Hello hello! Last week we kicked off the series talking about credential, experience, and behavioral questions. We left off trying to figure out what pizza, planes, and golf balls have to do with interviews. Now that you have spent some time pondering those, let’s kick it up a notch and talk about competency and brainteasers.
Competency and Case Questions
Not to be confused with behavioral questions, these analytical questions are geared toward your specific role and what you need to know as a baseline to be successful. Clearwater Analytics here in Boise actually does this in their interview process. They can be verbal, written, or even timed. Remember doing multiplication tables as fast as you could in the 2nd grade? Like that. These questions are ‘you-time’ to really buckle down and show them what you’re made of… *cue pivotal dramatic part of movie when main character realizes they CAN DO IT! *
Take time to brush up and get comfortable with material they might ask. The separation is in the preparation.
“If you were a pencil stuck in a blender how would you get out?”; “how many golf balls can fit in a 737 jet?”; or even “how many square feet of pizza is eaten in the U.S a year?”. Corporate giants and Wall Street powerhouses are notorious for asking these types of questions, but don’t panic at this disco, there really aren’t any exact answers. Hiring Managers want to watch you face a challenge that is way out of left field, and ultimately, they want to see how you react and think in an uncomfortable situation. The best way to answer these head-scratchers is to dig down into those critical thinking skills and work through it as logically as you can. Obviously, you will never need to know how many golf balls can fit in a place (unless you’re working for a golf ball shipment company that is), but the idea is to think outside the box, channel those critical thinking skills, and come up with a number.
Some companies are famous for these brainteasers, and the best way to prepare is to research the company (hint hint: glassdoor.com, reddit.com), talk to a recruiter who may know what types of questions they might ask (another hint: Route Networking Group) or try to find a connection internally that can steer you in the right direction.