20 Off-the-Planet Questions Google Has Asked at Interviews

Google building.

Goggle is known for its astounding workplace with unique perks such as food within 150 feet of all employees. (Image: Runner1928via Wikimedia Commons)

Going for an interview for a job can be stressful, so imagine having to go for one with a huge company like Google. The Internet giant would ask some ridiculously off-the-planet questions and brain teasers before the company banned them in 2011.

Now, it must be remembered that most of these questions didn’t have an answer; they were to test your creativity and assess how you would tackle the question.

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Goggle is known for its astounding workplace with unique perks such as food within 150 feet of all employees, you can bring your canines to the office, and on-site physicians and nurses — just to name a few.

Google prefers Ivy Leaguers

However, Google aims for Ivy Leaguers, to the point they still care what your GPA was even if you’re 30-years-old. Going back 5 years, your GPA would have been the last thing on your mind when it comes to an interview with Google. All that would have been on your mind would have been the questions they were going to ask.

Watch this hilarious video from The Internship with funny guys Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson having an interview with Google:

Lewis Lin, from Impact Interview, compiled some questions from clients that have been interviewed and received Google job offers. In his report, he lists 140 Google interview questions. Here are the top 20:

  1. Imagine you have a closet full of shirts. It’s very hard to find a shirt. So what can you do to organize your shirts for easy retrieval?
  2. In a country in which people only want boys, every family continues to have children until they have a boy. If they have a girl, they have another child. If they have a boy, they stop. What is the proportion of boys to girls in the country?
  3. You are at a party with a friend and 10 people are present, including you and the friend. Your friend makes you a wager that for every person you find that has the same birthday as you, you get $1; for every person he finds who does not have the same birthday as you, he gets $2. Would you accept the wager?
  4. How many golf balls can fit in a school bus?
  5. How many piano tuners are there in the entire world?
  6. You have eight balls all of the same size. 7 of them weigh the same, and one of them weighs slightly more. How can you find the ball that is heavier by using a balance and only two weighings?
  7. You have five pirates, ranked from 5 to 1 in descending order. The top pirate has the right to propose how 100 gold coins should be divided among them. But the others get to vote on his plan, and if fewer than half agree with him, he gets killed. How should he allocate the gold in order to maximize his share, but live to enjoy it? (Hint: One pirate ends up with 98 percent of the gold.)
  8. You are given 2 eggs. You have access to a 100-story building. Eggs can be very hard or very fragile, which means they may break if dropped from the first floor or may not even break if dropped from the 100th floor. Both eggs are identical. You need to figure out the highest floor of a 100-story building an egg can be dropped without breaking. The question is how many drops you need to make. You are allowed to break 2 eggs in the process.
  9. Why are manhole covers round?
  10. Every man in a village of 100 married couples has cheated on his wife. Every wife in the village instantly knows when a man other than her husband has cheated, but does not know when her own husband has. The village has a law that does not allow for adultery. Any wife who can prove that her husband is unfaithful must kill him that very day. The women of the village would never disobey this law. One day, the queen of the village visits and announces that at least one husband has been unfaithful. What happens?
  11. How much should you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle?
  12. You are shrunk to the height of a nickel and your mass is proportionally reduced so as to maintain your original density. You are then thrown into an empty glass blender. The blades will start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do?
  13. A man pushed his car to a hotel and lost his fortune. What happened?
  14. You need to check that your friend, Bob, has your correct phone number, but you cannot ask him directly. You must write the question on a card and give it to Eve who will take the card to Bob and return the answer to you. What must you write on the card, besides the question, to ensure Bob can encode the message so that Eve cannot read your phone number?
  15. How many degrees are there in the angle between the hour and minute hands of a clock when the time is a quarter past three?
  16. If a person dials a sequence of numbers on the telephone, what possible words/strings can be formed from the letters associated with those numbers?
  17. How would you determine if someone has won a game of tic-tac-toe on a board of any size?
  18. How many résumés does Google receive each year for software engineering?
  19. Anywhere in the world, where would you open up a new Google office and how would you figure out compensation for all the employees at this new office?
  20. What is the probability of breaking a stick into 3 pieces and forming a triangle?
Google on a computer.
How would you have answered some of these questions? (Image: via Pixabay)

How would you have answered some of these questions?

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