Think Fast! 5 Weird IT Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

April 30th, 2014

When you work in information technology, you need to think quickly and creatively. So when someone is deciding whether or not to hire you, they may ask you unexpected interview questions to make sure you can perform under pressure. Here are five weird interview questions from big tech giants, and suggestions about how to answer them:

1. “Explain a database in three sentences to your nephew.” (Google)
This question tests your ability to simplify a concept and communicate it to someone who may not have the same level of understanding as you. To explain something in this way, you must have an intimate understanding of it, so it’s also a test of your knowledge of your field.

2. “Can you instruct someone how to make an origami “cootie catcher” with just words?” (Living Social)
This question is really about how you use language to communicate. Be aware that there are limits to language, and that this hypothetical task may be more difficult depending on whether you can see the person you’re guiding or not. You may even be asked to attempt it with a person in the room!

3. “Describe to me the process and benefits of wearing a seat belt.” (Active Network)
This question displays your ability to sell someone on the benefits of a product. If you can do it with a seat belt, in theory you can do it for software to secure your database or budget cuts in your department. Don’t over think this one, just answer to the best of your ability.

4. “If you were an animal what kind would you be and why?” (Facebook)
This question is designed to give your interviewer an insight into how you see yourself. Think carefully before answering. Avoid answers like snake, sloth, or turtle, unless you want your interviewer to think of you as dishonest or slow. Animals with good qualities include dogs (loyalty), ants (hard work), or owls (wisdom).

5. “How many piano tuners are there in the entire world?” (Google)
This question is all about problem-solving and creative thinking. While it may seem intimidating, if you think it through, you can make a decent estimate. There’s really no wrong answer as long as you don’t freeze up and you walk your interviewer through your thought process.

Looking for help with your information technology job search? At Future Technology Staffing, we specialize in finding IT candidates work, whether that means contract assignments or a direct hire position. We want to help you achieve the success you deserve, so get in touch with us today. We look forward to working with you!

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