Companies like Microsoft have started to change how interviews are conducted. Rather than ask basic informational questions, these companies focus instead on a more unique method of filtering out candidates – logic puzzles. It is believed that candidates that can answer these types of questions are far more likely to be intelligent, problem solving employees than those that cannot, and there is a great deal of evidence to back up those assertions.
How to Solve Logic Puzzles
There is no surefire way to prepare you for all logic puzzles. These companies can ask you a well known logic puzzle, or invent a puzzle themselves for you to solve. However, though we may not be able to supply you with the logic puzzle answer, we can prepare you for what the interviewers are looking for.
What they are looking for is thought. They want to see logic. They want to know that you put effort into your answer. The main thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter if your answer is right. Yes, it would be good if your answer is right. You certainly will get a lot of credit for having a right answer. But what you are trying to do is show the interviewer that you have problem solving skills, and you can do so by demonstrating that you put thought and logic into your answer.
Q: Why Are Manhole Covers Round?
Bad answers include:
- “They just are?”
- “Because the holes are round?”
- “Because people come in all shapes and sizes?
None of these have very much thought. They are all answers that show you are confused. On the other hand:
Good answers include:
- “Because manhole covers must be heavy to stay in place, and in order to maneuver them safely and easily, you must be able to roll them on their side.”
- “Because when someone lifts a manhole cover, they must be able to place it back in the hole without worrying about how much the cover has been rotated.“
- “Because round covers cannot fall into a hole when placed on their side. It will always stay above it.”
These answers show thought and effort. The truth is that no one knows why manhole covers are round, but let’s say that there is a correct answer. Let’s say that it is because of the second answer (so they can be rotated). If you provide answers 1 or 3, you will still get credit from the interviewer, because they show genuine thought and logic. That is why you should always put thought into the logic puzzles, and as long as you supply those thoughts, you will get credit for your answer.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Logic puzzles are designed to see if you can understand logic.
Put thought into your answer and don’t answer the question haphazardly.