15 Google Interview Questions That Made Geniuses Feel Dumb

Shutterstock/Benny Marty

Google used to have really embarrassing hiring practices.

It would hardly look at applicants who hadn't gone to an Ivy League school, MIT, Cal Tech, or Stanford.

It also actually used to ask executives and engineers in their mid-30s about their college GPAs.

The worst thing Google HR would do was ask applicants insanely difficult "brain teaser" interview questions.

Gayle Laakmann McDowell, a former Google software engineer and author of The Google Resume, says the company has finally "banned" most of these awful hiring practices.

Of the brain teasers, she says: "If an interviewer were to ask a candidate a brain teaser, despite the policy, the hiring committee would likely disregard this interviewer’s feedback and send a note back telling the interviewer not to ask such silly questions."

How bad were these "silly questions" that Google had to outright ban them? 

Pretty bad.

Seattle job coach Lewis Lin put together a list of 140 questions his clients were asked by Google.  Here are…

How many golf balls can fit in a school bus?

Job: Product Manager

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

Job: Product Manager

In a country in which people only want boys…

…every family continues to have children until they have a boy. If they have a girl, they have another child. If they have a boy, they stop. What is the proportion of boys to girls in the country?

Job: Product Manager

Design an evacuation plan for San Francisco

Job: Product Manager


Why are manhole covers round?

Job: Software Engineer

How many piano tuners are there in the entire world?

Job: Product Manager

How many times a day does a clock’s hands overlap?

Job: Product Manager

Explain the significance of "dead beef"

Job: Software Engineer

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

Job: Software Engineer

Shutterstock/Stavros Argyropoulos
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