Logic-Based Interview Puzzles
Logic-based interview puzzles are becoming increasingly popular in recruitment processes to help employers find the brightest candidates and gain insight into a candidate’s thought process. Brain teasers are particularly popular in the tech sector, where employers want to find the most logical candidates who can help them advance with their next innovative product launch. Famously, Google is very keen on logic puzzle interview questions. More recently, tech giants like Airbnb and Facebook have adopted logic puzzle questions to find the right software developers to keep them ahead of the competition.
Integrating logic-based interview questions into a recruitment process can be a great opportunity to see how a candidate thinks on their feet. It isn’t necessarily about getting the answer right but more of a measure to see how they apply logic and question the information provided. Too often interviews rely on evaluating the achievements of a person’s past, which is important, but logic-based questions can be a great indicator of how the candidate deals with the problems that are placed in front of them.
Is it a Fad?
There are fads in human resources, just like in every other part of running a business. Asking candidates to do puzzles might be one of them. But, like any fad in hiring, using puzzles is just another way to simplify finding the right person for a position. That’s not an easy proposition, and a person’s ability to solve puzzles in an interview isn’t going to make it any better. Like most aptitude tests, puzzles can be beaten with a little effort on the part of the applicant.
The biggest issue with having an applicant complete a puzzle during the application process is that the only thing you learn is that the person in question is adept at puzzles. In theory, that’s supposed to correlate to abilities, like being able to program well or come up with creative solutions to problems. In reality, though, those abilities are made up of so many different components that a puzzle has no chance of presenting an accurate reading.
A good programmer, for instance, isn’t just someone who can come up with a creative solution to accomplish a given purpose. He has to be able to think about practical solutions, as well as be able to communicate why one solution is the best. He has to be able to write effective code to implement those solutions and collaborate. And, most importantly for an employer, that programmer has to do all of those things over the long term. Even if you’re working off a list of programming puzzles, one little program whipped up on the fly isn’t going to tell you anything about that programmer’s ability to write documentation or to work with another programmer.
What We Feel
The only way that you can truly see an applicant’s aptitude is to see him in action. Focus on probation period or try to create more internship opportunities. There are some companies that like to have a probation period for almost all the profiles even for senior positions also. Measuring someone’s performance during the probation period or during an internship is not an easy thing. But it will give you a better sense of someone’s aptitude than puzzles ever will.