15 Tricky Interview Questions from Tech Giants ›

15 Tricky Interview Questions from Tech Giants

ITExpert team 06.09.2022
Main Blog Recruiting
15 Tricky Interview Questions from Tech Giants
15 Tricky Interview Questions from Tech Giants

Would you like to know what questions recruiters ask at the world’s famous tech companies? Sure, you would! Let’s start!

5 Google’s Tricky Questions

Interview questions from Google can make you wonder, but they all have good reasons:

1. Describe your process for [anything]

[Anything] stands for a vacancy you are applying to. If you are a marketer, they will likely ask you about marketing strategy or launching promo campaigns. Google’s recruiters consider such questions great, as they provoke the thought process. People can’t answer them without relevant knowledge. You can’t just search the answer on the Internet. Recruiters have a chance to assess the candidate’s true experience and skills.

How to answer such questions:

  • Describe your usual workflow, mention what tools you use and who else is involved in the process.
  • Break the whole system into steps, tell what you’d do first.
  • Tell recruiters about the core of this job if there’s not enough time to describe everything.

2. Tell about a situation when you took a risk and failed

Recruiters often ask about success cases, when one took a risk and achieved great results. Google’s recruiters urge candidates to share different stories. All in all, everyone fails from time to time, so this question reveals how easily a person can get through difficulties and continue being productive. Also, it is about the ability to learn from experience and admit mistakes.

How to answer such questions:

  • Google’s specialists recommend telling an honest story about how you have dealt with frustration.
  • Describe what is really challenging for you.
  • Note what you had learned and how you then used this experience in other situations.

3. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

With this question, Google’s recruiters define the line between personal achievements and teamwork. Also, you can tell more about your success cases and show that you can bring value to the company.

How to answer such questions:

  • Tell an interviewer a compelling story about your way to the result, all obstacles keeping you away from success, and finally, about your achievements.
  • Demonstrate a real case with measured results. Talk about the company’s issues, how you developed a solution for them, what tasks you solved, how you implemented changes, and what the outcomes were.
  • Keep in mind that recruiters watch the way you’re telling your story. Don’t be overly emotional and operate with facts.

4. Can you explain one niche thing in 5 minutes or less?

This question is asked to check communication skills that are very important for teamwork and the ability to explain complex things in a simple way. This will prove your expertise, as only a person who 100% knows the subject will be able to talk about it in simple terms.

How to answer such questions:

  • Imagine you’re talking to a sponsor who doesn’t know anything about technology and coding but wants to know the importance of what you do. Use simple vocabulary without complex terminology. If you use professional words, explain them as well.
  • Pretend that this is your elevator pitch. Outline up to 3 important points to talk about. Ask your interlocutor whether everything is clear.
  • Ask for a piece of paper, if you need to draw schemes, which is commonly helpful when describing complex things.

5. What else do you want us to know about you?

This question might seem tricky, as an interviewee has a chance to tell the possible employer only good things about themselves. Nevertheless, if you hear it at an interview, don’t panic and take your time for putting your best qualities on the table or explain something you’ve already told (if you think that recruiters could misunderstand you then).

How to answer such questions:

  • Strengthen the recruiter’s previous impressions with new information about your hard and soft skills that will help you succeed if you get the offer.
  • Tell them about the additional experience you haven’t mentioned so far. Make them discover why you are the best choice and they should give you an offer.
hiring process at Google

5 Apple’s Tricky Questions

By the way, the manufacturer of iPhones and iPads often asks all the above-mentioned questions as well, so we’ll outline some new fascinating examples:

1. What will you miss at your current work if Apple hired you?

This question seems simple but in fact, there is a reason why recruiters ask it. The answer can reveal all your motives for being hired by a new company. Moreover, they will find out your values and preferences.

How to answer such questions:

  • Tell recruiters what you really like about their company. This will show that you know much about the employer and your sincere interest.
  • Focus on positive facts and don’t ever say you won’t miss anything from your previous job. You may mention some negative facts about the former employer, which you are not going to appreciate at your new job.
  • Keep in mind that excessive and unfounded criticism won’t add attractiveness to your candidacy.

2. Have you ever disagreed with a manager’s decision?

Recruiters ask this question to discover whether their future employee will be conflicting or will be able to come to constructive solutions. Moreover, correct behavior in controversial situations is very important for successful teamwork, which is of great importance in the IT industry.

