Questions to test analytical thinking

Posted By on June 25, 2010

thinkerI was reading in a LinkedIn college group which posted ten questions “often asked at Google job interviews that are designed to test candidates’ analytical thinking.” The list might be worth looking over if you are charged with hiring or planning to interview in the near future. The questions are of the brainteaser type and I’m not sure I would get hired?

:-)

  1. How many times do a clock’s hands overlap in a day?
  2. How would you cut a rectangular cake into two equal pieces when a rectangular piece has already been cut out of it? The cut piece can be of any size and orientation. You are only allowed to make one straight cut.
  3. 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
  4. How many vacuums are made per year in the U.S.?
  5. A certain town comprises of 100 married couples. Everyone in the town lives by  the following rule: If a husband cheats on his wife, the husband is executed as soon as his wife finds out about him. All the women in the town only gossip about the husbands of other women. No woman ever tells another woman if her husband is cheating on her.  So every woman in the town knows about all the cheating husbands in the town except her own. It can also be assumed that a husband remains silent about his infidelity. One day, the mayor of the town announces to the whole town that there is at least 1 cheating husband in the town. What do you think happens?
  6. 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 glass blender. The blades will start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do?
  7. Explain a database in three sentences to your eight-year-old nephew.
  8. You have eight balls all of the same size, 7 of them weigh the same, and one of them weighs slightly more. How can you find the ball that is heavier by using a balance and only two weightings?
  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. You need to check that your friend, Bob, has your correct phone number, but you cannot ask him directly. You must write the question on a card which and give it to Eve who will take the card to Bob and return the answer to you. What must you write on the card, besides the question, to ensure Bob can encode the message so that Eve cannot read your phone number?

Answers (perhaps not all correct?) can be found in the comment section of the Resumark.com blog.

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Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.