Google to Revamp Hiring Process

Susan Hall

Our Rob Enderle back in 2009 lit into Google, saying its hiring process needed an overhaul. It's only taken a couple of years, but it's listening to you, Rob.


Google has been known for asking wacky interview questions-such as "How many pingpong balls will fit into a school bus?"-as part of a meticulous hiring process. But as Rob pointed out, when companies are growing rapidly, it's hard to get hiring right. And that spells disaster down the road. He wrote:

Slide Show

Top 25 Oddball Interview Questions of 2010

When you become dominant in a market like Microsoft and Google, your real threats often are not competitors but mistakes you make. The better matched your people are to their jobs, the less of those there are. The financial industry didn't slide because the housing market collapsed; the housing market collapsed because someone put idiots into senior executive jobs. Assuring the quality of your employees should be job one if you want to be successful.

In light of the company's announced plans to hire more than 6,000 people this year, it has decided to change its hiring process, reports Financial Times. After reporting that it received more than 75,000 applications in one week, no doubt it had to.


The company has decided to subject candidates to no more than five interviews (phew!) and to ditch the oddball questions, which many recruiters dissed. According to Financial Times:

The abstruse problems were part of a process designed to maintain Google's vaunted intellectual elitism, but also came to be seen by some candidates as marks of the company's insularity and intellectual arrogance. [Laszlo Bock, head of human resources,] said they were being cut out because, like IQ quizzes, they tended to favor candidates who were adept at a certain kind of test. He also said Google wanted to counter the natural bias in its interviewers to hire people like themselves.

It plans to focus more on people with an entrepreneurial bent, rather than just intellectual muscle.


This comes after the announcement that co-founder Larry Page will take over as CEO in April. He has said he wants to return the company to a startup culture.

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