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6 Google Interview Questions (And 6 You Can Answer)

"Bucholz?" Cracked Editor-in-Chief Jack O'Brien asked, sticking his head into the door of my office. "You're the smartest person here, right?" "Correct." I looked up from one of the seven play-by-mail Go games I had going on. "Or as the French would say, 'correcte.'" "Wow." Jack did a credible job of feigning being impressed, although he didn't make the big showy gasp that I prefer. "We need you to do something for us." "Yes, you norms always do need help with various odds and ends, don't you?" I chuckled warmly. "Very well, Jack. Make your request." Resisting his natural urge to slap me, Jack continued: "We need you to write some interview questions for us. You know how Google has those interviews where they ask really off the wall questions to test the candidate's problem-solving ability? Like 'How many golf balls can fit in a Volkswagen?' and that kind of thing?" "I'm aware of it, yes. But I don't think Google does that any more. I think they eventually realized that it was more useful for their computer programmers to know how to program computers. With just golf ball crammers around, you end up making shit like Google Wave. And, I'd assume, deal with a lot of office pranks involving people firing golf balls out of their assholes. Is that the kind of person we need working at Cracked?" I asked, already knowing the answer. "If they can also work a spell check, yes." I frowned. "I thought I wasn't permitted to be part of the Cracked hiring process. Because I'd hire 'nothing but the reddest of the red communists,' I think you said." "Your Canadianness does alarm us to no end, and you still won't be allowed to meet candidates, or to lay hands on any of our means of production. But we would still like you to draft an interview script for us." "Because of my great intelligence." "That is the angle that we're currently coddling you with, yes." "OK then. It's done." "Thanks. When can you have it ready by?" "I said 'done,' didn't I? I predicted what you were going to say before you even walked in here." Using both hands, I massaged my enormous head in the most obnoxious way I knew how while maintaining full, unblinking eye contact. "It's already sitting in your inbox." ____________ That was a lie, but Jack isn't very agile with computers (he still uses both hands to mouse), so I figured I had a solid 20 minutes before he'd notice that the questionnaire wasn't there. My first thought was to just take one of the many lists of Google-esque interview questions from around the Internet and send that to him. But given Cracked's specialized needs, and the fact that Google is clearly staffed by imbeciles, it was obvious I would have to make some changes. Below I've broken down some of Google's laughably flawed questions and provided new and improved interview questions that are exactly one thousand times better. The questions are grouped into the six categories that all Cracked employees must excel in: - Calculations - Puzzles - Problem Solving - Lateral Thinking - Physics - Potpourri

Calculations

For Google, obviously the ability to carry out quick, accurate calculations would be a highly prized trait in their employees. Our calculation needs at Cracked are a bit more straightforward.

Beyond that, the most complicated calculation we're likely to perform is ordering a list in descending order. Though we can also usually get our IT guys to do it for us in a pinch, or, ironically enough, just Google the answer. Google QuestionWhat are the first 10 consecutive digits of e that form a prime number? Any idiot can build a script to cycle over the digits of e, running them through a basic primality test -- I think an episode of Entourage hinged on such a plot point. In fact, this is so easy, I wonder if maybe Google is actually asking about e the vowel. Cracked QuestionCalculate all the digits of 5. Anyone who can look at the number 5 and get a real handle on it is all we need here at Cracked, given our low-cal calculation needs. Bonus points for anyone who can put the numbers 1 to 5 in descending order, or who knows why it's such a funny number (because it looks like an S with a massive German forehead).

Puzzles

Presenting a puzzle during an interview is a classic way of determining if a candidate has seen that puzzle before.

Anyone who's seen Rubik, the Amazing Cube cartoon would immediately qualify for a position here as our Senior '80s Bullshit Researcher.

__ Google QuestionYou have eight balls, all of the same size, but one weighs slightly more than the rest. Find that ball by using a balance scale only twice. This is a fairly straightforward mental puzzle that tests the candidate's ability at logical reasoning, and is not, presumably, related to any quality control problems at Google's sphere plant. Cracked QuestionIs it possible to have an odd number of testicles in a room, and if so, how would you determine that using a balance scale? This is a two-part question designed to observe how people react to ideas about testicles. We used to have a different way of doing this that got us in a lot of trouble. Looking for an answer? For the first half, the correct answer is "Yes." Consider people who have suffered injuries, or people who are halfway through gender-reassignment surgery, or men entering a room while walking sideways when the door violently slammed shut. For the second half, to make such a determination using a balance scale, you'd ask everyone in the room who has only one testicle to get on the balance scale, and then count the number of people on the balance scale.

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Chris Bucholz

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