20 March 2011

My Critical Answers Versus Weird Job Interview Questions in 2010

In this post, I am going to share my answer toward the so-called "Weird Job Interview Questions in 2010". These questions are directly taken from other website* without modified. Some questions are not answered in this post since they can be found in the book entitled "How Would You Move Mount Fuji?: Microsoft's Cult of the Puzzle -- How the World's Smartest Companies Select the Most Creative Thinkers". Nevertheless, based on my personal limited knowledge, I have answered nine questions as follow:

1. "How many basketball[s] can you fit in this room?"
- Asked for a people analyst position at Google
My Answer: One, because one basketball is enough for 10 people to play and a room, typically, smaller than a basketball game field.

2. "Given the numbers 1 to 1,000, what is the minimum number of guesses needed to find a specific number if you are given the hint 'higher' or 'lower' for each guess you make."
- Asked for a software engineer position at Facebook
My Answer: The MINIMUM number of guesses, of course, is ONE.

3. "If you had 5,623 participants in a tournament, how many games would need to be played to determine the winner?"
- Asked for a manager position at Amazon.com
My Answer: 5622 games. Let the first one to fight with the 2nd one. The winner fights with the 3rd player. The winner fights with the 4th player, and so on.

4. "If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out?"
- Asked for an analyst position at Goldman Sachs
My Answer: I will just tell the person who put me in the blender very politely that: "Hey, guy. You should take a video of me and then upload it to Youtube now!!". Guess what, supposedly, I will be taken out from the blender automatically and become the next super star.

5. "How many ridges [are there] around a quarter?"
- Asked for a project analyst position at Deloitte
My Answer: I have no idea about this question. However, based on internet sources, the answer should be 119.

6. "Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 how weird you are."
- Asked for an operation analyst position at Capital One
My Answer: Supposedly, the answer is 10. Because I am trying to figure an answer for this kind of question.

7. "If you could be any superhero, who would it be?"
- Asked for a customer sales representative position at AT&T
My Answer: Superhero? In fact, I believe everyone is a superhero. So, I just want to be myself.

8. "How do you weigh an elephant without using a weight machine?"
- Asked for a software engineer position at IBM
My Answer: In fact, this question is quite similar to a question I heard from the China history. The idea is using the Archimede's principle, that is, put the elephant on a boat or ship. Then, mark the level of the water. Lastly, ask your friends go on the boat one after another until the mark is reached the surface of the water. The total weight of the friends on the boast is equal to the elephant. 

9. "Out of 25 horses, pick the 3 fastest horses. In each race, only 5 horses can run at the same time. What is the minimum number of races required?"
- Asked for a software developer position at Bloomberg LP Financial
My Answer: I think the answer should be just 5 races. Just record the time of each horses in all 5 races. Then we would supposedly be able to know the 3 fastest horses based on the recorded time.

That's all for today. More fascinating articles and sharing will be updated from time to time in Xaivier Blog. So, you are welcome to subscribe our feed, look at our sitemap or simply visit our Homepage.

Answered by: Xaivier Chia

*These questions are directly taken from




For the question 8. The story you heard comes from Vietnam. In the past, Chinese people went to Vietnam for foreign affair. Then they made a puzzle for a Vietnamese student ( He was the best one after an examination of Vietnam,serving his Vietnamese emperor) that weigh an elephan . And the Chinese's were really surprise about the answer for their own question(they thought there is no way to do it.).

Xaivier Chia said...

Hi Lê,

Thanks for your sharing.

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