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Good luck at an interview with Google

I just came across these Google interview questions… impossible:

  • How many golf balls can fit in a school bus?
  • How much should you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle?
  • How many piano tuners are there in the entire world?

How are you supposed to answer these!?


Mitch Intrieri

golf ball is answered. as far as the windows. i would charge a dollar less than the competition. for the piano tuners, i would create a bilingual advertisement to tune a classic piano for a billion dollars. see how many respond to the attached telephone number


Jay Elliott

I think the question might be asking what the total cost of washing all windows in Seattle would be, with some assumed market rate for washing windows.

Why bilingual advertisement? There's more than 2 languages in the world. Also, what if the advertisement doesn't reach all of the piano tuners worldwide? If it does reach everyone in the world, what if it is seen in a region that doesn't speak one of the two languages?



This just doesn't work in so many ways. You're basically running a lottery with no buy-in cost that has nothing to do with piano tuners. Anyone would learn to tune a piano for a billion dollars, so 99.99% of the people applying aren't even going to be piano tuners. The number of people that apply will be determined by how many people think it's worth the effort to enter the lottery


This just doesn't work in so many ways. You're basically running a lottery with no buy-in cost that has nothing to do with piano tuners. Anyone would learn to tune a piano for a billion dollars, so 99.99% of the people applying aren't even going to be piano tuners. The number of people that apply will be determined by how many people think it's worth the effort to enter the lottery


good thinking

Vishal barot

As this questions may require 10-20 minutes therefore this cant be questions which should be answered correctly rather with confidence and tricks. Therefore this questions have to be answered as 1)How many golf balls can fit in a school bus? Ans. 2365 (give any number) and say if there were more balls they would have fallen from doors and windows. 2)How many piano tuners are there in the entire world? Ans.156782 rest are still learning 3)How much should you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle? Ans.15623486 as we may cut some amount for windows that get dirty again.


These are questions of estimation, presumably. If you can create an accurate model and extrapolate, you can make a good estimate. My own estimation abilities aren't great, but for example, imagine that a golf ball is about 4 cubed inches in volume, while a bus is about (5 x 10 x 20)ft = 12000 cubed inches. (all these are estimates, so probably off, but order of magnitude are the vital piece), so this means that we could probably fit around 3,000 golf balls in a school bus. Each piece of the estimate is dependent on one's internal ability to gauge the size of an object or thing - or access to knowledge. Here, the golf ball I looked up. For the bus, I guessed the height based off knowing that even 6ft people can fit on a bus, (10 is still a bit large, but accounts for wheels, plus a bit more factors) The length and width I extrapolated from an estimated proportion of relativity. ( I guessed that a bus is about 2x as long as high). All in all, while my answer certainly isn't right, it's likely in the right factor, or maybe a factor off. I'm not going to go this for the rest, but the idea is similar.


Jay Elliott

I think you might have to take into account how tightly you can pack spherical balls into some volume. With 12,000 inches^3, you would only be able to fit 3,000 balls if they were all perfectly packed together.

Check this out: Close-packing of equal spheres


(5ft x 10ft x 20ft) is (60in x 120in x 240in), which is about 1.7 million cubic inches.

Or think of it this way: there are 1728 cubic inches in a cubic foot, not 12.

If Google hires you they're going to come up woefully short on golf balls at some point.


Have you guys noticed that "golf balls" have the same number of letters as "school bus"? Or that "windows" and "Seattle" have the same amount of numbers too? Also "piano tuners" have the same number of letters as "entire world"? It isn't possible to make "golf balls" out of "school bus", "windows" out of "Seattle", and "piano tuners" out of "entire world", so the answer to all of the questions would be "NONE". I think the "None" for the answer above is actually the answer and not because the person writing it doesn't know it.


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Nigel Parsons

◦How much should you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle?

$75 per day (or whatever you think is a reasonable amount of pay). Just make it clear that you will do your best, but can't guarantee that you will be around long enough to finish the job.


maybe for the golf balls, you can take it as "how many golf balls are able to fit inside a bus", since im pretty sure that if youll give me any golf ball, and any bus, i would be able to fit the golf ball inside the bus, the answer is that all of the golf balls in the world can fit inside a bus

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Submitted by
over 7 years ago
Difficulty 7.0 ?

google open-ended