15 Banned Google Interview Questions

Google has a reputation of hiring the best of the best, and you can be sure that the applicants that sit across from the interviewer will work for that job. That means going through a rigorous hiring process with many tough questions that would stump the average person.


Their hiring practices have changed over the years, including the types of questions asked. Google HR used to hand out insanely difficult brain teasers. BusinessInsider.com compiled a list of 15 questions that are banned from the Google interview. Can you answer any of these?


  1. How many golf balls can fit in a school bus?
  2. How much should you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle?
  3. In a country in which people only want boys…every family continues to have children until they have a boy. If they have a girl, they have another child. If they have a boy, they stop. What is the proportion of boys to girls in the country?
  4. Design an evacuation plan for San Francisco.
  5. Why are manhole covers round?
  6. How many piano tuners are there in the world?
  7. How many times a day does a clock’s hand overlap?
  8. Explain the significance of “dead beef.”
  9. A man pushed his car to a hotel and lost his fortune. What happened?
  10. You need to check that your friend, Bob, has your correct phone number, but you cannot ask him directly. You must write the question on a card which and give it to Eve who will take the card to Bob and return the answer to you. What must you write on the card, besides the question, to ensure Bob can encode the message so that Eve cannot read your phone number?
  11. You’re the captain of a pirate ship. and your crew gets to vote on how the gold is divided up. If fewer than half of the pirates agree with you, you die. How do you recommend apportioning the gold in such a way that you get a good share of the booty, but still survive?
  12. You have eight balls all the same size. 7 of them weigh the same, and one of them weighs slightly more. How can you find the ball that is heavier by using a balance and only two weighings.
  13. You are given two eggs. You have access to a 100-story building. Eggs can be very hard or very fragile means it 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 2 eggs in the process.
  14. Explain a database in three sentences to your eight-year-old nephew.
  15. 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?

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