Great pay, free gourmet food, and other perks that would send shivers of jealousy up the spine of the most pampered employee from the rival company- all these and more are what make Google one of the most desired companies by employees. Not to mention the opportunity to work in an organization that’s literally changing the world with its innovations. But getting your foot inside Google’s door- as may be expected, is no easy feat. These questions asked at the company’s job interviews reveal that fact-one gritty mind twister at a time.
1. What’s the total number of piano tuners in the world?
Unless your mother is a professional pianist who listened to Beethoven throughout the time she was carrying you in her tummy and your father is a music historian who taught you everything about music and musicians in your childhood, you probably wouldn’t have developed an interest in keeping track of such things as the number of piano tuners the world is blessed with. Latest studies on genetics show that your inclinations and tastes are decided to a large extent by the presence of certain genes in your body, which is not always hereditary. Meaning, you could stay musically inert even if you got ‘melodious’ conditioning when you were young. So, what’s the chance of an ordinary Joe cracking this question?
2. When it’s quarter past three, how many degrees are there in the angle between the hour and minute hands of a clock?
The clock hands practically coincide in the said time. So, the answer is zero, right? That’s probably the first thing that passes through your mind when you hear the question. However, second thoughts have a way of turning up whether you like it or not. And in this instance the second thought also puts in your hand a nut that’s seeming cannot be cracked- for when the two hands are aligned one over the other in a horizontal position, is it technically correct to label it as 180 degrees? But yes, we all know there’s that tiny bit of difference between the positions of the hands.
3. Why are manhole covers round in shape?
Maybe it’s got something to do with Physics- you know, how being round in shape makes the piece of covering more…err..viable. Or maybe it’s easier to drill a round hole than a square one. That’s just about all the probable explanations that I can think of- one reason why I don’t work at Google. And oh, something just occurred to me- maybe, the person responsible for history’s very first manhole had a thing for circular objects and everyone who came after just followed it blindly.
4. You have a box of pencils. Mention 10 things you can do with the pencils which are not traditional uses.
One or two would be plausible. Okay, even three. But 10 is a whole other ballpark reaching which by giving answers that make sense is a tough one indeed. But, on the positive side- this gives you the option to display your creative prowess.
5. You’re a pirate ship’s captain. You and your crew have amassed(ahem) a large amount of gold. Now, it’s the crew who gets to decide how the bounty is divided. The catch is that unless at least half of the pirates agree with you, you lose your life. So, how do you devise a strategy for the same so that you will come out of it alive?
Having watched the first movie in the Pirates of the Carribean franchise ten times doesn’t help here. Not even if you turned up as Captain Jack Sparrow at a costume party. The only possible help is the hours you have spent solving logical questions as preparation for interviews/tests. Even then, this one will be hard as it requires not just logic but also quick wit. Think Albert Einstein on roller skates- tone it down and you will approximate the personality required to crack this one.
6.How many times in a day do a clock’s hands overlap?
The obvious answer is 24, but like sometimes happens with obvious answers, it can be wrong. Well, it is wrong, actually. There’s even a little equation you can use to solve the problem but as can happen with many equations-big and little, you are bound to have never heard of them. No surprise then that this seemingly straightforward question has many scratching their head.
7. How will you design a phone for deaf people?
Google is very much known for their innovative edge. And innovation begins with ideas that originate in an employee’s brain. Questions like these are meant to bring out the innovator in you- and to enable the interview board to judge how out of the box you can go while coming up with a plausible solution- a feat which many find hard to pull off.
8. How many people in San Francisco use Facebook at 2:30 PM on a Friday?
This is a tough one for obvious reasons. A question that even SF residents would be hard pressed to answer. Some might even consider that such a question is unfair. But, the thing is-not every interview question is meant for getting a scientifically correct answer. Some are for gauging your wits. From “Definitely more than the number of followers on the page I maintain to showcase classic art” to “Less than the number of people who think of Jessica Alba,” we can think quite a few answers for this one.
9. You aren’t sure which way a disc is spinning on a spindle. However, you have a set of pins with you. How can you use the pins to learn the direction of the disc’s spin?
As someone who absolutely hated school(except for the cafeteria), I find this question the cue to exit the interview.
10. 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 that has the same birthday as you, you get £1; For every person that does not have the same birthday as you, he gets £2. Would you accept the wager?
Answer – My expected Profit = 1*(1/365)+2*(1/365)^2+3*(1/365)^3+…+10*(1/365)^10 = 1 (approx)
The above expression is AGP. Refer the formula for
sum of n terms
Friend’s expected profit = 2*(364/365) + 4*(364/365)^2 + .. + 20*(364/365)^10 = -18*365 (approx)
My profit (+ve) > My friend profit (-ve)
Hence I accept the bet.
11. How to compute the collision of two moving spheres? Give the mathematical equations for the solution as well as an algorithmic implementation.
A frown. A scratch on the head. A nervous laugh- these are some answers that I can think of to the question. None of which will sit well with the interview board, I’m sure.
Now that we have understood (for sure) that you can’t bluff your way into a Google job, here’s one question that I can think of to ask Google-one I’m sure they won’t be able to answer easily: Why did you guys change a beautiful logo into an average one?
Some Images are for representational purpose only!!!