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Being able to answer these trivia questions isn't necessarily a "pass". Indeed, for some company cultures, "I don't know" may well be the "pass" answer. After all, as you point out, maybe they want to avoid hiring fad-driven developers and cyber-loafers.

Though these questions are quick to ask (and therefore cheap) for the interviewer, their drawback is that the act of asking them may well put the applicant off the company -- as you were. I need to re-think these type of questions.

Update: As pointed out to me by Rhose, and pontificated on by Paul Graham in The Python Paradox, these trivia questions may also help identify those people who actually enjoy programming and computers.


In reply to Re^3: On Interviewing and Interview Questions by eyepopslikeamosquito
in thread On Interviewing and Interview Questions by eyepopslikeamosquito

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