Killer Interview Question: What's The Most Creative Way To Break A Clock?

Another strange addition to the killer interview questions collection: What's the most creative way to break a clock?.

Picture: col_adamson

This question has been asked by Apple when selecting interns. While this is fundamentally a test of creativity, because it's somewhat absurd and forces you to think on your feet, there is a slight trap here, because it could also lead to you showing a somewhat angry or even demented side if you seem too excited by the prospect. Creativity is good, but coming across as a gleeful clock-smashing loony is going to be bad for most jobs.

At the same time there's a range of skills, depending on the job you're going for, that you could display here, because clock breaking could involve meticulous planning (how will you break the clock safely?) , attention to detail testing (would you need multiple clocks to test relative clock stress breaking points and come up with an average?), and even documentation skills (what did the clock look like after you'd broken it?).

How would you answer the question?

The 20 Toughest Job Interview Questions Heard At Apple, Google, Twitter, And Others [Business Insider]


    Time flies when you're having fun.

    You're having fun skydiving.

    The clock doesn't have it's own chute.

    I think the most creative way to break a clock would be by reversing the directions that hands moved.
    Which would actually be pretty difficult

      I was thinking along these lines but in a mechanical clock adding a small amount of weight to the pendulum so the time isn't correct anymore ;)

    What happened to asking regular questions to gauge whether the applicant is the right fit for the job?

    Like how many workplaces actually have a clock breaking department these days?

    The first thing that comes to mind is smashing it with a comically large wooden mallet. Like this:

    The most 'Creative' ...
    What creates the most stuff ... supernovas? I say toss it into a dying star right before it goes supernova. That'd create the most stuff whilst also destroying the watch.


    Smash it with another clock that has a bigger screen...

    This article reminded me of some art pieces from a while ago:

    If it was for Apple I'd go with
    "Invent a new and much better replacement for the clock, meaning everyone would buy ours, and break their own clocks"

    Throw it down a Black Hole where time itself is broken and hence the clock

      The clock would still tell the correct time though, because as gravity increased and time slowed so would the clock until it's eventual fall into the singularity where it would break, representing the broken fabric of time inside the singularity. Only if you viewed it from the outside would you perceive the clock as broken.

    First, define "Broken" as: it does not tell the correct time.
    I would swap the hour and minute hands, assuming it's an analog watch.

    For a digital watch, I'd try replacing the oscillator [crystal]

    I would alter time moving it forwards two seconds, forever making the time on the clock incorrect.

    Perfectly disassemble the clock, then remove the smallest CRITICAL piece you can find, then reassemble it perfectly aside from that one piece. It looks fine, but just isn't keeping time properly anymore...

    Travel to Mars therefore making it and any other clock useless and therefore broken.

    Time is a philosophical construct and, as such, doesn't exist; the clock is already broken.

    Just remove the battery from it. Clock broken successfully. Once you done with broken clock, put your battery again to use broken clock.


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