Interview for jobs has never been the best way to know which candidate is best suited for any particular job. There are many factors that can incapacitate the best candidate during interviews: pressures, anxiety, time, CV presentation and even over-confidence.
The situation gets complicated when an interviewer asks an off-the-line question that may need the applicant to think on his feet.
Yasmin Green, the Head of Research and Development at Jigsaw (formerly known as Google Ideas) is said to always ask this ‘ice-cream’ question during her interviews. She confirmed it recently at the Marie Claire’s Power Trip summit (a woman’s networking event).
She revealed that her favorite interview technique is asking candidates: “How would you make money from an ice-cream stand in Central Park?”
It has been argued that the question is a deviation from the usual ‘what’s your greatest weakness’ and ‘tell me about a time that you had to overcome adversity’.
Green has a reason for her tactical question as she explained to Business Insider:
“I’m curious to see how people deal with ambiguity and whether they can have fun while thinking on their feet.”
She only wants to hire an applicant who is “innately driven” and “who has that force of spirit that powers them through any obstacle that comes their way.”
She summarized her point by saying that: “Google sets itself apart for the value it puts on creative, independent thinking. And of course, just like any other job opportunity, role-related skills and doing your research and preparation are essential.”