Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Job Interview 2.0

I recently read an article about the "Riddle Me" interview here. Its a short piece on using riddles and brain teasers as part of the screening process in an interview. One would think that this strategy is a bit out-dated to back in the Microsoft and early Google days but apparently these questions are still asked. I think brain teasers are bit pretentious -- why not make the interviewee solve a software related problem? These are real world scenarios. Although algorithm and data structure questions are extremely hard, they are concrete questions compared to the brain teasers. Companies will employ all sorts of ways to hire on the right person -- I even took an IQ test before. If you are looking to do a technical interview be aware that the brain teasers are still alive and kicking...

Here are a couple of those brain teaser that have come from actual companies within the last year:

3 rectangles of equal size, one of the slide and two adjacent. What is the ratio of the x and y of the whole rectangle?

Having 10 stacks of coins with 10 coins each weighing 10 grams each, how would you locate the stack that could potentially have 9 grams of coins each?

Given two locks and keys on each side and a briefcase to carry sensitive information across, how would you pass the information without the confidential information being infiltrated?

Given 8 balls, and one ball is lower weight that the other, and the other seven are of equal weight. I many times would you have to weigh the balls in order to discover the defective ball?

If you have a six-shooter and fill the six-shooter with two bullets right next to each other and then, spin it randomly and then proceed to shoot at yourself (Russian roulette style), and the bullet doesn't go off, would it be better to shoot yourself again or spin the barrel again?

If you have a gold bar with 6 divides where the cuts can be made and your gardener wants to be paid for every day of the week for 7 days, and you are limited to cut at only two times, how would you cut it in away that you can effectively pay the gardener every day of the week?

If you meet a friend that you haven't seen in a long time and he has a little kid with him. He says that he has two kids in total and the kid with him is a girl. What is the probability that both of his kids is a girl?

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