The Google 'entrance exam'. Would you pass?


How many golf balls can fit in a school bus?

And no, you can’t Google the answer because that’s a question in the Google ‘entrance exam’.

Google recently came in at number four on CNN Money’s list of the 100 best companies to work for, and it’s easy to see why. Employees enjoy free lunches at the Google cafeterias, as well as a policy called “20 percent time” which allows them to spend one day working on projects that aren’t necessarily in their job descriptions.

The Google offices are pretty cool, too – the Boston office has a rock-climbing wall, the Netherlands office has an indoor bicycle lane, and the Zurich office features a slide for easy access to the cafeteria.

While working there might be great, getting the job is a whole different story. Job interviews at Google feature some of the hardest questions you might ever come across, some of which we’ve listed below. How many can you answer?

1. How many piano tuners are there in the entire world? (Job: Product Manager)

2. Imagine you have a closet full of shirts. It’s very hard to find a shirt. So what can you do to organize your shirts for easy retrieval? (Job: Product Manager)

3. How much should you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle? (Job: Product Manager)

4. Design an evacuation plan for San Francisco. (Job: Product Manager)

The slide in the Zurich office

5. Say an advertiser makes $0.10 every time someone clicks on their ad. Only 20% of people who visit the site click on their ad. How many people need to visit the site for the advertiser to make $20? (Job: Product Marketing Manager)

6. You need to check that your friend, Bob, has your correct phone number, but you cannot ask him directly. You must write a 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? (Job:  Software engineer)

7. Estimate the number of students who are college seniors, attend four-year schools, and graduate with a job in the United States every year. (Job: Product Marketing Manager)

8. What is the probability of breaking a stick into 3 pieces and forming a triangle? (Job: Quantitative Compensation Analyst)

9. Anywhere in the world, where would you open up a new Google office and how would you figure out compensation for all the employees at this new office? (Job: Quantitative Compensation Analyst)

Seattle job coach Lewis Lin has put together a list of 140 questions his clients have been asked by Google, you can go here to read the full list.

What’s the hardest or strangest question you’ve been asked at a job interview – and how did you answer it?