Google used to ask these interview questions, but they're so tricky they were banned

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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

There can be strange interview questions that seem to have no answers, and standards that will knock candidates out of the race right off 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.

Caroline Moss contributed to an earlier version of this post.

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

Amazon

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?

Design an evacuation plan for San Francisco.

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?

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?

iStock

How many golf balls can fit in a school bus?

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

iStock

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

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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