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Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 7:58 AM

A far cry from the usual "what do you see yourself doing in five years" question.

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#1

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 8:26 AM

I see them as questions that would never relate to reality since not one of them has ever been a real life scenario I have encountered.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 8:36 AM

Not even the buckets of water one?

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#5
In reply to #2

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 11:01 AM

You have one bucket with a gallon of water in it, you have another bucket with two gallons of water in it. How many buckets do you have? (Ideocracity the movie).

I find that HR departments have NO grasp of the technical aspects of engineering

jobs.

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#13
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 12:35 PM

I just estimate for the four gallon mark in the 5 gallon bucket.

If your filling something with buckets the overall precision and accuracy is not that fine to begin with.

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#3

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 9:14 AM

Sorry but they got the socks question wrong.

Brainteaser: There are 20 different socks of two types in a drawer in a completely dark room. What is the minimum number of socks you should grab to ensure you have a matching pair?

The wrong answer they gave was 11. That is the answer for the minimum number needed to guarantee getting a specific matched pair or to guarantee having both matched pairs. The minimum number to guarantee having a matched pair is 3.

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#8
In reply to #3

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 11:54 AM

That's not so....there is no guarantee...at three...

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#10
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 12:23 PM

If you pick a red sock first and then a blue sock then the third sock must match one of the two unmatched socks in your hand.

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#11
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 12:29 PM

...but what if you pick 3 red socks? You can't see the color in the dark....

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 12:33 PM

...? Two of the 3 will match each other. How many feet do you have?

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#15
In reply to #12

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 12:42 PM

20....

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#19
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 12:51 PM

Ahem, there are only two types of socks. You now have three pairs of red socks in you hands. (Does anyone play cribbage anymore?) I choose the colors of red and blue for the two types.

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#20
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 12:56 PM

It doesn't say 10 pairs of socks....It says 20 different socks...there is no guarantee of a match if you grab all of them.....

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#21
In reply to #20

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 1:17 PM

Twenty different socks of 2 types.

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#24
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 1:38 PM

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#37
In reply to #24

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 3:51 PM

How does type equate to color?

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#42
In reply to #37

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 8:03 PM

By that logic there's no guarantee that any of them match, so even taking all 20 out wouldn't ensure a match.

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#47
In reply to #42

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/23/2017 12:21 AM

My point exactly....

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#51
In reply to #47

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/23/2017 7:23 AM

If you have 20 socks in your drawer of two types and none of them match - you need a new washing machine.

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#55
In reply to #51

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/23/2017 8:51 PM

I used to wear socks....

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#60
In reply to #51

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/26/2017 8:00 AM

This discussion just reminded me of one of the scientists at IBM Research. He always wore Birkenstocks with one hot pink and one lime green sock. Had been doing it for donkey's years, according to my manager. Somehow over time that kind of deliberate eccentricity loses its quirkiness.

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#61
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/26/2017 8:46 AM

Now if he had ten pink socks and ten green socks in a dark room he would have to gather eleven socks to guarantee a mismatch.

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#62
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/26/2017 9:03 AM

Well, darn it, my other pair is just like this!

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#68
In reply to #62

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/29/2017 3:00 AM

<...darn it...> Very good.

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#53
In reply to #42

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/23/2017 8:58 AM

It depends on your definition of the word 'match'.

Hey...I have two socks...that's a match.....I'm ready to go.

or

Hey, I need to have two socks that match color, length, wear pattern, holes, stretchiness....damn, I had better turn on the light.

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#56
In reply to #53

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/24/2017 3:41 AM

What if they're a pair that don't match on purpose....?

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#58
In reply to #11

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/24/2017 4:04 PM

3 red socks seems like a 5 sigma match to me.....

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#65
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/28/2017 9:22 AM

Not all red socks match....

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#66
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/28/2017 10:27 AM

What?

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#16
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 12:46 PM

I buy my socks in bulk packages so they are all the same. 100% chance that no matter how I pick them every two will always match.

Their just frigging socks so no need to over complicate things.

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#52
In reply to #16

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/23/2017 8:38 AM

Last time I checked the "fashion" police cannot give you a ticket for wearing mismatched socks anyway. Personally, I wear boots most of the time so no one knows if my socks match or not, and I really don't care.

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#59
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/26/2017 6:53 AM

Yeah, but this is HR we are talking about. They needlessly complicate everything.

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#41
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 7:02 PM

You're hired!

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#4

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 10:23 AM

Think the answer to the number of bulb drops is wrong. Should relate to number of bulbs. If it doesn't break at the first drop (16th floor) you try from the 32nd. If it breaks, you then try floor-by-floor from 17th up. So that's 16 drops max. after the first drop (from floor 16).

2 broken bulbs.

