Tesla, Microsoft & Condé Nast had the toughest interview questions of 2017

By Oliver Smith 22 February 2017

“How would you describe cloud computing to a 7 year old?”

Interview questions are supposed to be difficult, but some just take the mickey.

Designed to get you tongue-tied and muddled up, only the sharpest interviewees can navigate these brain teasers.

This morning Glassdoor has released the 20 top toughest interview questions asked over the past 12 months, and boy are there some blooming hard ones.

Tough luck

“Describe your biggest weakness…” is a fairly standard question to be asked in a job interview, you’ve probably got a standard answer for this one.

But secretive data company Palantir Technologies, whose clients include the US Department of Defence, follows up with the gut-wrenching: “Then describe another.”

For advertising hopefuls at Condé Nast, the media group opens with “How would your enemy describe you?”

And Microsoft’s grad scheme drops wannabe employees with the unenviable challenge of “How would you describe cloud computing to a 7 year old?”

Tesla wants its employees to be ready for anything, even the mundane, with its interview question of “How do you cope with repetition?”.

But it’s Leeds-based health tech group The Phoenix Partnership which takes the biscuit with Glassdoor’s hardest interview question of 2017:

“What on your CV is the closest thing to a lie?”


These questions might sound like hell, but it’s great to see interviewers posing questions designed to break the stereotypes and at the same time weed out the ways people lie or tell mistruths in interviews.

At the end of the day questions like these lead to better hires, better employees and ultimately, better businesses.