# Oddest interview questions you've ever got?

#### halik

##### Lifer
I got some good ones today:

How many ways can you pick a par out of a deck of cards?

There are 4 individual socks in a drawer and when picking up pair, you have 50% chance of getting black ones. How many black socks are in the drawer?

Also another one I've got is to write a recursive function for Fibonaci numbers.

#### Perknose

##### Forum Director & Omnipotent Overlord
Forum Director
Originally posted by: halik
I got some good ones today:

How many ways can you pick a par out of a deck of cards?

There are 4 individual socks in a drawer and when picking up pair, you have 50% chance of getting black ones. How many black socks are in the drawer?

Also another one I've got is to write a recursive function for Fibonaci numbers.

Phew, in the midst of this "non-recession", the interview process for those coveted Walmart Greeter jobs just keeps getting tougher and tougher. :laugh:

#### ChaosDivine

##### Senior member
Originally posted by: halik
Also another one I've got is to write a recursive function for Fibonaci numbers.
Isn't this a sophmore-level programming question?

#### RKS

##### Diamond Member
I was asked "Do you like money, does it motivate you? Besides your altruistic answers, do you want to make a lot of money?"

#### EvilYoda

##### Lifer
Originally posted by: ChaosDivine
Originally posted by: halik
Also another one I've got is to write a recursive function for Fibonaci numbers.
Isn't this a sophmore-level programming question?

If that. That said...it's been so long, I probably don't remember the right syntax

#### eLiu

##### Diamond Member
Huh? Those aren't that exciting, lol.

1) 52 choose 2 = 52*(52-1)/2
2) 3. 3/4 * 2/3 = 1/2 Aren't these two in intro probability/discrete math classes? Part of any CS undergrad program.
3) isn't this in any basic programming class? fibo(n), if(n<=1) return n; else return fibo(n-1)+fibo(n-2);

Try:
1) I give you a pointer to the head node of a linked list. This linked list has unknown size. As efficiently (time & space) as possible, tell me whether or not this linked list has a cycle. A cycle is the situation where a node whose "next" pointer points to a node that preceded it or points to itself.
2) Suppose I give you the coordinates of 2 rectangles (I give you the x,y coords of each rect's 4 corners). As efficiently as possible, tell me the coordinates of their intersection; if there is no intersection, say so.

Edit: My results in 1) & 2) might be wrong. I *suck* at probability/counting problems, yuck.

#### Deeko

##### Lifer
Originally posted by: ChaosDivine
Originally posted by: halik
Also another one I've got is to write a recursive function for Fibonaci numbers.
Isn't this a sophmore-level programming question?

When I interviewed at Microsoft, virtually every question could be answered by reading my sophomore year data structures book. While a technical interview is a good thing, all it really was testing was how well you can memorize certain textbook questions.

#### Vehemence

##### Banned
Last two questions asked in an interview for Blizzard:

Explain how you ties your shoes.

Pretend you step in to a time machine that takes you hundreds of years back, and you have to convince 10 people the world is round in order to get back. How would you do it?

#### imported_Imp

##### Diamond Member
Originally posted by: dNor
Last two questions asked in an interview for Blizzard:

Explain how you ties your shoes.

I'd probably get kicked out right away. I tie mines with 2 bunny loops, and they never hold, so I have to double tie them. Sometimes I just make 5 knots if the lace is too short.

#### BrunoPuntzJones

##### Lifer
Originally posted by: dNor
Last two questions asked in an interview for Blizzard:

Explain how you ties your shoes.

Pretend you step in to a time machine that takes you hundreds of years back, and you have to convince 10 people the world is round in order to get back. How would you do it?

Those are actually really good questions. It's nothing to do with the technical aspect of the question, but the ability to communicate.

#### halik

##### Lifer
Originally posted by: eLiu
Huh? Those aren't that exciting, lol.

1) 52 choose 2 = 52*(52-1)/2
2) 3. 3/4 * 2/3 = 1/2 Aren't these two in intro probability/discrete math classes? Part of any CS undergrad program.
3) isn't this in any basic programming class? fibo(n), if(n<=1) return n; else return fibo(n-1)+fibo(n-2);

Try:
1) I give you a pointer to the head node of a linked list. This linked list has unknown size. As efficiently (time & space) as possible, tell me whether or not this linked list has a cycle. A cycle is the situation where a node whose "next" pointer points to a node that preceded it or points to itself.
2) Suppose I give you the coordinates of 2 rectangles (I give you the x,y coords of each rect's 4 corners). As efficiently as possible, tell me the coordinates of their intersection; if there is no intersection, say so.

Edit: My results in 1) & 2) might be wrong. I *suck* at probability/counting problems, yuck.

First one is not right, 52 choose 2 means how many ways you can take any 2 cars from a deck. A pair means two cars with the same number ....

#### queenrobot

##### Platinum Member
"Do you have children or are you planning on having children in the future?" Not really odd, but definitely illegal.

#### RaistlinZ

##### Diamond Member
Originally posted by: queenrobot
"Do you have children or are you planning on having children in the future?" Not really odd, but definitely illegal.

How do you answer that question tactfully without ruining your chances of getting the job? Also, if you decide to decline answering it and are later denied the job how can you go about proving you were unfairly denied the position because you refused to answer an illegal question during the interview?

#### James Bond

##### Diamond Member
Originally posted by: dNor
Last two questions asked in an interview for Blizzard:

Explain how you ties your shoes.

