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Interview questions

Community Veteran
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Interview questions

Are these reasonable questions to ask candidates ?
“If Germans were the tallest people in the world, how would you prove it?” — Asked at Hewlett-Packard, Product Marketing Manager candidate
“Given 20 ‘destructible’ light bulbs (which break at a certain height), and a building with 100 floors, how do you determine the height that the light bulbs break?” — Asked at Qualcomm, Engineering candidate
“How would you cure world hunger?” — Asked at Amazon.com, Software Developer candidate
“You’re in a row boat, which is in a large tank filled with water. You have an anchor on board, which you throw overboard (the chain is long enough so the anchor rests completely on the bottom of the tank). Does the water level in the tank rise or fall?” — Asked at Tesla Motors, Mechanical Engineer candidate
“Please spell ‘diverticulitis’.” — Asked at EMSI Engineering, Account Manager candidate
“You have a bouquet of flowers. All but two are roses, all but two are daisies, and all but two are tulips. How many flowers do you have?” — Asked at Epic Systems, Corporation Project Manager/Implementation Consultant candidate
“How do you feel about those jokers at Congress?” — Asked at Consolidated Electrical, Management Trainee candidate
“If you were a Microsoft Office program, which one would you be?” — Asked at Summit Racing Equipment, Ecommerce candidate
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Community Veteran
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Re: Interview questions

Not sure - it depends what you are trying to find out - such as how quickly you can think on your feet
Some of them are interesting
Destructible light bulbs - carry them up the stairs and note the number of stairs (measure the height of each stair)  to where the majority of them broke then multiply the height of each stair by the number of stairs - I wonder if that was the answer they wanted
Row boat - the water level would fall although it wouldn't necessarily be the obvious answer
Bouquet of flowers - unless you have written the question incorrectly it is impossible to answer as the parameters are contradictory
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Re: Interview questions

Quote from: Oldjim
Bouquet of flowers - unless you have written the question incorrectly it is impossible to answer as the parameters are contradictory

No, try 3 (1 of each).  Wink
I'd probably take a ride in the lift (watching the floor indicator) to test the light bulbs.  Cool
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Re: Interview questions

Quote from: HPsauce
No, try 3 (1 of each).  Wink
I'd probably take a ride in the lift (watching the floor indicator) to test the light bulbs.  Cool

Embarrassed Embarrassed
I thought of the lift first but then how do you measure the height
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Re: Interview questions

Quote
“You’re in a row boat, which is in a large tank filled with water. You have an anchor on board, which you throw overboard (the chain is long enough so the anchor rests completely on the bottom of the tank). Does the water level in the tank rise or fall?” — Asked at Tesla Motors, Mechanical Engineer candidate

Basic displacement: I'd say that the water level would neither rise nor fall.
Quote
“You have a bouquet of flowers. All but two are roses, all but two are daisies, and all but two are tulips. How many flowers do you have?” — Asked at Epic Systems, Corporation Project Manager/Implementation Consultant candidate

I would tell them that 3 flowers does not constitue a bouquet and I wouldn't be that thrifty Cheesy
Quote
“If you were a Microsoft Office program, which one would you be?” — Asked at Summit Racing Equipment, Ecommerce candidate

Tools: I'll enhance the experience of all the other workers.

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alanf
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Re: Interview questions

Quote from: Mav
Basic displacement: I'd say that the water level would neither rise nor fall.

While in the floating boat the anchor will displace its weight of water. While resting on the base of the tank it will displace its volume of water.The anchor is denser than water so less water is displaced once it is ejected from the boat and the level in the tank will fall.
alanf
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Re: Interview questions

Quote from: gleneagles
“Given 20 ‘destructible’ light bulbs (which break at a certain height), and a building with 100 floors, how do you determine the height that the light bulbs break?” — Asked at Qualcomm, Engineering candidate

I interpreted this to mean break if dropped from a certain height. Whatever the meaning of the question I think that the answer is a binary chop. Try 50 floors. If bulb survives try 75  floors if not try 25 floors. etc. I think that this would take 7 steps maximum. As no unit of height is specified perhaps a storey will do.
alanf
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Re: Interview questions

Quote from: gleneagles
“If Germans were the tallest people in the world, how would you prove it?” — Asked at Hewlett-Packard, Product Marketing Manager candidate

For the industrialised world available data such as shoe size which strongly collates with height? This however  does not rule out a tribe of giants which goes barefoot.
alanf
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Re: Interview questions

Quote from: gleneagles
“How would you cure world hunger?” — Asked at Amazon.com, Software Developer candidate

Short term fix put everyone on a vegetarian diet and distribute rations so part of the world isn't over eating while the other part starves.
Longer term answer (I don't suppose acceptable to the interviewer) enforced limits on procreation, encourage diseases to spread and wars to break out to reduce the World's population to a sustainable level.
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Re: Interview questions

Quote from: gleneagles
“How would you cure world hunger?” — Asked at Amazon.com, Software Developer candidate

Probably if I had the answer to that I wouldn't be attending the interview Roll eyes Cool

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David_W
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Re: Interview questions

Curing world hunger is actually very easy to do, it's just not done.  If the major countries who spend the most on "defence" spent either 1% or 3% of that budget on curing world hunger, it would be cured, of course, it wouldn't be cured for very long.  The no longer hungry people would procreate and the world population would expand until eventually there wouldn't be enough food being produced to feed everyone in the world.  Then we'd have to go for solution 2, instead of growing many different types of crops we'd have to start growing 3 or 4 very specific crops which could meet people nutritional requirements, but again, with no one hungry we get a population boom again until in the end there isn't enough land available to actually grow the crops needed to feed everyone on the planet.
So my answer, I don't cure world hunger, I try to find a solution which is sustainable in the long run for a planet with finite resources.  Or develop one of those machines from Star Trek which can convert matter into different matter, namely food.