Facebook is frequently touted as one of the best companies to work for on the planet.
The Frank Gehry-designed headquarters is a light-filled homage to innovation, collaboration and speed, one that sits on a campus offering employees gourmet food, rock climbing walls, artists studios, music rooms and a barbershop -- all of it available for free, according to this video tour courtesy of Glassdoor.
Its 12,691 employees earn a median salary of $135,000 after five years. Not surprisingly, 93 percent of the company's employees report a high job satisfaction rate, according to Business Insider.
Landing a highly-coveted job at Facebook is no easy task, requiring candidates to solve coding and algorithm problems on the fly.
But Miranda Kalinowski, Facebook's global head of recruiting, told Business Insider that her favorite interview question -- presented to some, but not all candidates -- has nothing to do with solving computing problems.
Instead, she said, it's this soul-baring inquiry:
"On your very best day at work — the day you come home and think you have the best job in the world — what did you do that day?"
On its face, it is, seemingly, a simple question. There is, of course, no right answer, only revealing ones, making it a potential landmine for a nervous applicant adjusting their answers on the spot, trying to put the best foot forward.
The question was conceived to help hiring managers assess someone's innate passion, which offers a valuable way to evaluate how that person might fit within the company's culture. But authentic passion, perhaps more than other qualification, is hard to fake.
"A consuming passion is the last thing you think about before you go to bed at night and the first thing you think about when you wake up," Brian Schwartz, the author 50 Interviews, a book that explores how entrepreneurs thrive, told Psychology Today in 2013."It feels like an addiction, and if someone told you to stop, it would be impossible for you to give it up."
Schwartz added that people who find a passion place less emphasis on pay and see their drive as an instrumental part of their purpose.
Finding people with that kind of irrepressible drive is part of a larger effort to turn Facebook into a "Strengths-based" organization Marcus Buckingham, a longtime Gallup analyst who has consulted with Facebook, told Business Insider. His best-selling book -- "First, Break All The Rules" -- is a Facebook favorite and is considered "highly recommended reading" for newly-minted Facebook managers, according to Business Insider.
At its core, according to an excerpt of the book, are lessons for managers that revolve around the idea that people, sadly, aren't prone to seismic behavioral changes. Instead of trying to mold someone, Buckingham and co-author Curt W. Coffman advise hiring managers to stick to a list they label "the Four Keys":
- When selecting someone, they select for talent . . . not simply experience, intelligence, or determination.
- When setting expectations, they define the right outcomes . . . not the right steps.
- When motivating someone, they focus on strengths . . . not on his weaknesses
- When developing someone, they help him find the right fit . . . not simply the next rung on the ladder.
By developing an employee's innate strengths, and giving them opportunities to develop those strengths, the authors argue companies like Facebook tap into their work force's true energy and potential.
"People want to have an impact," Lori Goler, Facebook's vice president of people operations told Business Insider. "They want to know that what they're working on matters. And they're going to stay at a place where they feel like they have an impact, [where] they're learning and growing and doing work they love."
To prepare for interview questions about passion and other philisophical riddles, Kalinowski offered Business Insider some advice. Before coming in for their interview, she recommends that applicants consider what they naturally enjoy doing when they lose track of time at work.
Hopefully, the answer is "browse Facebook."
"We want to make sure that we approach recruiting in the same way that we approach the design of the product and the services that we deliver to the world," Kalinowski said. "And that's with the focus on connection. We want to connect to our candidates in the recruiting or interviewing process pretty deeply."