Thanks XPav. It’s nice to hear that from somebody else who can solve these dumb ass questions but still thinks they suck.
I understand what you’re saying Jason, but I actually completely disagree with the notion that these determine whether you have a “problem solving mentality.”
That’s too general.
MAYBE, just MAYBE they can determine whether you are able to quickly solve a very narrow class of problems.
But my experience in the IT field has been the exact opposite. The business situations that we contend with are so complicated and poorly defined that the very notion that you would “solve the problem” in some sixty second orgy of brain activity is so patently ridiculous it’s unbelievable.
The skills I’ve had to develop tend to focus on the ability to adapt to changes in the requirements of a given problem, to create extremely robust and fault tolerant solutions, and to work around the unknowns until you can pin them down.
The cylinder question doesn’t change half way through, it doesn’t require you to deal with problems like “what if the water is boiling while you’re measuring it” and it doesn’t include the requirement to deal with the contingency that the fluid may or may not be delivered on time.
This is why I walked out of the interview in which the dipshit peppered me with ridiculous questions. I could tell by the fact that he was an asshole that asked dumb questions and that he probably hadn’t been home in days indicated that the chances of me wanting to work for that fucked up company were exactly zero.
Even if I had gotten the job I would have been stuck working with a smelly asshole who liked stupid interview questions.
My answer to that question would still be “go find a better measuring container,” though. Any manager that favors needlessly complex (if clever) solutions to simple problems is very likely not the sort of manager I’d enjoy working with.
I sit on interview panels for our firm all of the time, and we never bother with silly questions like this. If someone has made it to the interview, we assume they have the legal skills to get the job done. They passed the bar exam after four years of college & three years of law school - I’m pretty sure they are good at test already. We use the interview to determine what their presentation is like, how clients might like them, how they might fit into our practice, and how they might get along with the other lawyers. If anyone on the panel asked some logic question like this, I’d instruct the interviewee not to answer. If I was interviewing and someone asked me this, I’m gone.
uh, I really was joking dude. Clearly you are so filled with rage you could not see the winky, winky.
I have only had one of these questions once. Something about a robot who could only turn 90 degrees left, needed to traverse a maze to its end, and take a bite out of the last wall… Or something. This was for a contract writing position on the fighter ace team. I pestered the interviewer with so many questions that he eventually told me the answer just to get me to leave his office. It’s not that it was so hard, but I had never heard of puzzle questions before, and couldn’t figure out why he was asking me it for a writing job. But I quit high school to join the Navy so wtf do I know. :)
The only question like that I’ve ever gotten at a job interview was the old standard of “why are manholes and manhole covers round?”. I kinda cheating because I had heard that question was supposed to be one IBM used on potential employees back in the day, and knew the answer.
A round manhole cover can’t fall through the round hole as there’s no way to turn it so that the diameter of the hole is greater than the profile of the cover. A square one could fall through if turned on it’s side a positioned diagonally. I think polygons with an odd number of equalateral sides sides would all acuatlly work as well as a round system, but the circle maximizes clearance for materials as well. Usually, “cause it won’t fall through” is sufficient to answer the question, though.