I just read an article in the Silicon Valley Business Journal entitled “Top 25 oddball job interview questions of 2010.”
Ever had a tough interview? How would you like to get one of these questions in an interview?!
Questions were shared by job candidates during the past year:
1) “If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out?” — Asked for an analyst position at Goldman Sachs.
2) “How many ridges [are there] around a quarter?” — Asked for a project analyst position at Deloitte.
3) “What is the philosophy of martial arts?” — Asked for a sales associate position at Aflac.
4) “Explain [to] me what has happened in this country during the last 10 years.” — Asked for a consultant position at Boston Consulting.
5) “Rate on a scale of 1 to 10 how weird you are.” — Asked for an operations analyst position at Capital One.
6) “How many basketball[s] can you fit in this room?” — Asked for a people analyst position at Google.
7) “Out of 25 horses, pick the fastest 3 horses. In each race, only 5 horses can run at the same time. What is the minimum number of races required?” — Asked for a software developer position at Bloomberg LP Financial.
8) “If you could be any superhero, who would it be?” — Asked for a customer sales position at AT&T.
9) “You have a birthday cake and have exactly 3 slices to cut it into 8 equal pieces. How do you do it?” — Asked for a fixed income analyst position at Blackrock Portfolio Management Group.
10) “Given the numbers 1 to 1000, what is the minimum numbers guesses needed to find a specific number if you are given the hint ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ for each guess you make?” — Asked for a software engineer position at Facebook.
11) “If you had 5,623 participants in a tournament, how many games would need to be played to determine the winner?” — Asked for a manager position at Amazon.
12) “An apple costs 20 cents, an orange costs 40 cents, and a grapefruit costs 60 cents, how much is a pear?”– Asked for a project manager position at Epic Systems.
13) “There are three boxes, one contains only apples, one contains only oranges, and one contains both apples and oranges. The boxes have been incorrectly labeled such that no label identifies the actual contents of the box it labels. Opening just one box, and without looking in the box, you take out one piece of fruit. By looking at the fruit, how can you immediately label all of the boxes correctly?” — Asked for a software QA engineer position at Apple.
14) “How many traffic lights in Manhattan?” — Asked for an analyst position at Argus Information & Advisory Services.
15) “You are in a dark room with no light. You need matching socks for your interview and you have 19 gray socks and 25 black socks. What are the chances you will get a matching pair?” — Asked for a quality assurance position at Eze Castle.
16) “What do wood and alcohol have in common?” — Asked for a staff writer position at Guardsmark.
17) “How do you weigh an elephant without using a weigh machine?” — Asked for a software engineer at IBM.
18) “You have 8 pennies, 7 weigh the same, one weighs less. You also have a judges scale. Find the one that weighs less in less than 3 steps.” — Asked for a systems validation engineer position at Intel.
19) “Why do you think only a small percentage of the population makes over $150K?”– Asked for a sales agent position at New York Life.
20) “You are in charge of 20 people. Organize them to figure out how many bicycles were sold in your area last year.” — Asked for a field engineer position at Schlumberger.
21) “How many bottles of beer are consumed in the city over the week?” — Asked for a research analyst position at The Nielsen Company.
22) “What’s the square root of 2000?” — Asked for a sales and trading position at UBS.
23) “A train leaves San Antonio for Houston at 60 mph. Another train leaves Houston for San Antonio at 80 mph. Houston and San Antonio are 300 miles apart. If a bird leaves San Antonio at 100 mph, and turns around and flies back once it reaches the Houston train, and continues to fly between the two, how far will it have flown when they collide?”– Asked for a software engineer position at USAA.
24) “How are M&M’s made?” — Asked for a program development position at US Bank.
25) “What would you do if you just inherited a pizzeria from your uncle?” — Asked for a business analyst position at Volkswagen.
You can see some of the answers that interviewees gave here: http://www.glassdoor.com/blog/top-25-oddball-interview-questions-2010/