You may find it odd how I decide what to write about each week. I have an Evernote backlog of several dozen candidates, but usually I just pay attention to things happening around me. This post is one of those.
I bought & read Dan Lyon's book last week, Disrupted, about life at the dysfunctional company HubSpot. It was highly entertaining! I put HubSpot on my stock watch list. In the news section, the third article was 10 Strange Interview Questions You Should Prepare For. One of the questions was from a HubSpotter.
So here we go ... my answers to those questions. Put your answers in the comments. Come on ... it'll be fun!
10. “If you had $2,000, how would you double it in 24 hours?”—Uniqlo, Management Trainee
Two answers. First, I would just go to the ATM and take out an extra $2000. If I only had $200 in my account, then I'd do what Fred Smith did to meet the FedEx payroll in the early days.
9. “How many basketballs would fit in this room?”—Delta Airlines, Revenue Management Co-op
I love these questions! Say the room is 10x10x10. A basketball is roughly 1 cubic foot in size, so that would be 1000 basketballs. Some compaction since they are round so add a few more if you want. One question to clarify is that the basketballs are actually inflated!
8. “If you were a brand, what would be your motto?”—Boston Consulting Group, Consultant
7. “What would you do if your found a penguin in the freezer?”—Trader Joe’s
First of all ... I LOVE PENGUINS! We were in New Zealand a decade ago and saw 3 different penguin varieties in the wild. The smallest were mated for life and the dude penguin would go off into the sea every morning and bring back food at night. The girl penguin would wait patiently at the shores edge for her guy to return. It was adorable! Back to the question ...
My first thought would be to keep the penguin, but my sanity would return and I'd try to place Tux (seriously ... is there another choice for a name??) in the local zoo so I could visit. Of course, I'd first take a ton of pics and post to social media, Quora, Stack Overflow and all the linux mailing lists!
For fun, we went to Ready, Paint, Fire yesterday and I painted up my own miniature penguin ceramic. "Tux" is now sitting inside our fridge in Breckenridge ;).
6. “If I gave you $40,000 to start a business, what would you start?”—Hubspot, Account Manager
I'd go quantity over quality. First, I'd re-read Mary Meeker's annual state of the internet deck for inspiration. Then I'd allocate $4000 to 10 different ideas for things that I couldn't do myself (like graphic design specialized consulting). I'd mock up a web front end and a rudimentary iOS app myself (I'd fake the backend with some dummy data). I'd build one of the ideas a week, then after 10 weeks I'd go through them all and eliminate 5 as total loser ideas. I'd then pitch the other 5 to my trusted friends and VC guys I know. Certainly one of them would be the next unicorn. As for specifics ... I'm going to keep them under wraps ... for 10 weeks!
5. “How would you sell hot cocoa in Florida?”—J.W. Business Acquisitions, Human Resources Recruiter
OK, I admit it. I liked these questions so much that we spent the entire dinner with my son and his girlfriend going through them. On this question, I'm stealing my wife's answer. Sell frozen cocoa popsicles. I'd buy one.
4. “What would the name of your debut album be?”—Urban Outfitters, Sales Associate
Open Roads (the name of our first website). If a duet with my wife, then TrekWithTheKings (our current website).
3. “If you’re the CEO, what are the first three things you check about the business when you wake up?”—Dropbox, Rotation Program
Employees happy. Customer escalations. New sales. If a cloud business (and aren't they all??), then I'd check the operational status. Then I'd check how much snow they got at Breckenridge. Is that three?
2. “Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses?”—Whole Foods Market, Meat Cutter
Obviously I'll take one adversary over a hundred any day. Bring on that monster duck! Quack, quack, quack.
1. “When a hot dog expands, in which direction does it split and why?”—SpaceX, Propulsion Structural Analyst
Lengthwise. The casing is weaker along that axis. The circle path is too strong. I can derive the equations if you want. Caveat: If grilling the dogs & I make cross cuts, then they'll split there.