Friday, 13 November 2009

Here's a tricky one, Google

P was out with with a client last night so just me and son in for dinner. Just as were were finishing our meal he asked if I had read an article regarding Google interviews in the SundayTimes. (He's just graduated and looking for work, so interviews on his mind). I must admit I hadn't, he went on to tell me that the article was about possible questions that job applicants are expected to solve at interviews off the tops of their heads. He said he'd kept the article, went to fetch it and read a little from it. Apparently Google get 3,000 job applications a day and only 50 UK vacancies were being advertised last week and how times have changed.

It's not at all like the old days any more, even if you don't remember them you'd have seen the old ways spoofed in movies, old school tie, Oxford or Cambridge, Harvard wasn't it, etc...

Interviewer: “Didn’t your father used to work here?”

Interviewee: “Yes, he sends his best wishes.”

Interviewer: “Do you still play rugby, by the way?”

Interviewee: “Yes.”

Interviewer: “Jolly good. When can you start?”

Anyway it's definitely not like that now, not at Google anyway. He said have a go at these questions which I did.

1. 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?

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

3. You have eight balls all of the same size. Seven of them weigh the same. One of them weighs slightly more. How can you find the heavier ball by using a balance and only two weighing?

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

I can hear you say, how did I do, very bad actually, only got one right. There can't be answers to some of these and others require lateral thinking. I read the article later and I'm very glad I'm not having to go through interviews these days especially with questions like these.

Why not have a go at the questions, leave me the answers in comments but no Googling.



Sara said...

Sheesh, it's a very good thing I already have a job! And, btw, I do a good bit of hiring...I would NEVER ask questions like these!

Hermione said...

I'm glad where I work there are specific questions that relate to the job you are applying for. Sort of like an oral exam. Sometimes written tests too, but nothing creative like this!

Question 2 - 24 times.

Question 3 - You would put 4 on one side of the balance and 4 on the other side. Take the balls from whichever side was heavier, and put 2 on each side and weigh again. Pick up the 2 balls from the side that weighed more - one in each hand - and you can tell which one is heavier without weighing.

I haven't a clue about the others.



1/Either all the women get mouthy and tell there friends about their husbands and you get a very full grave yard or all the women say well I haven't heard of my husband cheating and nothing happens or every body chants f**k off b****h who made you queen of the village anyway.

2/The obvious answer is 23 but I think it is actually 24.

3/OK got me there.

4/He got sued by the hotel owner for damages when he pushed his car into the hotel.

And no I did not use Google but I am going to now :)


mouse said...

I think I keep what little sanity I have left and skip the questions..


Anonymous said...

I'm with mouse :-)


Anonymous said...

Um ya, back in the day the big questions was to ask how to get to your home from their office. It was about communication skills.

Re #1 I'm guessing the queen could tell the wife who would then put him to death. But based on how good the husband's skills were, I'm guessing the queen might keep the info to herself and keep him around for future visits. In which case the other 49 women in the village might seek him out. So if I gave that answer what type of company would want to hire me?

Alyx said...

#1 - Nothing?
#2 - 24, but I guessed wrong at first.

Only one I'm sure about is #3:

Take 3 balls on each side. If they're equal, weigh the last two and see which is heavier. If they're not equal, take the 3 from the side that's heavier. Weigh one on each side. If they're equal the last ball is it. If they're not equal, you know which one is heavier.

Kinda proud that I figured that out by myself! :D

#4 - Absolutely no idea.

Daisychain said...

1) Just kill the bloody lot of unfaithful toads!
OR, lol, they kill the KING!!!!!
3) I may be misunderstanding here, but by "only 2 weighing",as opposed to "only 2 weighings" am assuming you mean only weighing 2 at a time? In which case you put any ball on one side, then put each of the others on the other side in turn till you find the heavy one. If you can only weigh twice, then I'm with Hermione!
4)If it has something to do with the broken down car being his fortune, he was a taxidriver? Or, lol, the hotel was at Lands end and had just fallen off the cliffedge?

Sorry I have been absent so long, really busy here, decorating!
Hugs, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

ronnie said...

Thanks all for stopping by and for answering the questions. I thought they were pretty tricky.

Sara - Son in middle of applications now and you should see some of them, not quite likes these though.

Mouse, Kitten - I don't blame you.

Hermione, Prefectdt, KayLynn, (Alyx hello and welcome), (Daisy good answer to 1) - Thanks. Here are the answers -

1. Suppose there are only two married couples in the village. When the queen makes her announcement, Wife 1 knows Husband 2 was unfaithful. Now she knows that if Wife 2 sees that Husband 1 is faithful then Wife 2 will kill Husband 2 on the first day because at least one of the two men is unfaithful and it isn’t Husband 1. However, Wife 2 doesn’t kill her husband. The only reason being because she knows Husband 1 is unfaithful. Because both husbands are still alive on the second day the wives know both are unfaithful. So on the second day both husbands are killed by their wives. What happens with 100 married couples is that the wives have to wait till the 100th day before they can prove that their husband is cheating. On the 100th day there is a bloodbath: all the men are killed by their wives.

2. 22

3. Weigh balls 1, 2, 3 against 4, 5, 6. If they balance, compare 7 and 8; if they differ, take the heavier set (say 1,2,3) and weigh 1 and 2. If they balance, ball 3 is heaviest.

4. He was playing Monopoly. (now who on earth would have got that one.

Hope everybody's weekend is going well.