a note for employers on how to design puzzles that are useful.
The second part of the book is strict puzzle solving. The book has plenty of puzzles scattered through it and two chapters devoted solely to listing puzzles. The author goes on to discuss the puzzles he has listed and suggests thought processes about how to solve them. This exposition is more interesting than it sounds. Mr. Poundstone not only explains his answers thoroughly, but also uncovers many layers of thinking that show the complexity and beauty of the art of solving puzzles.
Almost half of the book is devoted to an "answer" section, where Poundstone gives possible solutions to the brainteasers. Although it lacks a specific focus, this is a fun, revealing take on an unusual subject.
This book will give interviewers insights into what kind of questions to ask, and why. You should probably read this book if you fall into one of the categories below:Prospective interviewees for High Tech, consulting or financial services companies. It won't give you all the answers to memorize, but it will let you in on the puzzle genre and some of its 'rules.'
Interviewers/HR - If you are looking to employ puzzle-type questions to hire creative employees, this will give you some insights into what questions to use and why. There are probably better books on the intricacies of interviewing, but this will give you the background needed to use puzzles in the interview process (if you decide that's what you need.)
People interested in problem solving, puzzles and creativity. This covers a lot of ground in these areas and it gives you a few references for further reading.
More than 100 business book reviews written by Harry K. Jones are available at www.AchieveMax.com/books/index.htm">http://www.AchieveMax.com/books/.
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www.AchieveMax.com/motivational-speaker-harry.htm">Harry K. Jones is a professional speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a firm specializing in custom-designed keynote presentations, seminars, and consulting services. Harry has made presentations ranging from leadership to employee retention and time management to stress management for a number of industries, including education, financial, government, healthcare, hospitality, and manufacturing. He can be reached at 800-886-2MAX or by visiting www.AchieveMax.com">http://www.AchieveMax.com.
The Portland Press Herald, based in Stephen King's home state of Maine, had decided to stop running reviews of local books.
After King expressed dismay, the paper challenged him to get 100 followers to buy digital subscriptions.
His fans did not disappoint him, prompting the paper to pledge that "book reviews will return."
Francine du Plessix Gray, a French-American writer who, in her novels and journalism, explored the complexities of cultural identity, the obstacles confronting women seeking their place in the world and her own privileged but anguished early life, died on Sunday in Manhattan. She was 88.
In what the Authors Guild is calling the "largest survey of U.S. professional writers ever conducted," the organization reports the median income published American authors received for all writing-related activity in 2017 was $6,080 in 2017, down from $10,500 in the guild's 2009 survey. The survey further found that the median income for specifically book-related income for published authors declined 21%, to $3,100, in 2017 from $3,900 in 2013 and just over 50% from 2009's median book earnings of $6,250....
Lin-Manuel Miranda and three of his Hamilton collaborators have purchased New York City's beloved Drama Book Shop, which had celebrated its 100th birthday last year but announced in the fall it would close this month because of a large rent increase...
They bought the store from Rozanne Seelen, whose husband, the late Arthur Seelen, had acquired it in 1958. She "sold it for the cost of the remaining inventory, some rent support in the store's final weeks, and a pledge to retain her as a consultant," the Times wrote.
Future bookseller Lin-Manuel Miranda
"It's the chronic problem--the rents were just too high, and I'm 84 years old--I just didn't have the drive to find a new space and make another move," she said. "Lin-Manuel and Tommy are my white knights."
Irish novelist Sally Rooney, 27, has become the youngest author ever to win the Costa Novel Award, triumphing for her second novel Normal People, a coming-of-age love story the judges said "will electrify any reader."
Celebrating "the most enjoyable books" across five different categories, the judges of the Costa Book Awards 2018 also selected Stuart Turton for The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (Published in the US as the The 7 1/2 Deaths...), Bart van Es for The Cut Out Girl, J O Morgan for Assurances (not yet published in the US), and Hilary McKay for The Skylarks' War (US title: Love to Everyone) to be the respective winners of the prizes' First Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book awards.
Brian Garfield, award-winning author, screenwriter and film producer, died December 29. He was 79. After publishing his first title, Range Justice, when he was 18, Garfield went on to write more than 70 books--westerns, mysteries and nonfiction. Nineteen films are based on his writings, including Death Wish. His violence-free and Edgar Award-winning novel Hopscotch was written in response to the vigilantism of Death Wish.
PWxyz, parent company of Publishers Weekly, has acquired the online magazine the Millions, plus its website TheMillions.com, for an undisclosed price.
The Millions was founded in 2003 by Max Magee and offers coverage of books, arts, and culture aimed at a consumer audience. Magee had been its editor until 2016, when Lydia Kiesling took over the role. Moving forward, Adam Boretz, a longtime editor at PW, who also served at the Millions as Magee's associate editor, will become editor of the Millions, and will be promoted to senior editor at PW. Kiesling will continue to be involved in various capacities.
Amos Oz, the renowned Israeli author whose work captured the characters and landscapes of his young nation, and who matured into a leading moral voice and an insistent advocate for peace with the Palestinians, died on Friday. He was 79.
His death was announced by his daughter Fania Oz-Salzberger, who wrote on Twitter that he had died after a short battle with cancer, "in his sleep, peacefully."
This coming year marks the first time in two decades that a large body of copyrighted works will lose their protected status ' - a shift that will have profound consequences for publishers and literary estates, which stand to lose both money and creative control.
Many thousands of works are due to enter the public domain including those by Marcel Proust, Willa Cather, D. H. Lawrence, Agatha Christie, Joseph Conrad, Edith Wharton, P. G. Wodehouse, Rudyard Kipling, Katherine Mansfield, Robert Frost and Wallace Stevens...
The sudden deluge of available works traces back to legislation Congress passed in 1998, which extended copyright protections by 20 years.... Now that the term extension has run out, the spigot has been turned back on. Each January will bring a fresh crop of novels, plays, music and movies into the public domain...
Audrey Geisel, 97, philanthropist and wife of the late Theodor Seuss Geisel, died on December 19.
Petite and often understated, she was a fierce protector of her husband's creations and legacy, and a major donor to institutions he supported and helped to flourish, including UC San Diego and the San Diego Zoo. She founded Dr. Seuss Enterprises in 1993 to maintain the Dr. Seuss trademark.
Cathy Goldsmith, president and publisher of Random House Children's Dr. Seuss program, said, "Audrey had such a quick wit and smart sense of humor, which made her a pleasure to work with and be around. I will always remember her sparkle. Audrey could light up a room, and I know that her brightness found its way into Ted's work, and her tireless advocacy for his books and our publishing."