There's probably a lot of companies where it makes sense to have formulaic job interview questions, because they are just looking for someone who can fit the mold of a well-defined job role, not shake the boat, and they don't expect them to stay very long. However, I don't think that those are the only jobs that exist in the tech industry, or that those are the only jobs available to college graduates.
I only know from my own experience and that of friends, but most of the CS or SE graduates I knew looked down on the "codemonkey" jobs, so I assume that their jobs required a bit more creativity. I have a friend who works for google, who got his job right out of college, who certainly does a lot more than write code within a defined set of rules. I think the author's surprise is based on his own impression of google, that since most of their revenue is in advertising, and most of their projects are in other things, that the sort of jobs that they're hiring for probably aren't all formulaic jobs where all you do is follow instructions.
And I don't think that trainability or the expectation that someone will stay at your company for more than two years are the only reasons to hire someone who is capable of doing any more than following instructions. A lot of tech jobs don't have much to do with the initial job description, and most of my engineering or CS friends have told me that they don't actually do much related to the description of their job. While nobody expects a fresh college grad to stick around for 25 years, most also don't expect those college grads to need hand-holding and micromanaging, either.