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Old 01-12-2013, 02:47 PM   #41
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The answers are also sometimes a hoot. I was on an interview panel for police officer applicants and of course one question was "Why do you want to be a police officer?"

To our collective astonishment one guy said "So I can carry a gun and shoot people."

He did not get the job there, and I hope, anywhere else either.
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:53 PM   #42
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From my personal archives:

Q: What characteristics of coworkers make it challenging for you to work with them?

A: I have always found it difficult to work with men. Recently I have found it more difficult to work with women.

Conclusion: this person can't work with anybody. Next!
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:38 PM   #43
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Many of the questions in the OP's list were for associate or analyst positions, so I am guessing they were asked during campus recruiting interviews of people with not much applicable employment histories to discuss or base an employment offer on. They are probably just looking at reactions and how well the questions are handled and not the content. Just step one in the wonderful world of work.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:53 PM   #44
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I was born in Europe and interviews were not needed 30 years ago to go to University.
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Originally Posted by bondi688
I take it that you are a doctor, if that is the case you must have forgotten about the interviews you had when you applied to medical school ( was that not a requirement?) and post graduate training. And most likely you are being interviewed everyday by patients deciding whether they want you to be their doctor.
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:30 PM   #45
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That made me laugh aloud. Maybe this person should take my job. Today I was working at a clinic, only 1 receptionist, 2 MAs, and 2 RNs. All females. I love it! !
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From my personal archives:

Q: What characteristics of coworkers make it challenging for you to work with them?

A: I have always found it difficult to work with men. Recently I have found it more difficult to work with women.

. Next!
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:58 PM   #46
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That made me laugh aloud. Maybe this person should take my job. Today I was working at a clinic, only 1 receptionist, 2 MAs, and 2 RNs. All females. I love it! !
I am presuming, since you are an obstetrician / gynecologist, that 100% of your patients are female. I guess you just have to get along with women! Although I do recall an OB from my student days who was quite misogynistic.
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:26 PM   #47
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Copied and pasted the first 20 questions from Top 25 Oddball Interview Questions For 2013 | Glassdoor Blog

Just for fun, my answers are in BOLD

1. “If you were to get rid of one state in the US, which would it be and why?” – view answers. Asked at Forrester.
I would not get rid of 1 state because of the cost to redesign the flag, and produce and distribute the newer flag (with 49 stars). It would be wasteful.
I would however be very willing to reduce the number of US Senators by 2.

2. “How many cows are in Canada?” – view answers. Asked at Google.
Enough to eat the grass that grows in Canadian cattle ranch fields.

3. “How many quarters would you need to reach the height of the Empire State building?” – view answers. Asked at JetBlue.
It all depends on the current cost of admission to go up the ES building elevator. Whatever the cost is, round it up to the nearest multiple of 25 and divide by 4.

4. “A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?” – view
answers. Asked at Clark Construction Group.
Penguins cannot survive without cold water. He would not be able to walk through any door unless we were in Antarctica. Any penguin walking, with a sombrero, and talking would have to be an animatronic device. In which case, he would only say what he was pre-programmed to say. I will guess "Hola".

5. “What songs best describes your work ethic?” – view answers. Asked at Dell.
Too many choices...I will select "Hard Days' Night" by the Beatles.

6. “Jeff Bezos walks into your office and says you can have a million dollars to launch your best entrepreneurial idea. What is it?” – view answers. Asked at Amazon.
May I borrow your computer to google "Jeff Bezos" ? Then I will answer.

7. “What do you think about when you are alone in your car?” – view answers. Asked at Gallup.
I think about the speed limit and traffic/weather conditions, and keep an eye out for drivers talking and/or texting on their cell phones.

8. “How would you rate your memory?” – view answers. Asked at Marriott.
Excellent memory. I'd like to add that I already answered this question. Don't you remember? (wink)

9. “Name 3 previous Nobel Prize Winners.” – view answers. Asked at BenefitsCONNECT.
Mahatma Ghandi
Mother Teresa
I will need to borrow your laptop again to come up with a 3rd recipient.

10. “Can you say: ’Peter Pepper Picked a Pickled Pepper’ and cross-sell a washing machine at the same time?” – view answers. Asked at MasterCard.
Only if I want to offend the customer.

11. “If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?” – view answers. Asked at Trader Joe’s.
Whatever you requested beforehand. I would check ahead to make sure there are no food allergies or special dietary needs to consider.

12. “How would people communicate in a perfect world?” – view answers. Asked at Novell.
Frequently, clearly, and without malice.

13. “How do you make a tuna sandwich?” – view answers. Asked at Astron Consulting.
With lettuce, tomato, cheese and toasted bread. Open can, remove tuna, add mayonnaise, stir with a fork, spread on toast with a spatula, add condiments. Cut in half, place on a plate and serve immediately.

14. “My wife and I are going on vacation, where would you recommend?” – view answers. Asked at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Wherever you can afford to go.

15. “You are a head chef at a restaurant and your team has been selected to be on Iron Chef. How do you prepare your team for the competition and how do you leverage the competition for your restaurant?” – view answers. Asked at Accenture.
I would rent (or download) a collection of past competitions and use them as training films.

16. “Estimate how many windows are in New York.” – view answers. Asked at Bain & Company.
Enough to allow people to work and live happily in their offices and residences.

17. “What’s your favorite song? Perform it for us now.” – view answers. Asked at LivingSocial.
Freebird, with air guitar movements.

18. “Calculate the angle of two clock pointers when time is 11:50.” – view answers. Asked at Bank of America.
A circle has 360 degrees. A clock measures time on a circular surface, and is divided into 60 marks (= 1 minute) on the clock face. Every minute mark equals 6 degrees. Therefore, 10 minutes = 12 degrees. However, the larger hand on the clock will not be pointing exactly at the numeral 12 at 11:50. So I will estimate the angle at 8-10 degrees.

19. “Have you ever stolen a pen from work?” – view answers. Asked at Jiffy Software.
No

20. “Pick two celebrities to be your parents.” – view answers. Asked at Urban Outfitters.
Sean Connery and Olivia De Havilland

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Old 01-12-2013, 07:38 PM   #48
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20. “Pick two celebrities to be your parents.” – view answers. Asked at Urban Outfitters.
Sean Connery and Olivia De Havilland
All "fun" answers there, FB. Much better than what I could improvise.

I had to look up Olivia. Hmmm... I wonder if they would be each other's type, so as to get romantic. But I would never know such thing. I am clueless when it comes to things like that.

Anyway, I was thinking some more about this question: “Name 3 previous Nobel Prize Winners.”

I am ashamed to say that whom I thought of were all political and controversial recipients, instead of people who were universally accepted. Would the interviewer hold anything against me if one of them was Yasser Arafat? Would they then demand how I remember these winners? See how this kind of questioning may not be good, as it is really open-ended and may lead to areas outside my field of work and totally unrelated?
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:30 PM   #49
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I am sorry I read this thread. It triggered bad memories.
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:41 PM   #50
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All "fun" answers there, FB. Much better than what I could improvise.
Thanks

The "dodge" answers were actually an admittance of not knowing the answer, but either trying a best estimate, or straight logic, or knowing how to use resources to find the answer.
I would never say "I don't know".
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:37 PM   #51
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“Jeff Bezos walks into your office and says you can have a million dollars to launch your best entrepreneurial idea. What is it?” – view answers. Asked at Amazon.
May I borrow your computer to google "Jeff Bezos" ? Then I will answer.
Fun answers, FB.

I am sure if you really were interviewing with Amazon you would know who Jeff Bezos is.
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:20 AM   #52
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18. “Calculate the angle of two clock pointers when time is 11:50.” – view answers. Asked at Bank of America.
A circle has 360 degrees. A clock measures time on a circular surface, and is divided into 60 marks (= 1 minute) on the clock face. Every minute mark equals 6 degrees. Therefore, 10 minutes = 12 degrees. However, the larger hand on the clock will not be pointing exactly at the numeral 12 at 11:50. So I will estimate the angle at 8-10 degrees.
10 minutes is 60 degrees.

Good answer on 4).
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:25 AM   #53
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My memory is truly failing me!

My children told me about their interviewing experience in recent years, and they did not tell me any story as described in the OP.

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Many of the questions in the OP's list were for associate or analyst positions, so I am guessing they were asked during campus recruiting interviews of people with not much applicable employment histories to discuss or base an employment offer on. They are probably just looking at reactions and how well the questions are handled and not the content. Just step one in the wonderful world of work.
My daughter had been working full-time doing accounting work for some time before graduating, three jobs actually, so they would have plenty to ask her about.

My son also spent some time at a research lab when studying, and even managed to get his name on a couple of technical papers. Again, plenty to talk about at the job interview.
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:37 AM   #54
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10 minutes is 60 degrees.

Good answer on 4).
On that one, I got the math right, but I got so focused on the numbers ""11" and "50", that I forgot to account for the fact that the hour hand would be 5/6th of the way towards 12 from 11. So the 5 minutes between 11-12 would be 30 degrees * 5/6 = 25 degrees, plus the 5 minutes back to the minutes hand is another 30 degrees, so 55 degrees.

So I miss a point for vision.

I'l agree with others that the peanut butter sandwich instruction could be very good indeed. It would tell you a lot about clear, organized thinking, writing skills, etc. And since there are many preferences and differences, how would the writer account for that concisely, w/o going off on tangents and getting lost in details - or would they miss that altogether?

I'd bet that a significant number of the responses for a seemingly simple task would be very poorly done.

