So difficult in fact, that even Alphabet’s (Google’s parent company) Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt struggled with one of the questions. While attending the Summit at Sea Businessman Conference, Schmidt was asked a Google job interview brain teaser:
“You’re the captain of a pirate ship and you find a chest of gold. Your crew gets to vote on how the gold is divided up. If fewer than half of the pirates agree with you, you die. How do you recommend apportioning the gold in such a way that you get a good share of the booty but still survive?”
Asking for the question to be repeated and a few long moments of hesitation later, he answered: “I propose, that we give 49% of the pirate’s stock in internet companies, and 51% get the gold”.
The correct answer however was “To share 51% of the treasure”. Schmidt admitted afterwards that the question was “bad”.
A lot of us have been there. Painstaking preparation for an interview. No matter how well we prepare there will always be that one question that will leave us dumbfounded. It appears that Google has taken that a step further.
Hopefully the fact that one of Google’s executives struggled, will make those who tried but didn’t get a job at Google feel better…
Could you get a job at Google? Here’s a taster of the kind of questions the internet giant has in store:
1.You have to get from point A to point B. You don’t know if you can get there. What would you do?
- How much should you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle?
3. A man pushed his car to a hotel and lost his fortune. What happened?
- How many golf balls can fit in a school bus?
- 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?
- There are a few answers but one must determine what points A and B are.
- A Fermi problem, the candidate would have to take a guess at the number of windows in the city before multiplying that number by various other factors.
- The question actually relates to a game of Monopoly.
- In order to solve this question one must calculate the volume of the average golf ball and the volume of the average school bus, while the answer is the volume of the bus, divided by the volume of the balls.
- There is no one answer to this, but the question was aimed at software engineers so a coding-based answer would be appropriate.
Judging from the answers, it appears that google aren’t looking at exact figures and definite answers but rather methods of how to go about the problem. Even so, the questions do seem a tad excessive. Maybe I’ll try Yahoo.