In response to the CBS Moneywatch publication of the “20 Craziest Job Interview Questions,” Giles Turnbull (at The Morning News) provided answers; excerpts follow (h/t Kottke):
Facebook: Twenty-five racehorses, no stopwatch, five tracks. Figure out the top three fastest horses in the fewest number of races.
The fewest number of races is one. Just keep those suckers running round and round and round until they collapse from exhaustion. The final three make it through, the rest end up as dog food. Actually, I thought that’s how they make dog food.
Goldman Sachs: Suppose you had eight identical balls. One of them is slightly heavier and you are given a balance scale. What’s the fewest number of times you have to use the scale to find the heavier ball?
You don’t need the scales at all, you just juggle those cuties. The heaviest one will be revealed in seconds. I did a juggling course at college, I totally know what I’m doing here. You’ve seen that trick where people juggle a chainsaw, a dead rodent, and a lemon? Turns out you can tell which one is the chainsaw even if you’re juggling with your eyes closed. You can just tell what’s heavy as it passes through your hands. And that’s science.
Towers Watson: Estimate how many planes there are in the sky.
What, the sky just here? Or the whole sky, everywhere? And do you just mean big planes like 747s, or are you including itty-bitty one-seaters, and training flights for learner pilots? What about remote-control planes? Those drones the Army uses to spy on people? They could have thousands of those and none of us would know. That’s a very wide question. I’m going to say six. No, 14.
VWR International: How would you market a telescope in 1750 when no one knows about orbits, moons, etc.?
“Hey you! Wanna discover orbits and moons, etc.? Then you need this, baby!” Either that, or just sell to peeping toms. Peeping toms have a long, proud history.
UBS: If we were playing Russian roulette and had one bullet, I randomly spun the chamber and fired but nothing was fired. Would you rather fire the gun again or respin the chamber and then fire on your turn?
I’d rather get the fuck out of your office and run away very fast. What the hell are you people on? Haven’t you heard of email? Or official dispute procedures? Jesus.