Interview Question

Analyst Interview

If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a

  blender, how would you get out?

Interview Answer

46 Answers


Analytical Problem Solving

Interview Candidate on May 31, 2010

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If I am the size of pencil, I can easily stick to the side of the container or just stay above the blade. Just wait till the outlet is open and slip out of it. :)

Parmider Sandhu on Dec 31, 2010

Ask the government to bail me out, hyoh!

Bo on Jan 4, 2011

A four day interview with Goldman is very much like being shrunk down in size while dangling above certain death. My answer would be, "Accept a different job offer".

Ian Robertson on Jan 5, 2011

I'd write "help me" on the side of the container, sit down and wait the waitress.

Br on Jan 10, 2011

Run around in the blender fast enough so the centrifugal force pushes you out.

Marcus on Jan 11, 2011

I would just Erase the Blender!

Jib on Jan 11, 2011

As a liquid.

Mark on Jan 11, 2011

Is this the Voight-Kampff test from Blade Runner?

As a top level executive I would never allow myself, employees, or company to be placed in such a position. I would allow our competitors to make these kinds of tactical mistakes then capitalize on the.

No. I am not a replicant.

Randy on Jan 11, 2011

1) If I am shrunk to the size of a Pencil then all the articles including Blender would've also shrunk according to my size. Therefore, the possibility to put me in a blender is void :-)
2) I'd convince the blender operator that its not the right place for me to be

Zameer on Jan 11, 2011

Well, first I would devise a SPV designed to skirt SEC reporting requirements. Next I would buy out the blender company regardless of their current unprofitable state. THen I would have Cramer pump my newly purchased blender company on CNBC. I would then cash out of the blender company - or, if that fails. Declare and end to the banking system as we know it and force the federal government to bail me out.

I am goldman sachs, and I am domestic threat to the constitution.

Hah! on Jan 11, 2011

The square cube law means you could jump out.

Brad on Jan 11, 2011

As a strategic consultant I would say "I don't know but I'll find out how it can be done and if not, why".

I would then analyze the situation (which I did) and found the average pencil is 6" tall and the average blender is 7" from the center of the blade. If you change the measurements to feet, I am about 6 foot and could simply reach up and pull myself out. If you are 5 foot tall you could jump 1 foot in the air and do the same.

Of course this would be followed by a long list of assumptions but given the one sentence question... that seems fair : ).

Eric Egeland on Jan 11, 2011

I'd ask for someone to pour cream into the blender and allow me to float to the top. I'd then ask that person to turn the blender on to whip the cream, forming butter and buttermilk.

I'd then use the butter to build a staircase to the rim of the blender as well as a drop a huge pile of butter outside of the blender to cushion my fall once I jump out.

I'd also ask for a couple slices of mini-toast so that I can eat it with the butter to celebrate my victorious escape from the blender.

Dano on Jan 11, 2011

I'll let you know when I have been shrunked to the size of a pencil, put in a blender and somehow managed to get out.

tolikfox on Jan 11, 2011

This happened to me once. Really not fun.

Myles on Jan 11, 2011

They ask this question because this actually happened to Lloyd Blankfein once.

RobM on Jan 11, 2011

Brad's answer is the right thinking but the wrong conclusion. If you were reduced in size by factor x, then...

Your new volume would be: 1/x

But your new height would be: cuberoot(x) (or, in other words, 1/x^3)

1/x >> 1/x^3 so you would decrease in height by a greater amount than your decrease in size

Shaun on Jan 11, 2011

Quite simple. A pencil is taller than a blender is wide. Sit on the bottom, place your feet against one wall and your back against the other wall with your hands down at your waist and pressed against the same wall as your back. Use opposing forces between your feet and hands/back to inch your way up. In rock climbing, this is called "chimeny-ing".

Mike on Jan 11, 2011

I would draw myself out. Think about it.

Elisabeth on Jan 11, 2011

Stand on the center shaft of the blade. The upward thrust during rotation should pop you out

Asha on Jan 11, 2011

Get the eraser stuck to your head to pry open the lid and get out.

Raj on Jan 11, 2011

Dudes, this is Govt Sachs...

