25 Toughest Interview Questions of 2010

Photo (cc) by Veronique Debord

If you think it’s tough to find a job in this economy, imagine how much tougher the job interviews have gotten. The career website Glassdoor.com has compiled what are unquestionably the toughest interview questions asked in 2010. These are real questions, as evidenced by the links below…

  1. “If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out?” – Goldman Sachs, analyst
  2. “How many ridges [are there] around a quarter?” – Deloitte, project analyst
  3. “What is the philosophy of Martial Arts?” – Aflac, sales associate
  4. “Explain [to] me what has happened in this country during the last 10 years.” – Boston Consulting, consultant
  5. “Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 how weird you are.” – Capital One, operations analyst
  6. “How many basketball[s] can you fit in this room?” – Google, people analyst
  7. “Out of 25 horses, pick the fastest 3 horses. In each race, only 5 horses can run at the same time. What is the minimum number of races required?” – Bloomberg LP Financial, software developer
  8. “If you could be any superhero, who would it be?” – AT&T, customer sales representative
  9. “You have a birthday cake and have exactly 3 slices to cut it into 8 equal pieces. How do you do it?” – Blackrock Portfolio Management Group, fixed income analyst
  10. “Given the numbers 1 to 1000, what is the minimum number [of] guesses needed to find a specific number if you are given the hint ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ for each guess you make?” – Facebook, software engineer
  11. “If you had 5,623 participants in a tournament, how many games would need to be played to determine the winner?” – Amazon.com, manager
  12. “An apple costs 20 cents, an orange costs 40 cents, and a grapefruit costs 60 cents, how much is a pear?” – Asked at Epic Systems, project manager
  13. “There are three boxes, one contains only apples, one contains only oranges, and one contains both apples and oranges. The boxes have been incorrectly labeled such that no label identifies the actual contents of the box it labels. Opening just one box, and without looking in the box, you take out one piece of fruit. By looking at the fruit, how can you immediately label all of the boxes correctly?” – Apple, software QA engineer
  14. “How many traffic lights in Manhattan?” – Argus Information & Advisory Services, analyst
  15. “You are in a dark room with no light. You need matching socks for your interview and you have 19 grey socks and 25 black socks. What are the chances you will get a matching pair?” – Eze Castle, quality assurance
  16. “What do wood and alcohol have in common?” – Guardsmark, staff writer
  17. “How do you weigh an elephant without using a weigh machine?” – IBM, software engineer
  18. “You have 8 pennies, 7 weigh the same, one weighs less. You also have a judges scale. Find the one that weighs less in less than 3 steps.” – Intel, systems validation engineer
  19. “Why do you think only a small percentage of the population makes over $150K?” – New York Life, sales agent
  20. “You are in charge of 20 people, organize them to figure out how many bicycles were sold in your area last year.” – Schlumberger, field engineer
  21. “How many bottles of beer are drank in the city over the week?” – The Nielsen Company, research analyst
  22. “What’s the square root of 2000?” – UBS, sales and trading
  23. “A train leaves San Antonio for Houston at 60 mph. Another train leaves Huston for San Antonio at 80 mph. Houston and San Antonio are 300 miles apart. If a bird leaves San Antonio at 100mph, and turns around and flies back once it reaches the Huston train, and continues to fly between the two, how far will it have flown when they collide?” – USAA, software engineer
  24. “How are M&M’s made?” – U.S. Bank, leadership program development
  25. “What would you do if you just inherited a pizzeria from your uncle?” – Volkswagen, business analyst

Those are certainly some of the toughest interview questions we’ve ever heard. In fact, we have no idea what the proper responses should be. If you do, help us out and post your answers in the comments below.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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