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How many cows are in Canada? That's one interview question (Rachele Labrecque/CP)
How many cows are in Canada? That's one interview question (Rachele Labrecque/CP)

SMALL BUSINESS BRIEFING

The wackiest job interview questions: Give them a try Add to ...

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How many cows are in Canada among most oddball queries on top 25 list

How many cows are in Canada? What, you don’t know the answer?

If you were job hunting at Google Inc., you might want to go in armed with the info, for that’s one of the wacky questions asked of job candidates at the company, according to a compilation by Glassdoor.com of 25 of the most oddball interview queries asked by potential employers.

Its list, culled from thousands of questions shared with the job and career website by job hunters who’d been asked them, might provide inspiration for your next sit-down with a potential employee if you’re running a small business -- or help you prepare, if you want to work for one. As Inc.’s coverage points out, good questions can help ferret out critical thinking, communication skills and how well people think and do on their feet.

Calculations are among them: Besides counting cows, you might be asked how many quarters would be needed to reach the height of the Empire State Building (at JetBlue); how many windows there are in New York (Bain & Co.); or the angle of two clock pointers when the time is 11:50 (Bank of America).

Be honest now: Have you ever stolen a pen from work? (Jiffy Software) How would you rate your memory? (Marriott). What songs best describe your work ethic? (Dell). And what do you think about when you are alone in your car? (Gallup).

Here’s food for entrepreneurial thought: If Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos walked into your office and said you could have a million dollars to launch your best entrepreneurial idea, what is it.

Well, you get the picture. And maybe some help in gaining insights on how to ask some hiring questions of your own.

Strikeout for Baseball Hall of Fame’s hometown small businesses

Never mind the players. The small businesses of Cooperstown, N.Y., are worried about how they will suffer after the Baseball Writers Association of America elected no new living members to the Baseball Hall of Fame, writes this piece on CNNMoney.

While there will still be a ceremony for inductees, no newcomers who are alive will be among the honoured, after scandal-tainted players did not receive enough votes. That’s worrisome for local businesses, including restaurants, hotels and stores, that normally make out well when fans descend on the hall of fame’s hometown for the ceremony weekend, CNNMoney reports.

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

Cast your ballots for Canadian startup awards

Voting is open for the Canadian Startup Awards, presented by KPMG. Vying for best overall Canadian startup of 2012 are Ottawa-based Shopify; Vancouver-based Indochino; Toronto-based 500px; Vancouver-based Payfirma; Toronto-based Wave; and Waterloo, Ont.-based Vidyard. For best new Canadian startup of the year, the finalists are Montreal-based Frank & Oak; Toronto-based Hubba; and Montreal-based Cinegram. There are other categories, too. Finalists were selected from more than 1,200 nominations, according to Techvibes. Voting runs until the end of Jan. 25, with winners to be announced on Jan. 28.

Online marketing strategies

Jim Rudnick, CEO of KKT Interactive, will be the presenter at a workshop offering insights on how to develop an online marketing plan for your business. Topics to be covered include SEO tactics, social media strategies, online monitoring and website foundations. The workshop will take place in Hamilton, Ont. on Jan. 24. For further details, click here.

Wireless summits

A series of summits over three days will connect the wireless industry, from entrepreneurs to global industry leaders, to “accelerate ideas and market opportunities.” The second annual summits, hosted by Wavefront and focused on mobile and wireless technologies, will be held from Feb. 4 through Feb. 6 in Vancouver. For more information, click here.

EDITOR’S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

Skating treadmill draws crowd of hockey enthusiasts

Training machines have become the anchor of a burgeoning number of practice centres offering a host of similar services.

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

Fancy a custom ice sculpture? Computer says yes

Hensall, Ont.-based Iceculture Inc. is one many companies that have benefited from CNC (an acronym for computer numerical control) technology, using it to carve table decorations and other displays out of frozen water, reported this story, which ran in July last year.

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