"I'd rip the blade off the bottom of the blender, smash out the side of the blender, then go looking for something to kill and eat."

I want the job. Right now.


RstJ on Jan 11, 2011

I would wait until someone came by. Surely they would think "what the heck is a pencil doing in that blender" and lift me out.

I mean really......who wants a pencil in their blender?

Chris on Jan 11, 2011

I would be concerned as to who shrank me and why they wished to blend me

you on Jan 11, 2011

I would do a jumping sidekick as high as possible to create enough leverage and momentum as to topple the blender. Hence, liberation.

Sunny on Jan 11, 2011

The most powerful characteristic of a pencil is the ability to Write and Draw, always find the point of strength in yourself and use it to become successful, in this case I’ll use my drawing power and draw a staircase and use the stairs to get out from the bottom of the blender.

R.G. on Jan 11, 2011

By opening the lid.

pls dont ask me how.. if I can shrink to the size of a pencil, I can da mn well open the lid.

Manohar on Jan 11, 2011

I still have the same weight, just compressed into a pencil-thin form. So I lean against the wall of the blender, it tips over, and I can patent the process by which I was made pencil-thin. With a few modifications, this could be a huge hit. I'd be able to quit my day job.

Sal on Jan 11, 2011

Pretty easy. The average pencil is about 8 inches long. My blender is about 12 inches high. So, if I were the height of the pencil, I'd just climb up on the blade connection at the center of the blender base (about 2 inches up from the base) and leap to the top edge of the side of the blender and hoist myself over to safety.

LS Meron on Jan 11, 2011

No one said the blender is turned on, so I will hang out .

Prateek Sharma on Jan 12, 2011

Given the size of a typical pencil, I could position myself horizontally and use my hands and feet to walk up the side of the blender. If the cap is on, I would use one leg to kick out the middle cap once I made it to the top and then climb out starting with the one leg.

Adrian on Jan 12, 2011

jam myself into the blend blades since I am a #2 pencil whose tensile strength exceeds the torque of the blender motor. This will cause the motor to burn out or a circuit breaker to trip; then when the smoke subsides I carefuly open the lid and leave. Remembering to reset the circuit breaker for the next job candidate

TheGSACK on Jan 13, 2011

It's impossible that a human would become a pencil.

But, if you would like to compare a pencil as a human, so that a blender would be a obstacle or trouble in work.

Normally, people put pencil into a blender to sharpen it. A sharpened pencil would be better in writing. So that, to be put in a blender means that to improve myself.

If that so, I would not get out or runaway.

tumza007lnw on Jan 17, 2011

Not sure why many of you think you became a pencil... read the question again :)

beamreach on Jan 18, 2011

I would wait until they put ice in it and climb out or if it was liquid I would float to the top and climb out. If there was nothing put inside of the blender, I would as the others said........use my legs and arms to climb up the glass and get out. Your right beamreach it doesn't read if you became a pencil it. on Feb 9, 2011

Well, the blender is filled with pina colada's and hotties, so I wouldn't get out.

Seriously? on Jul 7, 2011

You're the relative size of a pencil, not ACTUALLY a pencil.

Amanda on Aug 5, 2011

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I would draw a door and get out of it!!!

At Home on Sep 21, 2011

This is not a real question. These are intentionally stupid questions that does serve two purposes in two different situations. If the interviewer thinks he/she is too smart, these questions help boost their ego. On the other hand if these are sincere questions, they are meant to judge you personality by observing your approach to the question. You lose either way.

Amused on Sep 23, 2011

overwrite E to U
BLUNDER and leave it to other deal with it.

Sam on Jun 13, 2012

I would just climb out of the blender. I can use the blades to step on and elevate myself to climb out. No one said anything about having started the blender. You have just been put inside. Neither has anyone mentioned that you have been turned into a pencil. Just that you have been shrunk to that size.

Prosenjit Roy on Aug 9, 2012

Open the bottom and release the waste.

Suzanne on Sep 2, 2012

Most of you are really dumb! Why are you on here? It says you you were shrunk to the size of a pencil NOT you are turned into a pencil! So you can't write you can't erase etc etc... I am embarrassed if any of you got the job and work here with me.

Mark on Mar 5, 2014

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