Web Watch is a fan of some of the infamous Microsoft interview questions, such as “how many payphones are there in Manhattan?” (answer then: assume 4 payphones per street corner, then calculate how many street corners there are in Manhattan. answer now: probably none)
Lewis Lin, an interview coach in Seattle, has compiled 140 GOOGLE JOB INTERVIEW QUESTIONS that have been asked over the years.
Some of the questions include:
- 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?
- Imagine you have a closet full of shirts. It’s very hard to find a shirt. So what can you do to organize your shirts for easy retrieval? (full disclosure: Web Watch has failed miserably at this one)
- Design an algorithm to play a game of Frogger and then code the solution. The object of the game is to direct a frog to avoid cars while crossing a busy road. You may represent a road lane via an array. Generalize the solution for an N-lane road.
The problem here is that Lewis doesn’t necessarily give you the answers to the questions asked.
Some of these questions include:
- How many golf balls can fit inside a school bus?
- How much would you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle?
- How many piano tuners are there in the entire world?
- You have eight balls, all the same size. Seven of them weigh the same, but one weighs more. You’re allowed to use a balance scale twice to find the heaviest ball – how do you do it?
The key to these types of questions is to not overthink the answers, and to use some form of logic to arrive at your answer. Your answer doesn’t necessarily have to be correct, but showcase your intuitive thinking and analytical skills.
A friend of Web Watch was asked about why manhole covers are round. The answer they gave? Because manholes are round. Not the real reason, but still an accurate – and acceptable – answer.