10 Strange Job Interview Questions Big Tech Companies Ask - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
IT Leadership // Team Building & Staffing
News
7/18/2016
07:06 AM
Kelly Sheridan
Kelly Sheridan
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

10 Strange Job Interview Questions Big Tech Companies Ask

Tech companies are notorious for asking bizarre interview questions. Here are 10 such head-scratchers that candidates were asked during job interviews at Google, Apple, Microsoft, and other major tech firms.
Previous
1 of 11
Next

(Image: Pixsooz/iStockphoto)

(Image: Pixsooz/iStockphoto)

As you move forward in your IT career, you'll find yourself in a variety of different professional roles while you build the expertise needed to become a respected technology leader.

For some IT workers, the career path to success may require moving to different cities where the tech scene is booming. For others, it may require building expertise in their chosen field or developing new technical skills.

Regardless of location or job title, all IT professionals face a similar challenge in moving up the corporate ladder -- the job interview. While tech pros are in one of the best industries for landing top jobs, many are in competition with one another to snagging coveted roles at giants like Apple and Google.

[See 8 Free iOS, Android Apps for Job Hunters.]

Despite their skills, many talented IT pros don't receive an invitation to visit their desired tech campus for an in-person interview. But for those who do, it may be difficult to prepare. While some interviews are fairly straightforward, others include some bizarre questions.

Some candidates who have gone through the interview process at tech companies report about their experiences on career website Glassdoor. Their stories indicate many employers ask questions far stranger than the typical "Why do you want this job?"

Here, we share some unusual questions that tech companies such as Microsoft, Expedia, and Oracle have asked interviewees in the hot seat.

How would you answer these questions? What is the strangest question you have been asked in an interview? Feel free to share your thoughts and stories in the comments.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 11
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
MathijsS771
50%
50%
MathijsS771,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/7/2016 | 6:26:12 AM
Re: Questions not Strange at all to me
Hi Gary, Your last answer is flawed: The question is to give it in LESS than three steps, yours is 3. So the correct way would be: put 6 on the scale (3/3). - No difference? Compare the 2 remaining - Difference? Compare 2 out of 3. In case of difference you know which one, if no difference it's the one not on the scale. In two steps, intel is all about efficiency and a lower path wins in this case!
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
7/31/2016 | 9:59:51 PM
Re: Questions not Strange at all to me
Shamika, 

Sure, a good attitude counts as well. It's a balanced combination of knowledge and personality, plus determination and the capacity to  able to be ready for learning new skills if necessary what makes the powerful mix. 

-Susan 
shamika
50%
50%
shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
7/31/2016 | 11:16:42 AM
Re: Answers
@mkmalensek I agree with you. I will be really interested as well. 
shamika
50%
50%
shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
7/31/2016 | 11:15:03 AM
Re: Questions not Strange at all to me
Interesting questions. Even though it seems to be strange, it seems it really check the need of the recruiter?
shamika
50%
50%
shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
7/31/2016 | 11:07:54 AM
Re: Questions not Strange at all to me
@susan, I agree with you. At the same time don't you think the attitude plays a major role too.
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
7/24/2016 | 7:57:53 AM
Re: Questions not Strange at all to me
Gary,

Logic, communication skills, and personality are important for many jobs in technology, if not all. However, how accurate can the result be when your future depends on a few problem-solving questions under pressure? Unless the every day life of such job will be under pressure, I am not convinced this can be accurate, or fair. What you do think?

-Susan 
GaryB790
50%
50%
GaryB790,
User Rank: Strategist
7/22/2016 | 11:54:24 AM
Questions not Strange at all to me
What I got out of each of these was either a test of logic, communication skill or personality.  This is how I percevied the questions IMHO;

Google - Communication

Apple - Thermodynamics and logic

Facebook - logic (all break)

Expedia - Personality type (get mad, join in, ignore, laugh it off)

Yahoo - Logic test

Microsoft - communication and personality

Samsung - logic test - how to retrieve information

HP - the music that you listen to describes your personality: laid back, independent, high energy.....

Oracle - do you understand the concept of PGP?

Intel - logic test ( BTW: binomial search: 4,2,1 pennies per scale)

So I see all of the questions as valid but directly or indirectly asking you to solve a problem to indicate what you think you capabilites are to to describe yourself in some way. To me they are not weird at all.

 
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
7/21/2016 | 6:42:59 AM
Re: Microsoft question not bad
Ron, 

Yes, I like the Microsoft question, too. It can be difficult for some people to describe their personality, or talk about themselves. The tricky indirect questions or statements not always work well. With this question, you can see some presentation skills, imagination, creativity, and how you think of yourself, or how you see yourself. 

It's evident some are problem-solving questions. Some others, look into some other aspects of knowledge or rational/creative thinking.

In the Apple question, I choose to put the milk first. What's the right answer for Apple? 

-Susan

 
adw3345
50%
50%
adw3345,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/19/2016 | 4:56:24 PM
The worst question
The one to watch out for is "You're not a cop, are you?"
TerryB
50%
50%
TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
7/19/2016 | 1:32:42 PM
Re: Answers
I'm guessing listing Vanilla Ice and Two Live Crew in your top 5 bands doesn't get you hired very often. :-)

Now, listing Rage Against the Machine, that would tell you a lot about the company....
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
News
A Data-Centric Approach to the US Census
James M. Connolly, Executive Managing Editor, InformationWeekEditor in Chief,  10/12/2018
News
10 Top Strategic Predictions for 2019
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  10/17/2018
Commentary
AI & Machine Learning: An Enterprise Guide
James M. Connolly, Executive Managing Editor, InformationWeekEditor in Chief,  9/27/2018
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
The Next Generation of IT Support
The workforce is changing as businesses become global and technology erodes geographical and physical barriers.IT organizations are critical to enabling this transition and can utilize next-generation tools and strategies to provide world-class support regardless of location, platform or device
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored 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.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll