Top 15 odd interview questions by tech cos in 2010 - Page 5
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Top 15 odd interview questions by tech cos in 2010

By Binu Paul, SiliconIndia   |   Friday, 14 January 2011, 00:25 Hrs   |    61 Comments
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13.

You have 8 pennies, 7 weight the same, one weighs less. You also have a judges scale. Find the one that weighs less in less than 3 steps. - Intel asked this during an interview for validation engineer.

14.

How many bottles of beer are drank in the city over the week? - asked the global information and measurement firm, The Nielsen Company asked for a research analyst position.

15.

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? - asked for the position of a Financial Software Developer by Bloomberg LP.

Although they say the intention of such bizarre questions is to evaluate how one would react in stressful and challenging situations, candidates are often effaced by these whacky questions with no definitive answers. We encourage you to drop your comments with any such bizarre questions you have ever come across.

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Reader's comments(61)
1: For Question No.1 answer should be"
If the size of the basket ball is same as the size of the room then one ball will accomated.
Posted by:meer azher ali - 19 Jan, 2011
2: Some of these questions are good, but I don't honestly think that most of these questions are very common. Most interviewers want to assess your technical capabilities.

Here are some better questions:

http://www.programmerinterview.com/


And like it on facebook to get updates:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Programmer-Interview/120896424636091




Posted by:jaya - 18 Jan, 2011
3: Depends on where u buy the Pear from?
Posted by:Raj - 18 Jan, 2011
4: 10que:How many traffic lights in Manhattan?
ANS:3 i.e Red,green and yello...
Posted by:Venu Pyatla - 17 Jan, 2011
5: yup.. qsn by facebook is not an odd interview qsn.
Posted by:pavan - 17 Jan, 2011
6: he hasn't asked about the max. no. of guess and you all are talking about the max. no. of guesses needed. min. guess to give the correct answer would be 1.
Posted by:vikas - 14 Jan, 2011
7:
No 1 is talking maximum number of guess....Maximum will be 999
if you dont apply any logic and just start guessing from 1 onwards

Minm number required to guess ANY number is 8. Who says mim is 1 Its not asking what luck do u need to guess specific number
Mona Babylione Replied to: vikas - 15 Jan, 2011
8:
hey is it som sort of theory ? r u sure fr ur answer? ok just pay attention if we pick d no 500 as our first guess den we will be left wid 500 more nos as we will b told dat d specific no is higher or lower dan 500....got my point
saurav Replied to: Mona Babylione - 15 Jan, 2011
9: these questions ask in interview to check candidate IQ as well as confidence level no one can easily give the exact answer.so answer these question smartly with confidence, dont be confused and dont act like confused
Posted by:saurabh - 14 Jan, 2011
10: 9th one is a standard interview question n quite famous. it takes n-1 games to determine a winner among n participants coz 1 game is required to eliminate one person.
Posted by:Saket Das - 14 Jan, 2011
11:
Holds true in cases with even number of participants (and assuming these are all knock out rounds)... but i think that it becomes a wee bit more tricky with odd number of participants.
Nikunj Replied to: Saket Das - 15 Jan, 2011
12: 7th question is easy if you could notice that we can use any method of weighing except using a weighing machine. One such method which i can think is to put elephant on a big raft in side a large water tank and note down the change in water level. using this value we can find the volume of water displaced and multiplying it with density of water(1 g/cc approx) will give us a reasonable approx mass of elephant.
PS - raft shud b large enuf to keep floating even after putting the elephant on it
Posted by:Saket Das - 14 Jan, 2011
13:
good you are placed.
aaddss Replied to: Saket Das - 18 Jan, 2011
14:
The simple answer is , put the elephant in a boat in water. mark the boat upto which it is immersed in water. Then take out the elephant and put standard weights to it so that the same level of marking is again achieved. The weight put in is the weight of elephant. and if u dont have so much of standard weight, u can put sand in the boat to get the desired level of marking. then weigh the sands using a standard wieng machine in a phased manner to get the weight of the elephant.
Somendra Prusti Replied to: Saket Das - 15 Jan, 2011
15:
good idea,but that will kill the eliphant,u cd hv used seesaw using waits.

haramozz Replied to: Saket Das - 14 Jan, 2011
16: I believe 3rd question is not a tough one and has very technical answer i.e. log1000 base 2. Its just binary search
Posted by:Saket - 14 Jan, 2011
17:
I agree with you. That's one good question to a software engineer candidate. He should surely know the binary search concepts and have a least commonsense to understand the question.
Sailesh Replied to: Saket - 14 Jan, 2011
18:
3rd qn. ka ans min. no 1 or max. no.8 hoga
manish Replied to: Sailesh - 14 Jan, 2011
19: I will try to answer 9th question of Amazon which is n! or 5263 factorial games. and the 6th query seems to be easy from Boston Consulting that is in last 10 years red has changed to blue and blue has changed to red what has not changed is orange and green as they are evergreen. Right?
Posted by:Gods must be crazy - 14 Jan, 2011
20: Some of these questions are good, but I don't honestly think that these questions are very common. Most interviewers want to assess your technical capabilities.

Here are some better questions:

http://www.programmerinterview.com/


And like it on facebook to get updates:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Programmer-Interview/120896424636091

Posted by:jaya - 13 Jan, 2011
21:
Remember work is God and Health is Wealth! Check out odesk.com for online exams.
Gods must be crazy Replied to: jaya - 14 Jan, 2011
22: Some of these questions are good, but I don't honestly think that these questions are very common. Most interviewers want to assess your technical capabilities.

Here are some better questions:

http://www.programmerinterview.com/


And like it on facebook to get updates:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Programmer-Interview/120896424636091

Posted by:jaya - 13 Jan, 2011
23: Some of these questions are good, but I don't honestly think that these questions are very common. Most interviewers want to assess your technical capabilities.

Here are some better questions:

http://www.programmerinterview.com/


And like it on facebook to get updates:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Programmer-Interview/120896424636091


Posted by:jaya - 13 Jan, 2011
24: q.11 label all the boxes as apple because all given by apple (company) only
Posted by:senthil - 13 Jan, 2011
25: Hi,

All questions are logical and really nice questions..

Ans for

1. Check the size of the room in approx and in sq feet 150% the size to get the balls filled at the ground level and multiply the height in approx

100 sq ft and 7 ft height


100 * 1.5 * 7 = 1050 balls

2. Using blender make yourself thinner and get out using hole at the lid

3. 10 (500 -- 250 - 125 - 64 - 32 -- 16 -- 8 -- 4 -- 2 -- 1)

4. 1

5. Self Defence, security and preventing from harm

6. Explain about your country progress and declines in terms of position you are applying

7. Use tub full of water, make elephant to enter and measure the displacement of water

8. 0

9. 1 - Marathon

10. 3 - Red, Green, Yellow

11.

12. 80 cents

13. 4 - 4 lesser --> 2 - 2 lesser--> 1 - 1

14. Assumption Population X, Adult --> X * 80% --> Beer drinkers --> X * 80% * 40% --> every day --> X * 80% * 40%* 35%

15. Race 5,5,5,5,5 --> winners --> 1,1,1,1,1 --> 5 --> select top 3,
totally 6 games




Posted by:Kuthubus Saman - 13 Jan, 2011
26:
congo is written in background
bhaskar Replied to: Kuthubus Saman - 15 Jan, 2011
27:
6 is not correct. You can't do it in 6. However 7 are sufficient and also necessary.
Gopal Rajpurohit Replied to: Kuthubus Saman - 14 Jan, 2011
28: Q.11 and 13 are so damn easy.. It really has shaken my trust in siliconIndia for posting such easy questions as weird...

Q.11 - take the box labelled as mixed fruit and take out the fruit.. now suppose its apple then it means this box is the apple box so the box labelled orange has mixed fruits and the one labelled with apple is mixed fruit.

Q13 - take 3 peanuts in each pane and weigh

case 1. both panes weigh equal. Then weigh the remaining 2 peanuts with 1 in each pane. You can get the lighter one.

case 2. one pane is heavier. now take any 2 out of that pane and put 1 in each pane. you will know the lighter one.

