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The Hardest Job Interview Questions
CNBC.com | March 01, 2011 | 04:42 PM EST

It’s your worst job interview fear: They’ll ask you some absurdly hard question and instead of being the genius you sometimes think you are — you choke.

A question like: There are nine balls, one of which is lighter. How would you find the lighter ball in two tries?

These hard interview questions do happen. That one was actually asked during an interview for an assistant vice president job at Barclays , according to job site Glassdoor.com .

The point isn’t to be a jerk or make you look stupid. It’s to see how you think.

“It’s their way of figuring out how you solve a tough problem,” said Gayle Laakmann McDowell, author of “Cracking the Coding Interview” and the CEO of CareerCup.com , a site that helps engineers and other technical types prepare for this type of hard interview questions.

“It helps to see how someone thinks creatively, how they think analytically,” said Rusty Rueff, a career and workplace expert for Glassdoor.com.

And, let’s be honest, it helps weed out the people who buckle under pressure.

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