Comments
16 Stupid Tech Job Interview Questions: Show Your Snark
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
<<   <   Page 4 / 5   >   >>
Thomas Claburn
50%
50%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
1/17/2014 | 4:31:42 PM
Re: Your worst interview questions?
>how many jellybeans fit inside a 747 aircraft

One 747-sized jellybean, liquified for easy insertion.

As with the pizza example, basic area or volume calculations aren't too hard if you accept approximations of the required inputs. But I'm skeptical of their value as a measure of employee resourcefulness.

The ability to figure out how much of x fits into y should be assumed, at least for jobs requiring a high school degree. It's not as if, say, an Amazon warehouse ever got backed up because workers kept trying to put orders into boxes that were too small, leaving managers wishing for employees with better volume-calculation skills.
Marilyn Cohodas
50%
50%
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Author
1/17/2014 | 4:22:38 PM
Re: Your worst interview questions?
Who's the better Star Trek captain. Kirk or Picard. (I answered Picard).
Laurianne
100%
0%
Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
1/17/2014 | 4:14:17 PM
Re: Your worst interview questions?
Jellybean counting? Would "I'd ask Watson" be an acceptable answer?
Kristin Burnham
50%
50%
Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
1/17/2014 | 3:54:58 PM
Re: Your worst interview questions?
My husband was asked how many jellybeans fit inside a 747 aircraft to gauge critical thinking skills. Not necessarily a stupid interview question, but certainly one to trip you up.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
1/17/2014 | 1:59:26 PM
Re: Your worst interview questions?
@Chris He had a good answer there! Another question that knocks some people for a loop is "Where do you see yourself in 5 years." Now I'd be tempted to answer, "I'd have to get a tardis to find out. Then I'll have to be careful not to cause a time paradox by coming in physical contact with my future self. That could be quite a challenge."
ChrisMurphy
IW Pick
100%
0%
ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
1/17/2014 | 1:53:29 PM
Re: Your worst interview questions?
A classmate of mine was going through on-campus consulting interviews, and he was pretty sure the interviewer was working through his stock list of questions, and not looking very closely at the resumes, when he asked: "What would you say is the biggest risk you've ever taken at work?"

My classmate's response: "I'm going to have to go with flying combat missions over Iraq."
Stephane Parent
100%
0%
Stephane Parent,
User Rank: Strategist
1/17/2014 | 1:51:53 PM
Re: Your worst interview questions?
I'm surprised the interviewer wasn't looking for a purple squirrel.
Stephane Parent
100%
0%
Stephane Parent,
User Rank: Strategist
1/17/2014 | 1:29:34 PM
Stupid Interview Question
Question: "You are driving a two-seater convertible. At the bus stop, you see your best friend standing beside a gorgeous woman. You only have room for one passenger. What do you do?"

Answer: "I lend the car to my best friend and wait for the bus alongside the girl."
Somedude8
100%
0%
Somedude8,
User Rank: Ninja
1/17/2014 | 1:03:27 PM
Those logic puzzles, ugh
Great article!

I have a good one to share. Interviewing as a programmer for a biotech firm. Very open office trendy kind of place. There are 3 of us in a small-ish room. The part that might not play well in a typed story is that my answers were immediate. I didn't sit there and think about for a few minutes or anything like that.

"Nobody can tell anyone else how much they make a year. With only the items in this room, how can you figure out how much everyone makes in a year?"

Looking around, I see a whiteboard and some markers, there are a few pieces of blank paper and pens on the table. My laptop bag is next to me, and in the middle of the table... a phone.

"I would pick up that phone and call HR."

"Okay, lets say that the phone isn't here. How would you figure out how much everyone makes a year?"

"I would get my cell phone out of my laptop bag and call HR."

"Okay (big exasperated breath), lets pretend you don't have your cellphone. You don't have any kind of phone. How would you figure out how much everyone makes per year?"

"I would pull out my laptop, find the company website, and email HR."

Main interviewer's face is noticably redder now. I remember thinking that was unusual for someone who looked to be about 27 years old. "Okay... lets pretend there is no HR department. How do you figure out how much we each make a year?"

I stopped right before saying something about how if there is no HR, who do I turn this paperwork they gave me in to. Instead, I said something that, in retrospect, was probably as bad. "I just came up with 3 fast and effective solutions to the problem I was presented. Why would I want to continue to search for more solutions, all of which are likely to be more complex? I am sorry, but I guess I just don't get it."

The interviewer proceeded to outline some strange scenario invloving passing papers from one person to the next, with each person adding their salary to what amounted to a hash, then me subtracting something to arrive at the desired answer.

Something felt wrong about his solution, mathematically speaking. Next day I emailed him a proof that showed that his solution was flawed.

I didn't get the job.
Ariella
100%
0%
Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
1/17/2014 | 1:03:21 PM
Re: Your worst interview questions?
@Rob I'm sure that fans debate that one! I'd guess that the people who answer Kirk break rules more quickly. So you'd have to know if that's the kind of thinking they want.  One of my kids told me she heard of people applying for a school program being asked what kind of tree they would be. 
<<   <   Page 4 / 5   >   >>


The Business of Going Digital
The Business of Going Digital
Digital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - June 10, 2014
When selecting servers to support analytics, consider data center capacity, storage, and computational intensity.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join InformationWeek’s Lorna Garey and Mike Healey, president of Yeoman Technology Group, an engineering and research firm focused on maximizing technology investments, to discuss the right way to go digital.
Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.