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Old 01-13-2013, 10:49 AM   #55
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I regularly had to hire analysts. We devised a standard interview that included 3 skills tests based on real life work challenges. We wanted to test analytical skill as well as resourcefulness and common sense. The tests were extremely helpful in differentiating people who really had the skills we needed from those who didn't, but were able to present themselves in a favourable light in the interview conversation.
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:56 AM   #56
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The dumbest interview question I have ever had posed to me... "If you could be any kind of a ball, what kind of ball would you be?" I told the person that I had no desire to be a ball. The interview ended shortly thereafter and I did not get the job. On the other hand, at that point I did not want the job anyway if this individual was an example of the dimwits I would have to w&*k with.
Well, "could" implies a choice. So I would would say I do not choose to be any sort of a ball. I prefer to remain who I am.

But if it were worded such that I was going to be turned into a ball, and the only choice was the type, I'd say it would make no difference. Balls have no self-awareness, so it couldn't possibly matter to me, once I was turned into a ball. But maybe I could make a difference to others, so how about a soccer ball for some poor village that wanted one for the kids to be able to play soccer? Or a dance ball for some town that was struck by disaster, and was in need of some recreation? I suppose "High Ball" would not be a PC answer.

Maybe they'd be sorry they asked?

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Old 01-16-2013, 01:46 PM   #57
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I regularly had to hire analysts. We devised a standard interview that included 3 skills tests based on real life work challenges. We wanted to test analytical skill as well as resourcefulness and common sense. The tests were extremely helpful in differentiating people who really had the skills we needed from those who didn't, but were able to present themselves in a favourable light in the interview conversation.
That is the way I would view the "angle between the clock hands at 11:50" question. An analytical question intended to see your thought process and problem solving skills.

To answer it, I would sketch out the clock, draw the hands to help understand the problem, set 12 as zero degrees, then figure out the rotational offset from 12 for each of the hands, then determine the delta between each offset. The hour hand is 355 degrees clockwise from 12 and the minute hand is 300 degrees from 12, giving a delta of 55 degrees.

How the candidate solves the problem says a lot about how they would solve problems on the job. An off the cuff response might mean they are more instinctual and less analytical, but a methodical means of arriving at an answer would mean they are more careful and diligent at understanding and solving the problem (correctly and not merely quickly).
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:05 PM   #58
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That is the way I would view the "angle between the clock hands at 11:50" question. An analytical question intended to see your thought process and problem solving skills.

To answer it, I would sketch out the clock, draw the hands to help understand the problem, set 12 as zero degrees, then figure out the rotational offset from 12 for each of the hands, then determine the delta between each offset. The hour hand is 355 degrees clockwise from 12 and the minute hand is 300 degrees from 12, giving a delta of 55 degrees. ...
My first go-around, I missed the offset of the hour hand , but quickly calculated the delta between the 11 hour mark and the 50 minute mark.

When the light bulb went off, it took me a little while to come up with with the answer. I looked at the hour hand as being 10/12ths of the way between 11 and 12, and calculating from there, with 6 degrees per minute tick.

Was there a more direct way that I missed to get right to 355 degrees?

edit/add: I just found it interesting how accustomed we are to analog clocks. Each number represents two different numbers, they are seldom labeled, and I never really think about it. 11 is 50, 6 is 30, 3 is 15, etc. Yes, obvious, but funny how it is so automatic I don't even think about it.

-ERD50
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:00 PM   #59
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My first go-around, I missed the offset of the hour hand , but quickly calculated the delta between the 11 hour mark and the 50 minute mark.

When the light bulb went off, it took me a little while to come up with with the answer. I looked at the hour hand as being 10/12ths of the way between 11 and 12, and calculating from there, with 6 degrees per minute tick.

Was there a more direct way that I missed to get right to 355 degrees?

edit/add: I just found it interesting how accustomed we are to analog clocks. Each number represents two different numbers, they are seldom labeled, and I never really think about it. 11 is 50, 6 is 30, 3 is 15, etc. Yes, obvious, but funny how it is so automatic I don't even think about it.

-ERD50
It's funny - I just finished helping my 2nd grader with analog clocks and learning how many minutes before or after the hour particular times are.

I added up to 355 degrees from 30 degrees per hour (30x11) plus 10/12ths of another 30 degrees = 330 + 25 = 355. I used a pen and paper to keep the fraction math straight.
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:22 PM   #60
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It's funny - I just finished helping my 2nd grader with analog clocks and learning how many minutes before or after the hour particular times are.

I added up to 355 degrees from 30 degrees per hour (30x11) plus 10/12ths of another 30 degrees = 330 + 25 = 355. I used a pen and paper to keep the fraction math straight.
OK, thanks - basically the same as I did. I thought maybe there was a process to eliminate the paper-pencil fraction step (which isn't too tough to factor in your head, but the visual aid helped me keep it straight).

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