Cracked Columnists

6 Google Interview Questions (And 6 You Can Answer)

Problem Solving

The ability to come up with original solutions to challenging problems is vital for anyone in a creative role. It was creative problem solvers like this who helped Google become so efficient at directing the public to explicit pornography, and they're also the reason Cracked became so good at finding synonyms for the acts that make up pornography.

"Hmmmmmmmmmm ... how about the horizontal baby forge?"

__ Google QuestionHow many Ping-Pong balls would fit in the Mediterranean Sea? This is a classic interview question with no right answer. It's asked so that the interviewer can get a feeling for how the candidate would approach a problem. There is presumably no actual Google project to fill the Mediterranean Sea with balls. Cracked QuestionHow would you avoid prosecution after filling the Mediterranean Sea with Ping-Pong balls? At Cracked, however, we do have an ongoing project to devastate the Mediterranean shipping industry (they know what they did), and a question like this has serious value to us. A suitable Cracked candidate will find a way to achieve such a feat, lay all the blame on another party and compile 1,500 words on the subject that includes no less than seven references to old cartoon shows or American presidents.

Lateral Thinking

The ability to approach a problem from a variety of different angles is especially useful for both computer programmers and comedy writers.

"Maybe ... maybe just whale on it and see if something funny happens?"

__ Google QuestionHow many audio tape decks are there in the world? This question tests the candidate's ability to estimate sociological and economic variables, a useful trait for Google's executives or product managers. Given Cracked's heavy focus on our audience and tricking our audience out of money, these are also useful abilities for Cracked candidates, though a slightly more focused approach might look like ... Cracked QuestionYou have 200,00 cassettes containing a motivational speech by Michael Swaim in which he exhorts the audience to avoid the mistake of committing to a 200,000-cassette purchase on credit without thinking a single goddamned part of it through. How do you sell these tapes? This is another practical matter that we actually need answered pretty quickly, because it turns out that you can't buy vast quantities of blank cassettes from legitimate companies anymore, and the Archaic Format Mafia 1) exists and 2) is extremely furious with us.

Physics

An understanding of the laws of the physical world is useful for anyone in an engineering or technical role, as well as for someone who's about to spend 2,000 words shrieking about the scientific inaccuracies of Starscream's flight envelope in the Transformer movies.

Physics can also be used for lobbing hot napalm on Cracked's foes.

__ Google QuestionA car has a helium balloon floating in it. What direction does the balloon float when the car accelerates forward? This question checks whether the candidate can resist the first choice and really understands concepts like density. There is also a chance that Google is launching a party planning service. Cracked QuestionYou're standing outside an airtight car that is filled with helium. Inside it, deep-voiced national treasure James Earl Jones is suffocating. What would you demand him to say in a hilarious high-pitched voice in exchange for saving his life? Another question with a trap answer; in this case, making Jones squeak out any of Darth Vader's classic lines. The correct answer, "Free him immediately, demanding nothing in exchange," ensures that Cracked doesn't accidentally hire a monster. As opposed to deliberately hiring one, which we do, admittedly, often have cause for. (It's also assumed that later Jones will be so grateful that he'll agree to record a cool voice mail message for us, or maybe just narrate the events of our lives for a few days.)

Potpourri

These questions are just meant to fuck with the candidate, because sometimes making other people feel uncomfortable is its own reward.

New Cracked employees are also responsible for producing Cracked-brand potpourri (a mixture of dried flowers, herbs and seasoned taco beef).

__ Google QuestionWhy are manhole covers round? So they don't fall down the holes they cover. This question ensures that Google won't ever accidentally hire a 4-year-old. Cracked QuestionWhat shape would the bathroom stall doors be at a bar called Manhole? This is both a trick question and a way to identify Cracked candidates who are already familiar with navigating the gay cruising world, where a surprising amount of our research ends up taking place. Seriously, these guys know pornography-act synonyms like nobody's business.

"I'm thinking some kind of pun on hot napalm ..."

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Check out more from Bucholz in 9 Steps to Creating Your Own Hyper-Intelligent Ape and The 8 Worst Types of Blog on the Internet.

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