You remember those puzzle interviews Microsoft and Google supposedly ask? Even though Jeff Atwood hates them (and so do I), and they are largely discredited, companies still asking them.
Anyway, these are the answers you should give next time you are asked a puzzle. You are guaranteed to not get the job, but do you really want to work at a place where they ask puzzle questions?
Question: You have a wolf, a goat, and a vegetable. You can only carry two of them across the river at a time. The wolf will eat the goat if left alone with it, and the goat will eat the vegetable if left alone with it. How will you cross the river, so that the wolf and the goat, or the goat and the vegetable, are never left alone?
Answer: Why do you have a wolf anyway? Don’t you know they are an endangered species? Does the RSPCA know? Dangerous wild animals carry rabies, and why do you think the wolf will attack the goat, and not you?
So you set the wolf free and then you eat the goat. You also eat the vegetable, as doctors say we need green in our diet. Then you cross the river over the bridge, as you are not living in some medieval fantasy land where you have to cross rivers using small boats. You cross over a proper bridge, and then you go clubbing.
Question: You have thirteen balls of varying weights. How would you measure X kg from Y balls?
You say: Is there any reason you can’t buy a proper weighing machine?
They say: We want to test you logical and mathematical skills.
You You want me to maintain 10 year old code wirtten in VB 6 and Pascal, paying slightly above McD, but you want me to be mathematical expert?
Question: Why are manhole covers round?
You say: Coz the contract says so
You say: The union contract says manhole covers must be round.
Interviewer: Sorry, what are you saying?
You: It’s in the contract, bub. Talk to the union leader.
Question: How many piano tuners in city X?
You say without hesitation: 1000.
Interviewer: How do you know?
Answer: I Googled it. I also Googled that 15,00 taxi drivers in City Y, and a jumbo jet weighs a-hell-of-a-lot tonnes.
If you don’t know any of the numbers, just make something up. Chances are, the interviewer won’t know either.
Question: How would you move Mount Fuji?
Sing a sad song?
Why would I do that? The mountain is a spiritual symbol in Japan. Why do you want to move it? Unless you secretly hate Japanese culture?
Spend the next hour talking about nothing but Tentacle Anime.
Question: You have a bag of balls with mixed red and black balls. It is dark and you can’t see. How many do you pull out blah blah blah.
Is there a reason you can’t switch the light on? And do you really have to sort balls in the dark?
Question: Same question as above, with socks
Just wear mismatched socks. No one cares what you wear. What are you, a Miss Universe? No one is looking at your socks, or any other part of your clothing. Get back to work.
And there you have it. Do you have any pet puzzle questions you hate? Share them in the comments below.
PS: Interested in leveling up your Python and getting a great job? Check out the Python Apprenticeship Program.