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#6
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 11:04 AM

There are still facilities where one is reprimanded for breaking light bulbs.

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#9
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 12:13 PM

Their answer assumes that it breaks at floor #16. What if it doesn't? You move to floor 32. What if it still hasn't broken? (That's already 2 drops.) Up to 48. If it still hasn't broken you move up another 16, etc.

If the 2nd bulb breaks at floor 96, you would have had to drop the 1st bulb 5 times (at 16, 32, 64, 80, and 96, whereupon it breaks), then start at floor 81 and drop the 2nd bulb 16 times until it also breaks at floor 96.

Total number of drops would be 21.

(Unrelated: I see that I now have 604 GAs. Yesterday I had 605. So some douchebag is retroactively 'undoing' my Good Answers. Whoever you are -- I don't care.)

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#17
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 12:46 PM

That's the logical extension of the point I was making - I only spelt it out for a breakage at the drop from 32nd.

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#22
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 1:22 PM

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#18
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 12:47 PM

I dislike that question and answer, too.

Brainteaser: You have two lightbulbs at a 100-storey building. You want to find the floor at which the bulbs will break when dropped. Find the floor using the least number of drops.

The question does not ask at what floor (N) must both light bulbs break but they didn't or cannot break a floor below (N-1) it asked at what floor will both break. You are also only given one pair of (identical?) light bulbs. Therefore you can only perform one test with those two light bulbs. You drop them from the hundredth floor. If either bulb doesn't break you know that no floor can break both of these light bulbs. (Tough light bulbs.) If they both break then N=100 is an answer.

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#38
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 5:25 PM

I've found pretty much every light bulb will break when dropped just a few feet or less so real life would say of the edge of any table on the first floor is likely plenty high enough. If not, anywhere from the second floor will do it.

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#49
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/23/2017 5:14 AM

Not an LED....

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#45
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 8:50 PM

How many floors does it take for the bulbs to reach terminal velocity? Probably less than 100.

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#23
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 1:36 PM

That can happen without anyone being a poor sport.

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#30
In reply to #9

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 1:57 PM

I have yet to own a bulb that doesn't break when dropped from 5 feet.

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#34
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 2:23 PM

First drop from floor 16

Second from 31 (not 32)

45, 58, 70, 81, 91, 100

If the first bulb breaks at say 70 after 5 drops you only need to try the 11 floors from 59 to 69 to make the total 16 drops.

Of course you could easily win in less than 16.

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#44
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 8:22 PM

Almost a good answer. Floor 70 might be the floor where they break. So the second bulb might not break at 69; you'd have to go one more floor for it to break at 70.

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#48
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/23/2017 4:42 AM

Huh?

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#7

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 11:33 AM

The problem with the motorcycles is weird. The answer suggests that you move all 100 motorcycles 50 Km, then siphon the gas from 50 of them into the other 50. Then repeat.

That means you have to ride the 1st motorcycle 50 Km, then walk back 50 Km, ride the 2nd one 50 Km, etc. By the time you have moved all 100 bikes 50 Km, you will have walked 5000 Km!

Then you start all over again, and in this next phase you end up walking 2500 Km to move 50 bikes to 100 Km from the starting point.

By the time you are done, you will have walked roughly 10,000 in order to go 350 Km.

That may be the nuttiest 'answer' I have ever seen.

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#14
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 12:42 PM

That's the whole issue I have with these sort of word problems. Rarely do any of them ever have any real world practicality or chance of being encountered in any job.

It's like the claim that if 70 people are in a room there is a 99+% chance two or more will have the same birthday.

Not true in the real world being I have been in many public situations (kids camps when growing up) were that proved false.

Statistically it makes perfect sense, but real life does not follow statical theory and rule every time.

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#27
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 1:51 PM

I figure, if you have a siphon, why not a couple wrenches? Remove 50 of the gas tanks, and use 50 of the motorcycles to take the gas tanks 1 at a time a distance of 50 Km. I.e., you ride 50 Km out while carrying 1 tank, set down the tank, then drive back 50 Km whereupon the tank in that bike is empty. Repeat until you're on the 50th bike setting down the 50th tank at the 50 Km distance.

Fill the tank in this 50th bike, then start taking 25 of the tanks out another 50 Km, to a distance 100 Km from the starting point.

Distance(Km).... Number of tanks

0........................100

50.......................50

100.....................25

150.....................12

200.......................6

250.......................3

At the 250 Km mark you take 1 tank to the 300 Km marker, then return. You fill the tank from one of the 2 remaining tanks, pick up the other tank and drive to the 300 Km marker and fill the tank. You pick up the full tank you'd set there earlier, and then drive till the tank runs dry at 400 Km. Then you fill the bike from the tank you've been carrying and drive until the bike finally runs dry and you have no fuel.

