The craziest interview ever

August 23, 2021
"What is the RGB color code for yellow?" and other actual questions I actually got during the worst SRE interview of my life.

Today some more light-hearted content. This is a list of actual questions I was asked by an actual technical CEO during an an actual interview for a SRE role several months ago. Needless to say, I was so put off by this interview that I withdrew from consideration.

  • Do you use an iPhone, or Android?
  • When you take a photo with your mobile, and upload the image, what format is the image in?
  • Why not PNG or TIFF or BMP?
  • That image contains metadata, such as the camera model, and date. How is that stored?
  • How does your phone know your location?
  • How does a cell phone tower know its location?
  • Imagine you were to dig a hole from your house, straight through the earth, where would you come out?
  • Now imagine a fiber optic cable that ran from your house to this point. How long would it take to ping that point?
  • You know the speed of light, right?
  • What is the circumference of the earth?
  • If you were to write a ping program in Go, how would you do it?
  • Only programs with root access can send ICMP packets. How would you allow your Go program to do this?
  • Do you use Emacs or vim?
  • What is the difference between XML, XHTML, and HTML5?
  • You know what a GIF is, right?
  • An alternative for GIF if you want animation, is Flash. Why isn’t Flash still popular?
  • How do you change the color of some text on a web page to yellow?
  • What is the RGB color code for yellow?
  • How do you add colored elements to a shell command prompt?
  • What is the difference between Unicode and UTF-8?

What are your worst interview stories? I’d love to hear!

Share this

Related Content

Reader question: What kind of role should I look for when starting a career in DevOps?

“Is it a good idea to look for specifically DevOps roles, or other positions like sys admin, engineer, etc?”

How long should your résumé be?

What I think is more important than a résumé's length is that the first half of the first page tells me: What role are you looking for, and what level of experience do you have?

What are your least favorite things?

One simple question that can help separate the novices from the experts.