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Toughest interview questions

Published: Tuesday 14th February 2017

Interview being conducted on a female by a panel

Going to a job interview can be a nerve-wracking experience, but imagine how nerve-wracking a job interview would be with the world’s toughest interviewers. 

For years, Google, Netflix, and LinkedIn built up reputations as having some of the toughest interview questions and hiring processes in the world. With Google alone receiving over 2 million candidate applications each year, it’s easy to see why they have to be so selective! 

Questions about your experience, skills, and knowledge are easier to prepare for than being asked ‘how many cars travel across a bridge each day?’ or ‘how do you fit a giraffe into a fridge?’ or ‘what prank would you pull on a manager if hired?’ 

Questions like these don’t have a right or wrong answer but interviewers aren’t just being mean. Questions such as these are designed to understand how candidates think under pressure and determine whether or not they can think in a creative way to quickly solve problems as they arise. Whilst a little odd at times, these tough interview questions probe candidates, finding out information people may be trying to conceal. 

Here are 21 of the toughest interview questions by Google, Netflix and LinkedIn; 

7 of the toughest interview questions from Google

1. How many ways can you think of to find a needle in a haystack?

2. You have a colony on Mars that you want to communicate with. How do you build a system to communicate with them?

3. How many haircuts do you think happen in America every year?

4. If you had access to a bank’s database, how would you use that information to design an ATM for elderly people?

5. How would you improve a shoe factory?

6. Tell me a joke.

7. If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?

7 of the toughest interview questions from Netflix

1. How many cans of paint would you need to paint one wing of a 747? 

2. Who do you think is Netflix competitor and why?

3. Tell me something you did in the past and never want to do again. 

4. How will you handle the cultural differences from where you came from and Netflix? 

5. What’s your favourite TV show and movie and how do you like to watch them?

6. How would you handle an employee that has attendance issues when we do not have an attendance policy in place?

7. Name 5 devices you can watch Netflix on. 

7 of the trickiest interview questions from LinkedIn

1. What TV shows are you currently watching? 

2. How many pens can you fit into an airplane? 

3. How many windows are there in San Francisco and how much should you charge to clean them all? 

4. If you were going on a one week holiday what three things would you bring? 

5. What would you like to be known for in the office, the person who…? 

6. How do you measure success? 

7. How many cubes are exposed in a Rubik’s cube? 

Unfortunately these tech companies aren’t the only ones getting in on the tough and tricky question act. Be prepared to answer questions like these at your next interview and get ahead by reading Zoek’s Top 10 tips to get a new job.

For more great job seeking hints and tips visit the rest of the Zoek blog or download the free app today if you’re ready to start applying. Available on iOS or Android.


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