Saturday 7 January 2012

Thinking on your feet

You're interested in screenwriting: that suggests you have an above average I.Q. You're on holidays, probably. You've wound down. You're relaxed, taking it easy. That's good. It means you should be ready to answer what are, according to Peter Pachal, the nine oddest job interview questions asked at tech companies in 2011:
  1. How many people are using Facebook in San Francisco at 2:30 p.m. on a Friday?” — Asked at Google, Vendor Relations Manager candidate
  2. If Germans were the tallest people in the world, how would you prove it?” — Asked at Hewlett-Packard, Product Marketing Manager candidate
  3. 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
  4. How would you cure world hunger?” — Asked at, Software Developer candidate
  5. 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
  6. Please spell diverticulitis’.” — Asked at EMSI Engineering, Account Manager candidate
  7. 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
  8. How do you feel about those jokers at Congress?” — Asked at Consolidated Electrical, Management Trainee candidate
  9. If you were a Microsoft Office program, which one would you be?” — Asked at Summit Racing Equipment, Ecommerce candidate
Come on, people, I'm waiting for answers...

1 comment:

Kathy said...

I love puzzles and I don't mind looking silly so here goes:

1. Presumably the candidate knows how many people are in San Francisco, the percentage who use Facebook, and the pattern of use on a Friday afternoon.

2. Perhaps ask clothes companies the length of their longest standard pair of trousers.

3. Start at the top. If any break, go to the middle. Keep going to the middle of the floors above where the lights break, and below where the lights don't break, until you find the last floor where they don't break.

4. Too complicated to attempt unless you really want the job.

5. I think Archimedes would say that since the anchor had been in the boat it had already displaced the volume of water equivalent to its weight. When it sank to the bottom it displaced a lesser volume of water as it is denser than water. So the water level would rise.

6. That's a silly question for someone who is not applying for a job in a medical field.

7. 3

8. A leading question, not clever at all, with inappropriate political overtones.

9. A cute way of finding out the applicant's knowledge of Microsoft products.

Thanks for the fun time, Henry. Quite happy to be shot down in flames now.