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The best job interview questions from Microsoft, Google… and IKEA

Tricky, funny and interesting, these are some questions people claim to have been asked at job interviews with Microsoft and Google. And IKEA, sort of…

We came across these because we are currently looking for a developer and a support technician to join the Pingdom team, and were searching around the Web for some inspiration regarding interview questions. The mission was to find some really good questions for our future developer colleagues.

There are some serious brain twisters in there, so enjoy! (Or be baffled… 🙂 )

How smart are our readers? The person with the best answer(s) in the comments will win a free one-year Pingdom Business account (worth $479). The winner will be picked by us here at Pingdom.

Questions by Google

  1. How many golf balls can fit in a school bus?
  2. 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?
  3. How many piano tuners are there in the entire world?
  4. In a country in which people only want boys, every family continues to have children until they have a boy. If they have a girl, they have another child. If they have a boy, they stop. What is the proportion of boys to girls in the country?
  5. Describe a chicken using a programming language.

Questions by Microsoft

  1. You have a bucket of jelly beans. Some are red, some are blue, and some green. With your eyes closed, pick out 2 of a like color. How many do you have to grab to be sure you have 2 of the same?
  2. Pairs of primes separated by a single number are called prime pairs. Examples are 17 and 19. Prove that the number between a prime pair is always divisible by 6 (assuming both numbers in the pair are greater than 6). Now prove that there are no ‘prime triples.’
  3. Imagine an analog clock set to 12 o’clock. Note that the hour and minute hands overlap. How many times each day do both the hour and minute hands overlap? How would you determine the exact times of the day that this occurs?
  4. How much does a 747 weigh?
  5. Imagine a disk spinning like a record player turn table. Half of the disk is black and the other is white. Assume you have an unlimited number of color sensors. How many sensors would you have to place around the disk to determine the direction the disk is spinning? Where would they be placed?

And this is how IKEA does it…

Since we are based in Sweden, we thought that some local inspiration would be in place and had a look at IKEA job interview questions. This must clearly be how they handle their interviews… 🙂

IKEA job interview joke

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