17 former Google interview questions so ridiculous that the company banned them (GOOG)

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How to Answer Hard Interview Questions

Sometimes the hiring practices of even the most successful companies can feel outright wonky.

There can be strange interview questions that seemingly have no answers, and standards that will knock candidates out of the race before they even approach the starting line.

Google used to be a big example of this, with high standards and head-scratching questions.

In fact, some of Google's questions were so bizarre, they were eventually banned from being asked altogether.

In 2009, Seattle job coach Lewis Lin put together a list of 140 questions his clients were asked by Google. We've picked out 17 of the wildest.

Future Google employees should be grateful these questions are no longer on the table.

How much should you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle?

17 banned Google questions

Why are manhole covers round?

17 banned Google questions

You need to check that your friend Bob has your correct phone number, but you cannot ask him directly ...

17 banned Google questions

You must write the question on a card and give it to Eve who will take the card to Bob and return the answer to you. What must you write on the card, besides the question, to ensure that Bob can encode the message so that Eve cannot read your phone number?


How many piano tuners are there in the entire world?

17 bannes Google questions

Every man in a village of 100 married couples has cheated on his wife ...

17 banned Google questions

Every wife in the village instantly knows when a man other than her husband has cheated but does not know when her own husband has. The village has a law that does not allow for adultery. Any wife who can prove that her husband is unfaithful must kill him that very day. The women of the village would never disobey this law. One day, the queen of the village visits and announces that at least one husband has been unfaithful. What happens?


A man pushed his car to a hotel and lost his fortune. What happened?

17 banned Google questions

How many times a day does a clock's hands overlap?

17 banned Google questions

How many vacuums are made per year in USA?

17 banned Google questions

Design an evacuation plan for San Francisco.

Getty

Explain the significance of "dead beef."

AP

If a person dials a sequence of numbers on the telephone, what possible words/strings can be formed from the letters associated with those numbers?

17 banned Google questions

You are shrunk to the height of a nickel and your mass is proportionally reduced so as to maintain your original density. You are then thrown into an empty glass blender. The blades will start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do?

17 banned Google questions


How many golf balls can fit in a school bus?

17 banned Google questions

You have two eggs and get access to a 100-story building ...

17 banned Google questions

Eggs can be very hard or very fragile, which means they may break if dropped from the first floor or may not even break if dropped from 100th floor. Both eggs are identical. You need to figure out the highest floor of a 100-story building an egg can be dropped without breaking. The question is how many drops you need to make. You are allowed to break two eggs in the process.


You have to get from point A to point B. You don't know if you can get there. What would you do?

17 banned Google questions

You are at a party with a friend and 10 people are present (including you and the friend) ...

17 banned Google questions

Your friend makes you a wager that for every person you find who has the same birthday as you, you get $1; for every person he finds who does not have the same birthday as you, he gets $2. Would you accept the wager?


Explain a database in three sentences to your 8-year-old nephew.

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Now check out some of the answers to these questions!

AP

Did you get any right?

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17 former Google interview questions so ridiculous that the company banned them (GOOG)
A Google Street View vehicle collects imagery for Google Maps while driving down a street in Calais, northern France, on July 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
In this screen shot made Wednesday, July 22, 2015, editing tools available within the Google Photos mobile app are demonstrated on a panoramic iPhone photo shot on July 4, 2015 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. Google’s new service for organizing and backing up images blends some of the best of what Apple and Yahoo have rolled out in recent months. (AP Photo/Dan Goodman)
Nest CEO Tony Fadell talks about his company's product updates during a press conference Wednesday, June 17, 2015, in San Francisco. Google's Nest Labs is releasing new versions of its surveillance video camera and talking smoke detector as part of its attempt to turn homes into yet another thing that can be controlled and tracked over the Internet. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
An attendee looks through a Legendary Pictures Inc. branded Google Cardboard VR (virtual reality) viewer during the Comic-Con International convention in San Diego, California, U.S., on Thursday, July 9, 2015. Comic-Con International is a nonprofit educational corporation dedicated to creating awareness of comics and related popular art forms. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A PrecisionHawk employee demonstrates a drone featuring LATAS (Low Altitude Tracking and Avoidance System) in Durham, North Carolina, U.S., on Tuesday, July 7, 2015. Google Inc. is joining some of the biggest companies in technology, communications and aviation -- including Amazon.com Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Harris Corp. -- in trying to create an air-traffic control system to prevent mid-air collisions. PrecisionHawk, a Raleigh, North Carolina, drone company with about 100 employees, began developing its own drone traffic control system because the large agriculture and oil companies it flies for wanted something to keep tabs on unmanned flights. Photographer: Jason Arthurs/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Google staff explain the new 'Internet Cycles' that are designed to bring Internet training to Indian villages after its launch in Mumbai on July 3, 2015. Tata Trusts and Google India launched a special program called Internet Saathi to empower women and their communities in rural India by enabling them to benefit from the Internet. The joint initiative is aimed at bridging the technology gender divide, which currently puts women in rural India at further risk of getting marginalized in the society as the world around them benefits from getting online. AFP PHOTO / INDRANIL MUKHERJEE (Photo credit should read INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)
The latest Nest Cam surveillance video camera is on display following a news conference Wednesday, June 17, 2015, in San Francisco. Google's Nest Labs is releasing new versions of its surveillance video camera and talking smoke detector as part of its attempt to turn homes into yet another thing that can be controlled and tracked over the Internet. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
The Nest Learning Thermostat is on display following a news conference Wednesday, June 17, 2015, in San Francisco. Google's Nest Labs is releasing new versions of its surveillance video camera and talking smoke detector as part of its attempt to turn homes into yet another thing that can be controlled and tracked over the Internet. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
A man wearing Google Glass waits for the Google I/O 2015 keynote presentation in San Francisco, Thursday, May 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Shown is the dashboard of Daimler's Freightliner Inspiration self-driving truck Wednesday, May 6, 2015, in Las Vegas. Although much attention has been paid to autonomous vehicles being developed by Google and traditional car companies, Daimler believes that automated tractor-trailers will be rolling along highways before self-driving cars are cruising around the suburbs. (AP Photo/John Locher)
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