Answering the brain-teasers asked in an interview

A hiring manager goes the way beyond to understand and assure the fact that whoever they hire is the best person for the job or post. For that reason, when they are done with the general question-answer session which include questions like “why do you want this job?” and tell us about yourself?”; the employer then moves on to some tricky questions usually called the brain- teaser questions.

They are so-called because they are nothing like the usual or general questions but are extremely notional and abstract. Such questions are based upon your critical thinking and analytical skills. This helps the hiring managers to assess your hypothesis skills and makes it somewhat clear to them if the person they are interviewing the best option for the post.

They often put you in situations and by that, I mean critical and extremely bizarre situation and ask questions out of it. There are these things that they deduce through your answers to their brain-teasing questions. There are two types of questions that may be called “brain- teasers” in an interview.

  1. How many gas stations did you pass while coming here?
  2. How many kilometres did you drive or walk while coming here?

Such questions include some kind of estimations.

  1. Why is a tennis ball fuzzy?
  2. Guide a blind person to the hallway?

Teach me how to make pancakes.

The first questions have to be answered in a very basic manner as in itself it’s extremely very cardinal. While the second one is a bit of merging you in an intense situation with a skill that you know and a thing you might experience the first time. It helps them understand your patience and guiding skills.

The second type of brain- teaser questions includes the puzzle or riddle-like questions. In questions like such; they usually put you in a situation and give you a whole of a scenario and then ask you to answer it in a way which is not very obvious. Examples include such as:

A Russian gangster kidnaps you. He puts two bullets in consecutive order in an empty six-round revolver, spins it, points it at your head and shoots. *click* you’re still alive. He then asks you, “do you want me to spin it again and fire or pull the trigger again right away?” For each option, what is the probability that you’ll be shot?


You’re about to get on a plane to Seattle. You want to know if it’s raining. You call 3 random friends who live there and ask each if it’s raining. Each friend has a 2/3 chance of telling you the truth and a 1/3 chance of messing with you by lying. All 3 friends tell you that “Yes” it is raining. What is the probability that it’s actually raining in Seattle?

(Although, we would not be telling you the answers for these but we will definitely give you some tips to answer them)

Now, as you see this is phrased as a riddle and is supposed to be answered anyway you understand it.

You may come across some mathematical questions as well but that also cannot stop you from standing out as the best candidate. Remember, to think and break down the problem. Do not be hesitant to answer the question rather it is very beneficial to answer the question in any way you like. The hiring team only sees how you can manage problems.

The focus of a good hiring manager is to not judge you upon the fact that whether you have given the right answer or the correct one. There are always question with correct answers and no- correct answers.

The goal of the hiring manager is not to listen to the exactly right answer from you. What he or she sees is your ability to answer the question or the way you choose to answer the question.

In this way, the hiring managers can evaluate your skills and how can they help them in future if they hire you for the job. You need to show them how you think, analyze and break down the problem, it helps them to analyze how better you are than the other candidates and the way you stand out!