# Interview Questions

interview questions shared by candidates

## Interview Questions

You have a 3 gallon bucket and a 5 gallon bucket as your only tools and you need exactly 4 gallons how would you go about getting the 4 gallons? 6 Answers1. Fill 3 gallon bottle 2. Pour IT into the 5-gallon bottle 3. Fill 3 gallon again, and pour IT into 5 gallon (leaves 1 gallon in 3 gallon bottle) 4. Empty 5 gallon 5. Pour the 1 gallon into the 5-gallon 6. Fill 3 gallon 7. Pour IT into the 5 gallon 1. Fill 5 gallon bucket completely. 2. Place 3 gallon bucket into full 5gallon bucket to displace water, leaving 2 gallons. 3. Pour 2 gallons into 3 gallon bucket. Repeat 1 more time. fill each bucket exactly halfway. Show More Responses additionally, twist the question into a simple solution. 'if the 5 gallon bucket has fill lines, simply fill it to the 4 gallon mark'. The interviewer specifies that there are no fill lines, and the measurement has to be exact (i.e. no guessing the halfway point of each bucket. Fill 5 gallon, pour it into 3 gallon. Dump the 3 gallon. pour the 2 gallon remaining in the 5 gallon bucket into the 3 gallon bucket. Fill the 5 gallon bucket, fill up the rest of the the 3 gallon bucket. You have 4 gallon in the 5 gallon bucket |

Can you meet the hiring manager in 3 hours? 6 AnswersWow, they really sound very disorganized & disrespectful. I reckon you would have hated working for them, doesn't sound like they could be good with their clients! Yes, I found the leadership at BI to be quite unorganized, there always seems to be firedrills with unhappy clients, count your blessings you didn't take a job with them. This is a great information to have about this company. Thanks for posting this. Show More Responses The senior leadership at BI have a track record of publically humiliating employees on our morning calls it's comes with the territory of a CEO company owner who throws his weight around. You just have to ignore it as best you can. I think the issue is that director positions are a dime a dozen here and people don't last long, I am on my 3rd office partner in as many years & Steve is likely going to leave! Management therefore really doesn't invest too much time or effort in the candidate evaluation & hiring process. Typical Courtney stirring the pot, reckon she's had more office partners that projects. |

### Analyst at Compass Lexecon was asked...

If you have two jars, one with 1000 blue marbles and the other with 1000 red marbles, and you reach into the blue jar and move 20 marbles to the red jar, then grab 20 marbles from the red jar and move them into the blue jar, and you repeat this process one more time, which jar has fewer of the other color? 5 AnswersIt doesn't matter how many times you repeat the process, both jars will have an equal ratio of majority color to minority color, since you start with 1000 marbles in each jar and end with 1000 marbles in each jar. Not necessarily true, if you move 20 blue marbles into the red jar and then grab 20 marbles from that same red jar there's a chance that you're grabbing blue marbles as well as red ones. The first poster is right, even if you grab some of the other color marbles and put them back, you end up with the same ratio in both jars. There are a total of 1k blue and 1k red marbles. If each jar has only 1k marbles, the ratio in one jar will be the inverse of the other. Show More Responses Guys, the answer is the blue jar. The second round is irrelevant to answer. The reason of being blue is as follows. At the end of the first picking you have 980 blue balls in blue jar and 1000 red and 20 blue balls in the red jar. It is highly probable that you will pick less than 20 blue balls when you transferring 20 balls to the blue jar. The second round is in similar fashion. @economister, look at it this way. You start with 1000 marbles in each jar and you end with 1000 marbles in each jar. There are also 1000 blue marbles total and 1000 red marbles total. It doesn't matter how many "rounds" you go through. Let's say that at the end, we look at the jar that was originally all blue. If it has X blue marbles in it, then it must have 1000-X red marbles. The other jar must then have 1000-(1000-X) red marbles, which means there are X red marbles in that jar. Additionally, the other jar will have 1000 - X blue marbles in it. So the ratio of blue to red in one jar is the inverse of the other. If you still don't believe it, go buy 2000 marbles and try it yourself. |