You are now at 500 Km from the starting point and you haven't had to walk at all.

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#32
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 2:03 PM

If one can remove gas tanks (without spilling) then the question becomes how many tanks can one motorcycle carry?

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#43
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 8:19 PM

Yeah, that's the thing. It didn't say you had a siphon, but assumes you have a way to transfer the gas. That makes it open ended. So why not a set of tools and a trailer to take all of the tanks...? Meaning you could go 50,000 Km.

Obviously I assumed you could hold a tank under one arm while steering with the other. But with rope you could carry more...

My main objection to this problem is the insanity of having to walk 10,000 Km in order to ride a bike 350 Km. It'd be quicker to ride one bike 100 Km and then walk the next 250 Km.

(I just realized I misremembered the number of bikes in my previous comment. Oh well; doesn't really change the point I was trying to make.)

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#40
In reply to #27

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 5:30 PM

I'd just use the 3 gallon and the 5 gallon buckets from the other question and put as much gas as I can get into them and carry them on one motorcycle.

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#63
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/28/2017 7:18 AM

Presumably without throwing any away?

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#31
In reply to #7

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 1:59 PM

The answer they give is that "...remember each has 100 km capacity and they are all in the same place".

Where in the problem does it state that they are all in the same location?

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#35
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 2:42 PM

Even using their logic (which involves either lots of walking, or, lots of stranded helpers), you can do a lot better than 350 km

First drive all 50 bikes 2 km then empty the 98 km left in one tank into the other 49

Then drive all 49 another 2.041 km and empty one bike into the other 48 etc.

Nearly 450 km.

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#50
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/23/2017 5:30 AM

Sell 49 of the bikes, minus fuel, buy a fuel tank trailer, put all the gas in the tank, take one bike...

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#25

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 1:43 PM

Interviewer: You try to start your Cavalier in the morning and only hear a clicking sound. What color is it?

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#28
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 1:54 PM

Obviously rust-colored.

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#39
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 5:28 PM

Rusty! Never saw a cavalier that didn't run that didn't fit that generalized description.

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#26

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 1:50 PM

The answer to #5 depends on what kind of tournament it is (single elimination, double elimination, king-of-the-hill, etc.); too bad they didn't say.

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#29

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 1:56 PM

For #2, I can get lots more mileage than 350 out of the bike collection. Exercise for reader to figure out how.

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#33

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 2:13 PM

Question 14: Which Switch?

What's the point of waiting 5-10 minutes after switching on the 2nd switch? You don't switch it off. If the light is hot/warm and off then the 1st switch controls the light. If the light is on, the 2nd switch controls the light.

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#36

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 2:56 PM

In question 11 it doesn't actually say whether you know that the dud is heavy or light. Their answer relies on that knowledge.

As it turns out you can find the odd one out of 12 balls and determine if it's heavy or light with only three weighings on a balance scale. Anyone care to try?

Question 12 is OK as long as the suitcase floats. If the suitcase is lighter than water then when it's in the boat it displaces its weight of water just as it does after you throw it overboard, but, if it is denser than water then when it's in the boat it displaces its weight (of water) whereas when its on the bottom of the lake it only displaces its volume.

Question 14 Agree with JBTardis GA.

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#46

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/22/2017 9:16 PM

Now going withthe "Where do you see yourself in 5 years" question?

Not a clue being so far every vision I had nowhere I think I will be in that time frame has ever came even remotely close to being true.

~8 years ago someone asked me that and I said, probably unemployed/self employed or working a low paying job I hate. Nope. I was in the oil fields doing something I enjoyed and making near 6 figures while doing it.

As far as where I will be in 5 years form now, no clue again. Probably alive and maybe working but maybe not. No clue about anything else.

Might have the new house project done by then but I doubt that too!

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#54

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/23/2017 1:29 PM

If I had an infinite water supply and two buckets, I would do something much more useful than work for Amazon.

Here is another strange, but real interview question for (company name removed):

Obviously, this was not an engineering position based on the lack of motorcycle fuel tanks and sock probabilities in the question.

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#57
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Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/24/2017 4:01 AM

..."If I had an infinite water supply and two buckets, I would do something much more useful than work for Amazon."...

King of the Beach....?

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#64

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/28/2017 7:51 AM

"What's the best way to get rid of a cast iron bathtub?"

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#67

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

06/29/2017 2:58 AM

Whoever uses light bulbs any more?

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#69

Re: Questions Asked of Job Applicants

07/04/2017 10:21 AM

The East Anglian job application is only three questions (ask PlbMak):

  1. "Woss yer name there, Bor?"
  2. "Did yew bring yer own shovel, then?"
  3. "When can yew staart?"
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