If people really cant answer such questions then they dont deserve to be in such big companies.
Posted by:An IITian - 13 Jan, 2011
29: Q.11 and 13 are so damn easy.. It really has shaken my trust in siliconIndia for posting such easy questions as weird...

Q.11 - take the box labelled as mixed fruit and take out the fruit.. now suppose its apple then it means this box is the apple box so the box labelled orange has mixed fruits and the one labelled with apple is mixed fruit.

Q13 - take 3 peanuts in each pane and weigh

case 1. both panes weigh equal. Then weigh the remaining 2 peanuts with 1 in each pane. You can get the lighter one.

case 2. one pane is heavier. now take any 2 out of that pane and put 1 in each pane. you will know the lighter one.

If people really cant answer such questions then they dont deserve to be in such big companies.
Posted by:An IITian - 13 Jan, 2011
30:
Heights of confidence.
Read the question carefully.
venubk Replied to: An IITian - 16 Jan, 2011
31:
Hi dude...please reconsider your answer to Q11, I couldn't understand...( Which one contains Orange then ?)
Sumit Asok Replied to: An IITian - 13 Jan, 2011
32:
Also, you must note, whichever box you open, you are not allowed to look inside box, and pick one fruit out of it...so even if you get an apple, that box can be a mixed fruit box, containing orange in it as well...so getting an apple doesnot means it is an apple box...
Priyanka Replied to: Sumit Asok - 13 Jan, 2011
33:
@Priya: Open d box which s labelled as "Mixed".. Definitely it s nt mixed..(coz no box s labelled correctly).. Pick 1 fruit out of it wid out lookin into it.. If it s apple,then label this box as "Apple".. D one which s labelled already as orange is "Mixed" and the other s "Orange".. If the one u picked s orange, label this box as "Orange".. D one which s labelled already as Apple s "Mixed" n d other s "Apple".. got it
Parameshwaran Replied to: Priyanka - 14 Jan, 2011
34:
if aaple found then labelled it as orange and the one which is already labelled as apples is "mixed". and other is apple.
Vinod Replied to: Parameshwaran - 14 Jan, 2011
35:
If you take out fruit from the one labelled Apple & Orange and suppose you got an apple... then the container having Orange label will be Apple & Orange ( as for this, the possiblities are Apple or Apple & Orange and already apple is found in the one having Apple & Orange label). and the one having Apple label contains orange... same way you can think if you got orange as fruit from the Apple & Orange container.
Sunil Replied to: Sumit Asok - 13 Jan, 2011
36:
What I guess here is a logical answer. Open any one box and pick up a fruit. Check its appearance and smell it. If it is apple smelling of orange then it is box with orange and apple. If it does not smell like orange its apple box. If you pick up orange and if it is deformed / smashed (U need carefull examination) because you have mixed apple and oranges. Oranges will get damanged. Then its again mix box. Else it is Orange box
Dinesh Replied to: Sunil - 14 Jan, 2011
37:
Weird answer for a weird question.. still i guess none have understood your logic.
Jiboy Replied to: Sunil - 14 Jan, 2011
38:
It is so easy whats the problem .. where are you stuck
An IITian Replied to: Jiboy - 14 Jan, 2011
39:
we have 3 container none is labled correctly, so we go first with mixed. it will only either apple or orange. we pick one without looking inside it. so what we will find we label it, so we can get-
1. if APPLE then we label it apple. then we move to box labeled ORANGE that will either APPLE or MIXED. but we have found APPLE already. so it will be surely MIXED. now the remainig one will be ORANGE.
2. if ORANGE then we will label it as ORANGE and the thebox labeled with APPLE(prev.) will be MIXED, and tagged ORANGE will be APPLE.
ajay Replied to: Jiboy - 14 Jan, 2011
40:
Since none of the labels are correct, the answer is deterministic. Take the box with the label as A n O. That is definitely either A, or O. depending on what it comes out to be, label the other 2 boxes. Mind that the current label is incorrect. So it can be done easily with no confusion.
Suman Chowdhury Replied to: ajay - 14 Jan, 2011
41:
