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Had a friend who interviewed and was given this rather complex mathematical puzzle.. when the fellow hesitated he was rudely cut off and told that he didn't have the capability for solving difficult problems.
Which is kinda dumb. I've been given very very hard problems that I got right away out of either sheer luck or because I've heard something similar before and I've been given very very easy problems which I can't for the life of me figure out.
So should the first set of people hire me? I don't think so. Should the second set not hire me? Again, nope.
Good interviews are very comprehensive and tackle a very wide range of questions and issues from different perspectives.
every one oughta do one ..cool ..
I have checked our a few other places like hedge funds and they too seem to require PhD degrees, especially in maths and physics. The work does not require that much deeper expertise, though. So why this requirement. If anybody knows about the US university system, unlike many other fields, PhD programs in hard sciences tend to attract a particlular group of people - sex and ethnicity-wise. (Reasons are somewhat complex to discuss here.) In EEOC terminology this is called disparate-impact in hiring, that is setting up an innocent looking criterion that does not have any relationship with the work, but tends to filter out 'undesired' people.
If I was given the opportunity to work for Google, would I take it?
Doesn't it depend on the position?
I'd never want to work on the engineering / math / science side of things, but I think I'd enjoy doing communications and PR. That's where my background is stronger.
Ugh. I hated math. Was pretty good at it when I had to take the classes, but hated every minute of it.
How old are you? Don't you have experience enough to know that society hasn't much to do with justice or competency? I don't say that PHDs are worthless because that would then apply to me :) - I have a huge background - I say it is true that some people without PHDs but with experience can outperform PHDs. I have hired people in my former firm the advantage of PHD is that they are generalist enough to be flexible to be able to learn new things whereas non PHDs tend to be focused on their specialty and seem to learn new concepts less easily. For example methodological stuffs like RUP (Rational Unified Process - see IBM's site) are rather abstract and non-PHD people don't understand the interest of such methodology which in truth can well be turned into techno-bureaucracy but in the principle is worth. Of course generalities always suffer from exceptions.
Now consider this: if people weren't snob by nature would this seggration persist? What if as a nonPHD you were a PHD and vice-versa? Would you say the same thing? People defend their OWN SELF interest that's what my experience has learnt. They disguise it under justice but they really don't care much about that: how many care about dramatic injustice that happen all around the world? We live in a world of hypocrisis.
I thought it is the other way around. Many people think that PhDs are too specialized.
>For example methodological stuffs like RUP (Rational Unified Process - see IBM's site) are rather abstract and non-PHD people don't understand the interest of such methodology which in truth can well be turned into techno-bureaucracy but in the principle is worth.
Could be but the question arises what does Google do? It is essentially an engineering firm and I cannot think of any work there that a smart undergraduate in engineering or sciences could not do. For a few complex problems maybe a master's or a few graduate level course exposure might help but a PhD? Especially a PhD in maths and physics? What about the neurosurgeon they had? Is he/she still around?
Basic question is why do so many 'elite' companies require PhDs. One of the reasons is marketing. People, in general, will perceive a junk search result to be quite good if they are told that it is produced by an army of PhDs. On the other hand, the same junk search result produced by a group of monkeys typing franatically on their keyboards will be laughed at.
Other issues are more serious. For example, EEOC says that if a job requires lifting packages up to 25 pounds each, asking job candidates to be able to lift 150 pounds, that appears quite harmless on surface, is discriminatory by eliminating more qualified women than men. It is called disparate-impact in hiring.
However, in case of academic qualifications and degrees these are not very obvious but similar things go on. If anyone visits a college campus, for example say UC Berkeley which I have done often (or any other similar institution), one will find that PhD programs in sciences, espeically math and physics, tend to attract people of a certain race and gender. At Berkeley it is like 90-95%. There are various reasons for that but talent is not a major factor since a few other groups perform better in things like standarizeed tests and GPAs.
My view is that these PhD degree quirements are quite arbitrary and tend to favor a certain tribe, the same tribe almost all top executives of Google belong to. Same is the case with Yahoo. Microsoft, Ask jeeves or any other new technology firm with potential to make lots of money.