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How Would You Move Mount Fuji? : Microsoft's Cult of the Puzzle -- How the World's Smartest Companies Select the Most Creative Thinkers Paperback – Bargain Price, April 2, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
I actually got a lot more out of the book than I was expecting. If you are looking to read this book to get the answers to some challenging puzzle-type interview questions, than you are probably going to be a little disappointed, since the people interviewing you are going to be aware of this book and hence won't be asking you the same questions as covered in the book. But if you are looking to learn techniques that will help you perform better on puzzle type questions, then you can gain a lot from this book.
Poundstone covers a lot of ground; he tackles the history of interviewing for high tech companies, touching on the different types of high-pressure interviews that are employed in financials services as well as top notch software and consulting companies. He goes into the details of the fabled Microsoft interview as an example of some of toughest interview questions and the most high-pressure tactics. Challenging puzzles, and techniques to help you solve them are covered, but don't expect just to learn some answers to tough questions, be prepared to learn techniques to help you solve challenging puzzles. He does give people a peek behind the puzzle genre curtain, and explains the different types of puzzles and how to tackle them.Read more ›
In essence, the 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 the strict puzzle solving. The book has plenty of puzzles scattered through it and two chapters devoted solely to listing puzzles. From page 147 onwards, Mr. Poundstone discusses the puzzles he has listed and suggests thought processes about how to solve them. This exposition is more interesting than it sounds; for one, Mr. Poundstone explains his answers thoroughly; for another, he uncovers many layers of thinking, that show the complexity (and beauty) of the art of solving puzzles.
"How Would You Move Mount Fuji?" might give you a few tips and tricks, but is hardly a handbook of how to get the job of your dreams. Rather, it is an enjoyable book that will capture you in the world of puzzles for however long you decide to take to read through it.
In the book, Poundstone traces the origins of this type of question, providing some fascinating information on the history of intelligence testing. He then chronicles how a certain type of puzzle interview caught on in the high-tech industry. Microsoft was not the first company to ask such questions, but it certainly popularized it.
Poundstone explains that responding to a problem you can't solve could be thought of as the fundamental problem in Artificial Intelligence (AI), and then continues,
"The problems used in AI research have often been puzzles or games. These are simpler and more clearly defined than the complex problems of the real world. They too involve the elements of logic, insight, and intuition that pertain to real problems. Many of the people at Microsoft follow AI work closely, of course, and this may help to explain what must strike some readers as peculiar--their supreme confidence that silly little puzzles have a bearing on the real world."
It could be--or maybe Microsoft employees assume that since they were hired that way, it's a great way to hire (and complaints from those who were not hired are just sour grapes).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
'How Would You Move Mount Fuji?' was published in 2004 so it may not be as relevant now as it was then for someone trying to get an inside scoop on Microsoft's interview process. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kelly Schuknecht
Full of lots of useful interview questions. However, these were for a different era and IT firms focus more on technical knowledge than asking riddles. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Raj Dasgupta
Decent book, but lots of these "puzzles" are now available for free online... and many companies have halted the practice of using them in the hiring process. Read morePublished 18 months ago by B. Copeland
The book lists many of the well known puzzles, and explains the answersPublished on July 21, 2014 by A M
Not a life-altering read, or anything of that nature, but a very good book! I like the careful look at how/why Microsoft uses these techniques in their hiring.Published on April 15, 2014 by Paul M. Budd
This is a timeless book; read up and open your brain to new possibilities! Always great to see the world in new ways.Published on February 14, 2014 by Sherry Schumacher