Pretend you step in to a time machine that takes you hundreds of years back, and you have to convince 10 people the world is round in order to get back. How would you do it?

Holy fuck that second question makes my head want to explode.

How did you explain it?

#### queenrobot

##### Platinum Member
Originally posted by: RaistlinZ
Originally posted by: queenrobot
"Do you have children or are you planning on having children in the future?" Not really odd, but definitely illegal.

How do you answer that question tactfully without ruining your chances of getting the job? Also, if you decide to decline answering it and are later denied the job how can you go about proving you were unfairly denied the position because you refused to answer an illegal question during the interview?

I am not really sure what the best thing to do in this situation is. I was really surprised by the question, so I asked what the purpose of it was. The response I got was that they were "just checking" because the last person they hired got pregnant within two months of hire and requested maternity leave. BTW, the person asking this question is a lawyer. :shocked:

#### BlueAcolyte

##### Platinum Member
Ships would vanish off the edge of the horizon... Or we could go all the way around the world on a ship with ten people.

#### Atomic Playboy

##### Lifer
Originally posted by: Tizyler
Originally posted by: dNor
Last two questions asked in an interview for Blizzard:

Explain how you ties your shoes.

Pretend you step in to a time machine that takes you hundreds of years back, and you have to convince 10 people the world is round in order to get back. How would you do it?

Holy fuck that second question makes my head want to explode.

How did you explain it?

He screamed "ZERG RUSH!" and leapt through the nearest window.

#### keird

##### Diamond Member
I was in New Orleans for Katrina with the Army when all of a sudden a French news crew approached and asked, "Can you explain what you are doing?" There's the biggest camera I've seen in my life 3 feet from my head. A pretty girl with an exotic accent sticking a microphone under my chin. I let a spew of officious words out of my mouth and totally goofed up the ending. I think it sounded like this:

"We're providing emergency medical services and conducting decontamination operations in support of military, police and various rescue personnel... and civilians."

I hope it never aired.

#### Atomic Playboy

##### Lifer
Originally posted by: BlueAcolyte
Ships would vanish off the edge of the horizon... Or we could go all the way around the world on a ship with ten people.

So the first person you convince would be someone with the disposable income required to put together such an expedition... Such a person would probably be royalty. If you can convince them, they could probably just tell a roomful of commoners who would believe it wholesail. That would leave you free to spend the trip money on booze and hookers.

##### Diamond Member
I once drove 6 hours for a job interview and the interviewer asked me "So do you have reliable transportation." He knew I just drove down and where I came from as I was trying to transfer from one company location to another. I just responded" Well I made it here for the interview didn't I" His face turned kinda red, I couldn't tell if it was from embarrassment or from anger. I ended up getting the job, but quiting 2 days into it because the guy was an asshat. Shoulda known from the by the book interview.

#### JS80

##### Lifer
Originally posted by: queenrobot
Originally posted by: RaistlinZ
Originally posted by: queenrobot
"Do you have children or are you planning on having children in the future?" Not really odd, but definitely illegal.

How do you answer that question tactfully without ruining your chances of getting the job? Also, if you decide to decline answering it and are later denied the job how can you go about proving you were unfairly denied the position because you refused to answer an illegal question during the interview?

I am not really sure what the best thing to do in this situation is. I was really surprised by the question, so I asked what the purpose of it was. The response I got was that they were "just checking" because the last person they hired got pregnant within two months of hire and requested maternity leave. BTW, the person asking this question is a lawyer. :shocked:

they do it bc they know it's nearly impossible to prove it in court.

but there are other ways of asking and finding out without breaking the law.

#### keird

##### Diamond Member
Originally posted by: Atomic Playboy
Originally posted by: BlueAcolyte
Ships would vanish off the edge of the horizon... Or we could go all the way around the world on a ship with ten people.

So the first person you convince would be someone with the disposable income required to put together such an expedition... Such a person would probably be royalty. If you can convince them, they could probably just tell a roomful of commoners who would believe it wholesail. That would leave you free to spend the trip money on booze and hookers.

Sounds like the job description of a lobbyist.

#### Reel

##### Diamond Member
Originally posted by: eLiu
Huh? Those aren't that exciting, lol.

1) 52 choose 2 = 52*(52-1)/2
2) 3. 3/4 * 2/3 = 1/2 Aren't these two in intro probability/discrete math classes? Part of any CS undergrad program.
3) isn't this in any basic programming class? fibo(n), if(n<=1) return n; else return fibo(n-1)+fibo(n-2);

Try:
1) I give you a pointer to the head node of a linked list. This linked list has unknown size. As efficiently (time & space) as possible, tell me whether or not this linked list has a cycle. A cycle is the situation where a node whose "next" pointer points to a node that preceded it or points to itself.
2) Suppose I give you the coordinates of 2 rectangles (I give you the x,y coords of each rect's 4 corners). As efficiently as possible, tell me the coordinates of their intersection; if there is no intersection, say so.

Edit: My results in 1) & 2) might be wrong. I *suck* at probability/counting problems, yuck.

For 3, try memoization. It is a far more efficient approach.

#### AAjax

##### Diamond Member

From an interview when I was 20

"Oh, hey... do you have any weed? Im all out"

That was a fun job

#### JS80

##### Lifer
oddest interview question i was ever asked "do you like to drink [alcohol]?"