Q12 is also easy,pear will cost 80 cent, as it can't be 0 cent...just have to keep in mind the trends
Noor Replied to: Suman Chowdhury - 14 Jan, 2011
42:
You are correct. It is nothing about fruit, its only how it is incrementing. so after 20, 40 and 60, the next will be 80.
Nice answer. I thought the same as well.
Mohan Replied to: Noor - 16 Jan, 2011
43: A candidate was asked by the Chairman of a selection board that "if the size of the interview room was 20x30 ft.then what is my age?" The candidate,after a breather,replied : "Sir,42".
The Chairman was baffled as he was 42 years of age.Asked to explain the methodology,the candidate said : "Very simple". There was a half-mad in his village and he was 21 years of age.
Posted by:MAHENDRA GAUR - 13 Jan, 2011
44:
Simple but striking ans
@ d same time itz smart
Pravin Replied to: MAHENDRA GAUR - 14 Jan, 2011
45:
Indeed a great reply and interviewees have to be like this only so that the mad interviewers can be reigned in.
Tim Replied to: MAHENDRA GAUR - 14 Jan, 2011
46:
awesome answer.. interviewee will never ask such silly question again...
adi Replied to: MAHENDRA GAUR - 14 Jan, 2011
47: No question is weird.
Questions are meant to study the responses.
The resposes characterize a personality.
These responses gives the interviewer the required inputs...
Posted by:Murli - 13 Jan, 2011
48:
I agree with you.
e.g. in Facebook's case, the question seems similar to Binary Saerch mechanism in Software engineering, applied in a slightly different way.
Other questions include Probability theories and more.
Neilson asked that question just to judge whether the candidate had the quest and passion to research and collect anonymous data!
Aman Alam Replied to: Murli - 13 Jan, 2011
49: Third question is good, because I know the answer: Min guess is always 1 (if person is lucky) and Max guess should not be more than 15 in any case.
Posted by:Chandrashekhar Jain - 13 Jan, 2011
50:
I think it a valid question for a software engineer. May be solved using binary search .. The min is 1 and the max 9 , i guess.
Roy Replied to: Chandrashekhar Jain - 13 Jan, 2011
51:
min guesses is not 1 but min is 10. because it says "minimum number guesses needed". the question can be rephrased this way - what will be the min mumber of guesses you will need to allow a person to take so as to definitely expect an answer from him. If the person manages to answer the question in less than 10 guesses then its a special case with no logic involved.
vineet Replied to: Roy - 13 Jan, 2011
52:
Correct, I agree with you but let me correct you, even in worst case it will be max 10 guess as 2^10=1024 so logn at base 2 will be 10
Pushkar Replied to: Chandrashekhar Jain - 13 Jan, 2011
53:
i agree thatz right......... 1 & 10
gyandev Replied to: Pushkar - 13 Jan, 2011
54: I don't think these Qs are weird. Such Qs will be asked to find about the mental abilities of the job seeker. To see how his mind works. These will be asked with a purpose & the answers (or silence) tells a lot about the person. Only mind readers can understand the purpose of asking these Qs!
Posted by:Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa - 13 Jan, 2011
55: 3 rd question is actually a technical question, related to binary search and not a tricky off-the-wall question.
Posted by:Gopal Rajpurohit - 13 Jan, 2011
56:
I agree these are no brainer... which at times could be asked to make the interview more pleasant....
Syed Ahmed Replied to: Gopal Rajpurohit - 13 Jan, 2011
57:
In an interview of an MBA graduate,he was asked, How much you will charge to clean all the house windows in Newyork city?
Pranav Replied to: Syed Ahmed - 14 Jan, 2011
58:
suppose the number is 1.
1st guss . abouve 500 or below 500
second guess . above 250 or below 250
3rd guess..... above 125 or below 125
4-, 62.5, 5-31.25, 6- 15.125, 7- 7 apprx, 8- 3.5, 9, 1.75
10th question you will get the answer..

Sankar jayaram Replied to: Pranav - 16 Jan, 2011
59:
5 extra choclates
gagandeep bhullar Replied to: ANVAR C - 14 Feb, 2011
60:
7 extra choclates
ANVAR C Replied to: sam - 23 Jan, 2011
61:
only 1 game yaar....all are playing in a same game and at the same time...
anu Replied to: Dheeraj - 21 Jan, 2011
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