These questions are riddles. What do you do if you get this type of question? First, assess what quality the interviewer is looking for. Secondly, decide whether or not you want to work for a company who’s famous at throwing you tricks. Some companies will ask you these kinds of questions to see if you’re prepared to handle off-the-wall kinds of questions and answers you may get when on the job. They also might want to assess how quickly you are on your feet. Or, they may want to see how you go through a line of thinking.
Frequently Asked famous Interview Riddles :
1. You wake up one morning and there’s been a power outage. You know you have 12 black socks and 8 blue ones. How many socks do you need to pull out before you’ve got a match?
2. Why are manhole covers round?
3. You’re trying to get to Truthtown. You come to a fork in the road. One road leads to Truthtown (where everyone tells the truth), the other to Liartown (where everyone lies). At the fork in the road is a man from one of those towns -- but which one? You get to ask him one question to discover the way. What’s the question?
4. How many cubes are at the center of a Rubik’s Cube?
5. You have two containers, one holds five gallons, the other holds three. You can have as much water as you want. Measure exactly four gallons of water into the five gallon container.
6. The government is building a highway through your neighborhood and you’re forced to sell your home. How do you arrive at your asking price?
7. There are eight balls, one of which is slightly heavier than the others. You have a two-armed scale, which you are allowed to use only twice. Find the ball that’s heavier.
8. Calculate the number of degrees between the hour hand and the minute hand of a clock (nondigital) that reads 3:15.
9. How many barbers are there in Chicago?
10. You are in solitary confinement. It is Friday afternoon and you absolutely must have a cigarette. The only person who can give you one is the guard outside your cell. What do you do?
Interview Riddles - Answers
1. Pick three -- there are only two colors.
2. Manhole covers are round so that they don’t fall into the manholes.
3. To find the way to Truthtown, ask the man, “Which way is your hometown?” Then, go whichever way he points: If he’s from Liartown, he’ll point to Truthtown, and if he’s from Truthtown, he’ll point to Truthtown.
4. There is only one cube at the center of a Rubik’s Cube.
5. Fill up the three-gallon container and pour it into the five-gallon container. Do it again -- there will be one gallon left in the three-gallon container. Empty the five, pour in the one, fill the three again and pour it into the firve-gallon container -- you have four!
7. Put three balls on each side of the scale. If the arms are equal, you know the heavy ball is one of the two remaining. If the arms are unequal, take the three balls on the heavier side, pick two and weigh them against each other.
8. The hour hand will have moved one-fourth of an hour; therefore, there will be 7.5 degrees between the two hands.
9. The variables you’ll want to consider are the population of Chicago and the percentage that’s male; the number of haircuts the average male has per year divided by the number of days in the year, taking into account the number of days per year baber shops are open; and the number of haircuts an average barber can give per day. At the time of writing this up, there are 550 barber shops in Chicago; 6273 active barbers in Illinois; with 66% of the state’s population, Chicago has roughly 4140 barbers.
10. To get the guard to give you a cigarette (and this really is the preferred answer to this question), threaten to kill yourself by smashing your head against the wall of your cell. That gives you leverage with the guard - he’d be tied up by doing paperwork about your suicide, so he’d miss weekend time with his family (it’s Friday afternoon, remember?) -- so he’ll give you a cigarette.