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The 12 Craziest Google Interview Questions

Want to work at Google? Then you’d better be ready to answer some very strange questions — like how many golf balls you can cram into a school bus, or why manhole covers are round.

By (@JRRaphael)

November 4, 2009

Crazy Google Interview QuestionsLanding a job at Google is like hitting geek gold: You get your hands on some of the world’s most high-profile tech innovations, you get to work in a swanky office with cool toys and free food, and you get to personally invade the privacy of millions of users every day.

Okay, I’m (more or less) kidding on that last one, but you get the idea: A gig at Google is an object of desire, and it’s something not so easy to attain. But what exactly does it take to get inside those closely guarded walls? This week, we’re getting a rare glimpse into the process.

An “interview coach” from Seattle has just released 140 questions he swears are regularly used in Google job interviews. They range from the mundane — “Why do you want to join Google?” — to the incredibly strange.

Here are 12 of the oddest ones from the list (and no, we are not making these up).

1. How many golf balls can you fit in a school bus?

Um, is this innuendo? Because if so, you should be advised that — even though it may seem like a good idea at the time — that kind of thing can really hurt.

2. How much should you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle?

Trick question, I assume, designed to gauge any hidden Microsoft loyalties.

3. How many piano tuners are there in the entire world?

Just a guess, but I’m going with “five less than the total number of windows in Seattle.”

4. 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?

The town comes to the realization that all the dudes have been boning the queen?

5. 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?

Correct answer: scream, panic, and flail.

6. If you look at a clock and the time is 3:15, what is the angle between the hour and the minute hands?

Based on my calculations, the angle of the dangle is inversely proportional to the heat of the meat.

7. Suppose we have N companies, and we want to eventually merge them into one big company. How many ways are there to merge?

Oh, there are plenty of ways to merge, baby.

8. Why are manhole covers round?

Why does this question make me uncomfortable?

9. A man pushed his car to a hotel and lost his fortune. What happened?

Obvious: booze, blackjack, and bare-assed hookers.

10. Explain the significance of “dead beef.”

It’s the smell that clings to you following that night at the hotel.

11. Design an evacuation plan for San Francisco.

Okay, now I’m really getting worried about what goes on at Google Labs.

12. You have eight balls all of the same size. Seven 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?

The bigger question: Why the fuck do I have eight balls?

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