Summary of How Would You Move Mount Fuji?

Microsoft's Cult of the Puzzle -- How the World's Smartest Companies Select the Most Creative Thinkers

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How Would You Move Mount Fuji? book summary
How would you move Mount Fuji? Answer this puzzle – and others – correctly, and you could win a job at Microsoft.


8 Overall

8 Applicability

9 Innovation

8 Style


getAbstract recommends this book to people trying to get hired at Microsoft or companies influenced by its hiring practices; people who want to think critically about how hiring practices work; and people who want to see how smart they are. The last group includes those who enjoy puzzles, and will relish the fun, challenging questions presented here. The book’s core is a collection of entertaining brainteasers from job interviews. Given the high level of competition, most people who are trying to get hired at Microsoft probably need the edge it provides. Readers can work methodically through the questions, and the reasons behind them, to build a general approach for dealing with most puzzles. Readers who want to reflect on hiring practices - such as human resources personnel or scholars of corporate culture - will find the book intriguing but incomplete. Author William Poundstone is incredibly useful when discussing the gaps between what these questions do and what they are intended to do, but he delivers only quick sketches of explanations about how corporate culture retains these approaches despite their relative lack of function. His suggestions for alternative approaches are equally brief. Even after reading this entertaining book, readers are likely to find that perfecting their companies’ interviewing processes will continue to be something of a puzzle.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the history of intelligence testing shapes modern hiring practices
  • What sort of interview questions Microsoft and similarly ambitious companies ask
  • How to answer several forms of these questions
  • Why they work and why they don’t


How Puzzle Questions Work
You probably know the clichés about how fast things are changing and how everything you learned in college will be out of date in X years (fill in the number of your choice). If that’s the case, what traits should you look for when you’re hiring? You want people...
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About the Author

William Poundstone has written nine books and his articles have appeared in magazines ranging from The Economist to The New York Times Book Review. He is a lifelong fan of brainteasers.

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