9 Odd Interview Questions

Today on Mashable I read a post called The 9 Oddest Job Interview Questions Asked at Tech Companies in 2011. Before I even read the article, I knew I wanted to write a blog about this. I wanted to answer these questions myself, as if I was interviewing for these tech jobs. Below you will find my answers to these questions. I will literally read these, answer, and share below. No time to prep… this is as if I am in the interview. This is going to be fun!

"How many people are using Facebook in San Francisco at 2:30 p.m. on a Friday? - Asked at Google, Vendor Relations Manager candidate

A lot. Since there are over 800 million users on Facebook… oh, I would say 53,782 people.

"If Germans were the tallest people in the world, how would you prove it?" — Asked at Hewlett-Packard, Product Marketing Manager candidate

You would need to take the tallest person in each country, have them all meet at the same time, and measure up. Of course, you would want to take the tallest, the shortest, and someone in the middle to find the mean height of all persons. But we only have so much time here!

"Given 20 'destructible' light bulbs (which break at a certain height), and a building with 100 floors, how do you determine the height that the light bulbs break?" — Asked at Qualcomm, Engineering candidate

Easy… take 1 bulb up and see at what floor it breaks. If it breaks before you reach the top floor you need to look at an alterative solution. That, or ask for a corner office with a view! Can’t beat sunlight.

"How would you cure world hunger?" — Asked at Amazon.com, Software Developer candidate

Feed more people… but that’s too easy. I would begin the process of curing world hunger by doing what I could to raise awareness on the issue. There are billions of dollars being spent every year on things that provide us nothing more than instant visual entertainment. Take a small percentage, even 1%, and dedicate that to stopping world hunger. An easy way to get the word out is to get a celebrity on your side. Get someone that already has a following, and have him or her become obsessed with stopping world hunger. That would only help your chances of reaching the masses.

"You’re in a row boat, which is in a large tank filled with water. You have an anchor on board, which you throw overboard (the chain is long enough so the anchor rests completely on the bottom of the tank). Does the water level in the tank rise or fall?" — Asked at Tesla Motors, Mechanical Engineer candidate

Before I toss the anchor, let me check-in on foursquare… there is a badge for checking in on a boat. But seriously, the water would rise. You would be placing something that was one top of the water into the water, therefore displacing where the water can go. Am I right? That’s a tough one. By the way, I got the badge!

"Please spell 'diverticulitis'." — Asked at EMSI Engineering, Account Manager candidate

(This one is tough to answer… the answer is in the question!)

"You have a bouquet of flowers. All but two are roses, all but two are daisies, and all but two are tulips. How many flowers do you have?" — Asked at Epic Systems, Corporation Project Manager/Implementation Consultant candidate

Unless you consider a bouquet a dozen, then there is no way to tell. All but two are one flower… all but two another. There is no way to tell how many flowers you have.

"How do you feel about those jokers at Congress? — Asked at Consolidated Electrical, Management Trainee candidate

(Not sure why they would ask about government in an interview. Especially when the job has nothing to do with the government. I would personally feel uncomfortable answering that.)

"If you were a Microsoft Office program, which one would you be?" — Asked at Summit Racing Equipment, Ecommerce candidate

Microsoft Word… I use it every day, and am very comfortable with the interface. Plus, since I’m a writer I would need a place to… well, write. Sure PowerPoint is nice and Excel is good too. But Word has always seemed like home to me.

That WAS fun. I wonder where these questions come from. I write a lot of interviews on my blog. Maybe I should start using some of these questions when I talk to bands and PGA teaching professionals!

What is the weirdest interview question you have ever been asked?

Source: http://mashable.com/2011/12/27/glassdoor-interview-questions-2011/

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Hi, Thanks for your great post, there are much nice information in this articles.

Posted by Interview Tips on March 13, 2012 @ 7:19 am

You are right, the flower question is 3. Now, for the boat question:As Robert said, the change in water level depends on the density of the anchor. But we know that the anchor is more dense than water since it sinks to the bottom. If you have water in the bottom of a boat, and then pump it out, the water level will be the same. If you have something denser than water on a boat and then drop it out, the water level will go down.

Posted by Jonathan on January 9, 2012 @ 12:14 am

On the flower question, the answer is 3.On the boat question, that was my first thought. But, when you throw out the anchor, since it's resting on the bottom it's no longer contributing to the weight of the boat, so the water displacement of the boat is reduced. The amount by which it is reduced is a factor of the weight of the anchor. But the displacement of the anchor in the water is a factor of the volume of the anchor. So the relationship between the reduced displacement of the boat and the displacement of the anchor is a factor of the density of the anchor. Thoughts?

Posted by Robert Perlberg on January 5, 2012 @ 12:18 pm
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