Fuzzy logic: Employers' Top 10 brainteasers
Published 18/11/2009 | 05:00
Seattle-based interview coach Lewis Lin recently posted a list of questions typically fired at job applicants to Google. Here's a selection:
1. You are shrunk to the height of a nickel and your mass is proportionally reduced so as to maintain your original density.
You are then thrown into an empty blender. The blades will start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do?
The solution -- some options:
1. Use the measurement marks to climb out
2. Try to unscrew the glass
3. Risk riding out the air current
2. How many golf balls can fit in a school bus?
Solution: About 500,000, assuming the bus is 50 balls high, 50 balls wide, and 200 balls long
3. How much should you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle?
Solution: Assuming 10,000 city blocks, 600 windows per block, five minutes per window, and a rate of $20 per hour, about $10m
Now try and work out the other seven solutions for yourself.
4. Explain a database in three sentences to your eight-year-old nephew.
5. In a country in which people only want boys, every family continues to have children until they have a boy. If they have a girl, they have another child.
If they have a boy, they stop. What is the proportion of boys to girls in the country?
6. If you look at a clock and the time is 3.15, what is the angle between the hour and the minute hand? (The answer is not zero!)
7. How many piano tuners are there in the entire world?
8. Four people need to cross a rickety rope bridge to get back to their camp at night. Unfortunately, they only have one flashlight and it only has enough light left for 17 minutes.
The bridge is too dangerous to cross without a flashlight, and it's only strong enough to support two people at any given time. Each of the campers walks at a different speed.
One can cross the bridge in one minute, another in two, the third in five, and the slow poke takes 10 to cross. How do the campers make it across in 17 minutes?
9. You're the captain of a pirate ship, and your crew gets to vote on how the gold is divided up. If fewer than half of the pirates agree with you, you die.
How do you recommend apportioning the gold in such a way that you get a good share of the booty, but still survive? 10. Why are manhole covers round?