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Former Google employee reveals the one interview question that most candidates fail

Former Google employee reveals the one interview question that most candidates fail

It's not quite what you think it is.

No one loves a job interview - especially when the questions get a little off-topic to test how well you think outside the box.

Google is famous for posing particularly tough teasers in its job interviews, trying to see how the interviewee thinks and to work out whether they're flexible in how they approach a problem.

One former Google employee posted a TikTok about the number one question that they saw stump people in interviews, though, and it's a fascinating one.

The creator doesn't beat around the bush - she pretty immediately asks the question, which involves a hypothetical coffee shop in San Francisco.

If the coffee shop is 500 square feet in size, and has unlimited supply and demand, meaning it will never run out of coffee or customers, Google wanted interviewees to decide how much coffee it could sell in a day.

It's quite a brain-melter, especially if square footage and math aren't your strong suit, from working out employee numbers to how much space a counter and coffee machine takes up, and it's no surprise that the comments under the video are full of interesting answers.

One recent reply shows how much work some people are putting in: "here goes.. 500 sqft assume each person and machine needs 10 square feet so 50 ppl in the shop at once. so 50 cups going at once. Now say 10 minutes each cup divided by 1440 minutes per day is 144 10 minute sessions of 50 ppl making coffee. so....7,200 cups/day"

That's a lot of coffee, but some people aren't so convinced, with one pithy response reading simply, "Zero- no workers were mentioned", the sort of blunt but accurate answer that could well charm a certain sort of interviewer or alienate another.

A former Google employee reveals the one question people can't answer.
Getty/Justin Sullivan/Staff

The most popular reply in the thread is an even more deliberately comic one, going for, "42. If you know, you know". This is a reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, where 42 is supposedly the answer to the "ultimate question of life, the universe and everything".

The original video creator ends by saying that she'll share her answer soon, but no such follow-up has arrived, so you might have to make your own mind up about what sort of reasoning would get you through to a second interview at Google.

Maybe grab a cup of coffee while you try figure out the answer...

Featured Image Credit: hrbitch/TikTok / SOPA Images / Contributor / Getty