5.1 years ago by
I recall the following true story: In one of the interview sessions of new PhD candidates in our gradschool (fortunately it was after I joined, don't know if I had passed that exam) a younger
professor asked: "Can you please give me the approximate number of bakeries in town?" He did this with each and every candidate, such that in the end the fourth or fifth candidate came in and said: "Are you also going to ask me that bakery thing? Because I googled that out for you."
I give it to him that he wanted to check for sort of "problem solving skills", e.g. that was at least how he defended it (he didn't have an accurate solution himself, just wanted to see how people develop an approach), or maybe he had just found it on some obscure HR web-site. Though such question is clearly off-topic (HR questions are all aren't they?) one could prepare for answering them politely if you think the question is nuts (and even if it's true).