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
CalculationsFor 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 Question What 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 Question Calculate 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).
PuzzlesPresenting 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.__
Problem SolvingThe 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?"__
Lateral ThinkingThe 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?"__
PhysicsAn 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.__
PotpourriThese 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).__
"I'm thinking some kind of pun on hot napalm ..."____________________________________________
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.