You have one 4-min hourglass, and one 7-min hourglass. How can you time 9 minutes exactly? 8 AnswersStart both timers, when the four minute timer is done, there will be 3 minutes of sand left in the top of the seven minute timer. Restart the four minute timer, while letting the remaining (3 minutes) of sand to drop from the 7 minute timer. (this is your 1st 3 minutes of your nine minute measurement) When the 7 minute timer is done the 4 minute timer will now have 3 minutes of sand in the bottom. Flip the 4 minute timer (when this runs it will be your second 3 minutes of time). At the same time flip the 7 minute timer. When the 3 minutes of sand run on the 4 minute timer, restart the 7 minute timer by this time 3 minutes worth of sand will have gone to the bottom of the timer, resetting it will give you the last 3 minutes of sand for you last 3 minutes of time measuring the 9 nine minutes. Start both timers at the same time. When the 4 minute runs out, turn it over to start again.. When the 7 minute runs out, turn it over. When the second 4 minute timer runs out, there will be 1 minute of sand in the 7 minute timer. Turn it over and you will have your 9 minutes Why so complicated? Why not letting the 7minutes glass run on its own, when it is finished flip the 4 minutes timer until half of the sand has gone through..which are the remaining 2 minutes. Show More Responses v, are your stupid. you cannot assume that you know exactly what half the sand is. Everything has to be accurate. http://brainteaserbible.com/interview-brainteaser-hourglass-puzzle let 4min hour glass =1st glass and 7 min hour glass =2nd glass step 1> start with both glass 4 min completes 1st glass is empty and 2nd glass having 3 mins left. Here we get (4min) step2> revert first glass and continue the the second glass which have 3 mins. so 1 min left in 1st glass and second glass is empty.Here we get (3min) step 3> This time revert the second glass and continue with 1min left in first glass.First glass is empty and second glass have 6 min left.Here we get (1min) step 4> Now revert the second glass which have now left 7-6=1.Here you get (1 min) step1+step2+step3+step4=4+3+1+1=9 mins cheeerss !!!!!!!!! Make sure that when one clock finishes revert them start both the clock when 7 min clock finishes 4min clock has 2min left revert the 4min clock and run 7min clock you get 2+7 9min clock 4+4-7=1 1+4+4=9 |

### Java Developer at Gallup was asked...

How to prove your honesty? 4 AnswersDon't know. You are honest in all you do. you don't have to prove your honesty. It should be a noticeable feature not something that can be proved Show More Responses I've had the online and phone interview, and they asked me the same thing. I'm now scheduled for the in-person interview for .Net development tomorrow. They asked me this question, and my answers built upon themselves. Initially they asked something about how true my word is, and I said that my word is everything. When they asked me "How do you prove your honesty", I referred back to my what I said previously about my word, saying that I prove my honesty by being true to my word, and making sure that I do what I say I'm going to do. |

### Senior Technical Consultant at Appirio was asked...

Is the Salesforce.com/Force.com platform a "relational database"? 5 AnswersIt's up for your interpretation... Yes it is, the platform is built on top of an oracle relational database. @Gary just because the Force.com platform is built ON TOP of a relational database doesn't mean that it technically is one. It may have some similar constructs to a relational database, but it has some unique characteristics that make it markedly different, and also lacks some distinctive characterstics of a relational database. If I was interviewing you and you told me that the Force.com platform is a relational database because it was built on an Oracle DB I would give you +.01 points for knowing some relatively useless trivia about the underlying architecture and -10 points for not understanding the unique characteristics and limitations of the platform. Show More Responses I think it falls under the object-relational umbrella. Sure it does relationships, but it does more than that, and with the abstraction of the API you never really get at the full relational structure of the underlying oracle DB. Answer number four is good I accidentally marked it as a negative |

What is the exact angle formed by the hands on a clock when the time reads 9:30? 11 AnswersRight 270 degrees Common response, but it's incorrect. What about the hour hand? It's not pointing directly at the 9 anymore... Show More Responses 105 degrees 52.5 60 degrees, or 300 degrees whichever way you want to look at it. |0.5(60H-11M)| = 105 degrees 1/4 of 180 which is 45 ta-daaah oops, I mean 1/4 of 360 :) 90 105 degrees: if the hour hand is right at 9, and the minute had was right at 30 then it would be 90 degrees. but since we're 30 minutes into the hr, the hour hand will be (theoretically) half waybetween 9 and 10pm. so you need to calculate that additional variation. If have the arms 3 hrs apart makes a perfect 90 degrees, then each hr would equal 30 degrees -> thus a half hr would result in a 15 degrees. 90+15= 105 degrees 61.25 |