How to answer such questions:

  • Give a specific example and explain how you rectified the disagreement, what the final outcome was. The goal is to show that you can find the middle ground without conflicts.
  • Share your manager’s feedback, if you have it. If that person is still happy with what you do, this is a great sign for your future employer.

3. Are you creative? What’s something creative that you can think of?

Surprisingly, this one was asked to a software engineer, not a designer or marketer. This question reveals one’s non-standard thinking.

How to answer such questions:

  • Answer it as you like. Recall something unusual you saw on the Internet. Historical examples of technological innovations are a good option as well.
  • If you have a creative hobby, why not mention it at the interview! This will demonstrate your versatility.

4. How many children are born every day?

It’s kind of a typical question on logic. There can be other options, for example, “How many red Fords are there in New York?” or “How many trains are running simultaneously on the London Underground?”

How to answer such questions:

  • You’re not supposed to google for the correct answer and should demonstrate your logical thinking. In the problem statement, there’s no information regarding geography, so you can calculate how many children are born, for example, in your city.

5. Describe your humbling experience

This question reveals your personality and business qualities. Of course, many will talk about working moments, so the question is similar to #2 from Google. Though, it sounds vaguer and abrupt.

How to answer such questions:

  • Find a fine line between what you can and cannot say. You shouldn’t go into private details and embarrass your interlocutors. Concentrate on the work moments and choose some difficulties you faced. 
  • Please note that questions like this one help candidates reveal their best qualities. Therefore, share how you managed to get out of a crisis as a winner.
careers at Apple

5 Microsoft’s Tricky Questions

This stable and reliable software vendor is good at conducting complex and meaningful interviews.

1. How would you test an elevator?

Interestingly, Apple has another version of this one: “How would you test a toaster?”. As you might have understood, these are questions for QA Engineers. Though, not only they are asked this question.

How to answer such questions:

  • Sure, you can get into technical details and tell them about testing separate mechanisms inside it. Nevertheless, it’s not always necessary.
  • Companies value staying in touch with a consumer’s mind, so the answer “Push the button” will be correct. Show your sense of humor and don’t overcomplicate. 🙂

2. A right triangle has a hypotenuse equal to 10 and an altitude to the hypotenuse equal to 6. Find the area of the triangle.

Sounds embarrassing even if you were good at geometry at school or university, right? This question helps the company staff to test both your knowledge and skills of thinking under pressure.

How to answer such questions:

  • If you can solve this problem, then do it! 😉
  • If you can’t, you may ask for some time or for completing it at home or onsite. Both options work! The main idea is to keep calm and friendly.

3. Show us an example of a website with great design

This one was for a designer to see how proactive he was. Recruiters may ask similar questions based on the candidate’s profile to find out whether a candidate keeps their finger on the pulse of their industry.

How to answer such questions:

  • Recall the latest trends, show them great examples and tell which features or perks you would use in your design/code/text/etc. This will help you convince everyone that you’re really keen on what you do and are aware of what’s happening on the market.
  • Tell recruiters what trends you enjoy and which ones seem to be strange (if there are such trends). Show you have your own opinion on that.

4. Why would you not join Google?

Any other competitor can be mentioned. They ask it to reveal your motivation and check whether this can make you laugh.

How to answer such questions:

  • Never tell the company representatives that you applied to their competitor earlier but they rejected your candidacy.
  • Treat it like a joke. Replies like “I’ll have an interview there tomorrow” will prove your sense of humor.

5. Tell me how you would design an airport

Recruiters asking this one are willing to assess the expertise level of a candidate who is applying to a technical position. Marketing positions assume showing expertise in conversions and sales. 

How to answer such questions:

  • If you’re applying on technical position, demonstrate your analytical skills. Think about how many gates there should be depending on the city size, where should they be located, how many rest zones there should be, etc.
  • If you’re a designer or a creative person, tell your interlocutor about the airport’s design, pleasant for customers colors, cozy seats in rest rooms, and so on.
  • Marketers should think of the target audience and relevant services or duty-free shops. All in all, all airports belong to different segments. Some of them are aiming at the luxury segment, others are focusing on mass market segment.
  • The answer depends on your specialty. Still, there aren’t any correct and incorrect answers, as you only use your imagination and experience to impress recruiters. Anyway, answers must be justified.
careers at Microsoft
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As you can see, even the most tricky questions can be used to your advantage.

Here’s the recipe for success: do not worry, collect your thoughts, and calmly answer the question, using your professional skills and resourcefulness. Be friendly and don’t be afraid to joke. And even if you don’t answer the way the recruiter wanted, your answer can exceed all expectations!

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