Yes, that was a question a job applicant was actually asked in an interview:
How would you hide a dead body?
According to the book, The Organised Mind by Daniel Levitin, for over a decade, when Google conducted interviews, they’d ask their applicants questions that have no answers. Because Google is a company whose very existence depend on innovation – creating things that are new and didn’t exist before.
Google doesn’t even know what skills they need new employees to have. What they need to know is whether an employee can think their way through a problem.
Consider the following question that has been asked at actual Google job interview:
How much does the Empire State Building weigh?
Now, there is no correct answer to this question in any practical sense because no one knows the answer. Google isn’t interested in the answer though; they are interested in the process, in how a prospective employee would go about solving it.
It reminds me of a question I myself was asked while interviewing with McKinsey Inc all the way in South Africa.
I was then with the strategy unit of Andersen Consulting, now Accenture and this was a dream-come-true job opportunity for me because McKinsey was (and I guess still is) considered the world’s No 1 strategy consulting firm.
Until the whole thing turned into a nightmare when out of the blue my interviewer asked, rather casually:
On a typical day, how many vehicles are on the streets in Lagos?
Now, there are questions that seek to test your comfort with ambiguity and complexity. And how well you can be logical and persuasive in your answer.
And often, there is a huge difference between being CLEVER and having KNOWLEDGE.
People who read books tend to be more knowledgeable, more confident and more persuasive. And can engage better even at interviews.
And so, what if you are asked:
How many words do you speak in a day?
Or how many steps do you take in a day?
Author of How To READ MORE
No 1 on Channels TV Best Books in 2014.
On sale at Laterna Bookstore Lagos. And on amazon. eBook format also available.