16 Stupid Tech Job Interview Questions: Show Your Snark - InformationWeek

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16 Stupid Tech Job Interview Questions: Show Your Snark
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Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
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1/17/2014 | 11:26:38 AM
Your worst interview questions?
What's the most ridiculous question you were asked in an interview?
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
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1/17/2014 | 11:55:05 AM
"I would be equipped to become a pizza delivery woman."
Ouch
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
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1/17/2014 | 12:42:12 PM
Re: Your worst interview questions?
A colleague was asked who the better Enterprise captain was (will be?): Piccard or Kirk? (Kirk, of course.)
Ariella
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Ariella,
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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. 
ChrisMurphy
IW Pick
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ChrisMurphy,
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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."
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
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."
Kristin Burnham
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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.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
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1/17/2014 | 4:14:17 PM
Re: Your worst interview questions?
Jellybean counting? Would "I'd ask Watson" be an acceptable answer?
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
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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).
Thomas Claburn
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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.
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