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Interview Questions You May Not Expect

Interview Questions You May Not Expect

If you’re looking for some conversation fodder for tonight’s dinner date, take a look at these alternately nebulous and exacting questions culled from real-life job interviews across several industries. While it makes sense for a Data Scientist to test your ability to estimate numbers on sight, I would personally find it more intimidating (but interesting) to answer a Brand Manager’s query as to what brand best represents me as a person. Deep stuff, no?

Courtesy of Microsoft Money

Here are 27 of the toughest job interview questions reported by Glassdoor users during the past year.

  1. “How do you explain a vending machine to someone who hasn’t seen or used one before?” – Global data analyst at Bloomberg
  2. “How many fire hydrants are there in Los Angeles County?” – Software engineer at Disney Interactive Studios
  3. “If your current employer had an anniversary party for you, what five words would be written on the cake to describe you?” – District manager at Express
  4. “Who in history would you want to go to dinner with and why?” – Flight attendant, at PSA Airlines
  5. “Prove that hoop stress is twice the longitudinal stress in a cylindrical pressure vessel.” – Test operations engineer at SpaceX
  6. “What’s the capital of Canada?” – Team leader at OpticsPlanet
  7. “Name a brand that represents you as a person.” – Brand strategist at Twitter
  8. “Estimate how many employees are in the next building” – Data scientist at Risk Management Solutions
  9. “How many happy birthday posts do you think Facebook gets in one day?” – Sales operations at Facebook
  10. “If you could take anyone on a road trip with you, who would you take and why?” – Educator at lululemon
  11. “What’s the first thing you’d print with a 3D printer if you had one?” – Linux systems administrator at Rackspace
  12. “If you had to take only one item to a deserted island, what would that be?” – Customer service specialist at Squarespace
  13. “Please describe an instance where you had to make a decision without all of the necessary information.” – Analytics at athenahealth
  14. “How do you reverse a text string on the Unix command line?” – Developer at Capital One
  15. “If you’re in a boat with a boulder and you drop that boulder into the lake, how does the water level before and after you drop the boulder in the lake compare?” – Mechanical design engineer at Apple
  16. “You have been asked to lead a multi-million dollar, multiyear grant that will be supported across several companies and universities. How do you start?” – Research scientist at Ford Motor Company
  17. Sell me on one idea, and then sell me on the opposite of that idea.” – Solarwinds administrator at Blizzard Entertainment
  18. “How would you go about finding the top five Java developers in a certain area.” – Technical recruiter at Google
  19. “What’s the probability of an integer from 1 to 60,000 not having the digit 6?” – Quantitative developer at AKUNA CAPITAL 20. “If you were a Muppet, which character would you be?” – Donor family advocate at LifeNet Health
  20. “Give me 48 cents using six coins. Tell me quantity and value of the six coins.” – Human resource manager at Wintec
  21. “Write an equation to optimize the marketing spend between Facebook and Twitter campaigns.” – Analyst (data science) at Uber
  22. “What is the angle at 3:15?” – Implementation consultant at Fast Enterprises
  23. “What part of the newspaper do you read first? What does this say about you?” – Audit at BDO USA
  24. “If a co-worker had an annoying habit, and it hindered your quality of work, how would you resolve it?” – Production technician at Procter & Gamble
  25. “Throw your resume aside and tell me what makes you you.” – Sales executive at Zillow
  26. “How would you find the square root of 1.2?” – Hardware engineer at Jump Trading
Interview Preperation

Interview Preperation

Happy Friday, Career Talk!

Our CEO, Jill Herrin,  recently shared an article on twitter that is pretty informative.

This student  has offers her 7 tips for nailing interviews. Jessica is a  Computer Science major at Harvard, and was offered internships across a wide breadth of industries, from finance to IT to trading.

What I find most interesting about her interview prep strategy is just that–the strategy of it. It does’t matter who the interview is with or what position it’s for–there are ways to successfully prepare and interview for any job.

The takeaway here is that interviewing is a skill unto itself, and creating your own processes for each step, from preparation to reflection, will help you present your best self in every situation.

Take a look! Also take a peek at Jessica’s blog, The Optimize Guide for more helpful advice on internship and college applications for high school and college students.