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Friday 03-Jun-2016
微軟的最後一次機會

早前一位印度男生應徵Mircrosoft,考試題目問一個三角形的面積。底乘高除二嘛,畢業十幾年都識答。底是10,高是6,答案30。印度男照樣答了,不過答錯。「我俾多次機會你。」考官咁講。「肯肯定係30!」「錯,你可以走喇。」

 

咁都錯?點解?因為原來三角形是直角三角形,高不可能超過斜邊的一半,即是說,正確答案是「你的三角形有問題。」

 

咁都得?對,就是咁都得。有人分析說,Microsoft想考的是應徵者的解難和抗壓力,不是考數學。也有人說亞洲人思想就是直接,不懂得轉彎,抵佢考唔到。我第一次看見這則新聞,第一個感覺是:微軟暗示自己公司好多bugs,畫個三角形都搞唔掂,勸你唔好入嚟做。

 

But then I realise,就算真是畫出有bug的三角形,都錯有錯著。因為令我回想起讀小學時,都發生過類似的事。

 

那是常識科考試。其中有一部份是True or False題目,有八項descriptions,用圈和叉去分別正確和錯誤。結果身為「常識小王子」的我居然在這部分全部失分。而全班有大部分同學都失分,平時成績越好的,失分越多。全班只有一人能全取八分。

 

搞乜鬼?原來老師打錯字,題目寫的是「在正確描述旁邊打叉,錯誤描述旁邊打圈。」啱嘅打叉,錯嘅先打圈。而答啱嘅同學,係長期考第一的Cicy。點解佢會知?點解全世界睇唔到題目得佢睇到?係咪作弊?唔係。純粹因為佢真係好細心。

 

對於一條似錯非錯的題目,Cicy沒有先入為主,認為對就是圈錯就是叉,反而順應題目的解釋去拆解問題。深深不忿的我有一刻在想:明明對的應該要圈,一味只跟題目,豈不是題目錯你都跟住錯?直到常識科老師的一句:從沒有人說過正確就要圈。這種一廂情願和先入為主才是跟住錯。如果我將題目設為正確描述打三角形,錯誤描述正方形呢?

 

我語塞。確實,世上有好多事情不能有assumption,要仔細想清楚,要step back,宏觀去看。否則就容易聚焦於一點,望不到周邊的環境因素。印度應徵者就中了「微軟出的題目一定不會有錯」的陷阱,從最基本考慮過就去盲做題目。再者,堂堂一家微軟公司,有何必要考你一條小學生都識的數學題?

 

所以,Microsoft是否真的考解難、抗壓或者數學呢?未必。對於一些公司,尤其科技、電腦公司來說,更重要的是做錯了,出問題的時候,不要執著於某一點,那一個自為一定有問題的一點去斟酌,否則題解不了,問號更加多。能否step back,能否看清楚whole picture才下理智的判斷,才是真正的marking scheme。


(網上圖片)

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Samuel Chan, the winner of Alumni Awards 2017, is the founder of Britannia. He had studied in the UK since the age of 9 for 15 years and achieved his master degree in International Political Economy at University of Warwick. Now he shares his experiences and professional advice in education columns in Hong Kong’s major newspapers.

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Mabel Chan is the Principal Consultant of Britannia. Having studied in both the UK and the US, she is an expert in school matching for overseas education. She writes education columns for Sing Tao Daily and The Standard, and answers questions arising from parents and students patiently.

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MB Cheung, our senior consultant, has been writing education columns for major local newspapers for more than 25 years. With his experience and unique insights, he shares a variety of tips and advice on overseas education for the readers (and DSE students)

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