The success of Google Inc. is such that it is now part of the American cultural vocabulary and consciousness. The Google search engine has tamed the vast resources of the Internet allowing users to access pertinent information with lightning speed.That success, and the company's generosity to its staff (read, stock options), draws hordes of eager prospective employees. Although Google has grown from 700 employees in 2002, to 2,700 in 2004, the company remains highly selective. One way Google weeds out the best from the rest is by publishing a 21-question aptitude test in a number of magazines. The questions alone are enough to confuse those who are not technologically and intellectually elite.
"How many different ways can you color an icosahedron with one of three colors on each face?" and "On an infinite, two-dimensional rectangular lattice of 1-ohm resistors, what is the resistance between two nodes that are a knight's move away?"The test also includes more subjective, tongue-in-cheek requests like "Write a haiku describing possible methods for predicting search traffic seasonality" and "What is the most beautiful math equation ever derived?"
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Working for the real-world Willy Wonka
Somehow in the back of my mind, I've always thought Google to be an entirely different kind of company, the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory of the internet domain. And, just like the unique way Mr. Wonka chose his successor, Google uses some outlandish testing to weed out the thousands of prospective employees from the wash of MBA's that apply every week: