How Many Of Google's Banned Interview Questions Can You Answer?


Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

clockMar 29 2016, 17:06 UTC
678 How Many Of Google's Banned Interview Questions Can You Answer?
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Google has a fabled history of asking some ridiculously out-the-box questions and brain teasers at their interviews. In fact, as reported back in 2011, some of the questions were so tough that they were banned by the company.

Lewis Lin, a career consultant who specializes in interview techniques, compiled a list containing 140 questions some of his clients were asked by Google. The posts they applied for included positions such as product managers, software engineers, and marketing managers. Most of these questions don’t strictly have an answer, but instead are designed to test your creativity and assess how you tackle the question.


Get your polished shoes and sweaty palms at the ready, here are some of their most obscure and trickiest questions:

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

2. Why are manhole covers round?


3. You need to check that your friend Bob has your correct phone number, but you cannot ask him directly. You must write the question on a card and give it to Eve who will take the card to Bob and return the answer to you. What must you write on the card, besides the question, to ensure that Bob can encode the message so that Eve cannot read your phone number?

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

5. 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?


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

7. How many times a day does a clock's hands overlap?

8. How many vacuums are made per year in the USA?


9. Explain the significance of "dead beef."

10. If a person dials a sequence of numbers on the telephone, what possible words/strings can be formed from the letters associated with those numbers?

11. 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?


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

13. Explain a database in three sentences to your 8-year-old nephew.

14. You have to get from point A to point B. You don't know if you can get there. What would you do?


15. You are at a party with a friend and 10 people are present (including you and the friend). Your friend makes you a wager that for every person you find who has the same birthday as you, you get $1; for every person he finds who does not have the same birthday as you, he gets $2. Would you accept the wager?

[H/T: Business Insider]

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