YPhone files a suit against XCell for damages associated with stealing a proprietary technology, how would you evaluate the damages? 3 AnswersThere are a variety of ways to approach it, but basically you need to describe a few methods for the valuation of lost sales due to XCell stealing market share from YPhone. One approach is to look at expected sales by coming up with a historical data model. Another approach could be model the situation as discontinuous innovation and computational reconstruct what sales should have looked like in the absence of the competitor. Finally, you could create a comparison model based on other similar technologies and their sales figures. Moreover, the damages could result from more than just sales. Damages could come from the costs associated with a need to change marketing tactics, and the costs stemming from filing the lawsuit itself. were you contacted via phone/email by Cornerstone to let you know you didn't go through to the second round? if so, how long after the interview were you contacted? Good question. I called the company on a Monday morning to follow up approximately one week after my phone interview. Although at the time there was no one available who could inform me about my status, I was allowed to leave a phone message. A few days later, I got a call in response to my phone message informing me that they were sorry to say there would not be a position available for me. Since it had already been a week and a half since my phone interview, I was already fairly certain that this was the case. Grateful to be informed, I thanked them for the interview opportunity and wished them well. I want to note that the employee from the firm who called me was very respectful and invited me to go ahead and apply for a full time position in the fall if I was still interested. Overall it was a positive experience, and I am happy to have had the chance to interview with them. |

She actually asked me this particular question twice but phrased it differently the second time. First time: Let's say that one of your assignments with a client lasted much longer than you thought it would and you only have like two hours left and you still have to go meet with three more clients. You still have to finish the meeting with the current client, what do you do? Second time: Let me rephrase that earlier question, let's say that you underestimated the time it would take to do an assignment and there is two hours left and that you still have three more assignments that need to be completed on that day. You see me enter the room to check to see how everyone is doing. What do you do? 3 AnswersMy answer to the second question was apparently the answer she was looking for. I said that I'm not afraid to ask for help when I need to, since I would have no way of knowing how long those three assignments would take I would explain to her that I am running behind and that I need help in finishing those assignments. I also tied it with a previous experience where I met with a similar situation and did the same thing. I am in a similar situation with Towers Watson. I interviewed 3 weeks ago for a different position and was told i would have an answer by the end of the month. Have you reached out to HR asking for a status? I emailed the supervisor who interviewed me since she gave me her card and is the one who is actually in charge of the hiring. I wouldn't go through HR since they are not usually the ones who decided who gets accepted |

### Senior Associate at McKinsey & Company was asked...

Estimate size of vehicles fleet in a large city 3 AnswersTried to approach problem using bottom-up reasoning This is a simple market-sizing question. Therefore you need to make assumptions on the numbers, for example... Assume large city = 5 million people Assume 60% own a car, the rest use public transport = 3 million people Assume 50% of these people work in an office = 1.5 million people Assume 10% of these people are middle to top mgt = 150K people Therefore size of the vehicles fleet in a large city = 3% of population of the city This is an example of how it can be done. They are not looking for the exact number! They won't to know how you think...how you break a problem down. "Define" large city to mean 10 million people+, but assume 10 million to keep the math feasible Assume that those living under the poverty line cannot afford cars - this takes 30% or 3 million people out of the running Out of the remaining 7 million people, assume that 30% are under 18 and another 20% are over 65 and thus are unlikely to drive a car themselves This leaves a potential car-owning population of 3.5 Million people Assume that there are 2 types of cities - ones with great public transport (e.g., NYC, San Francisco) and others with poor public transport (e.g., Dallas) In the former, only about 20% of the potential car-owning population is likely to hassle with owning a car, but in the latter 70% of the potential owners may opt for a car. Thus the range of cars that I'd expect to see in a city of 10 million is somewhere between 700K and 2.45M. Oh and by the way, I am assuming that this is a city with enough infrastructure (e.g., roads, parking, gas stations) to support cars for this many people. |