There Are Five Bags Of Gold That All Look Identical And Each Has Ten Gold Pieces In It One Of The Five Bags Has Fake Gold In It The Real Gold Fake Gold And All Five Bags Are Identical In Every Way Except The Pieces Of Fake Gold Each Weigh 11 Grams And The Real Gold Pieces Each Weigh 1 Gram You Have A Perfectly Accurate Digital Gram Scale And Can Use It Only Once How Do You Determine Which Bag Has The Fake Gold
Explanation: Take one gold piece from the first bag, two from the second bag, three from the third bag, four from the fourth bag, and five from the fifth bag. If the weight on the scale ends in .1, then you know the first bag has the fake gold. If the weight on the scale ends in .2, then the second bag has the fake gold, and so on and so forth.
Riddles To Get You Started
Before we explore how brain teasers help strengthen the brain, lets try a few riddles!Here are four short riddles to get you started:
So, how did you do? Were sure you rocked it. Now that weve got your brain fired up, lets take a look at how brain teasers work.
What Do We Mean By Brainteaser Questions
There is some confusion around the definition of brainteaser question. When I reached out to my network for brainteaser question examples, most people responded with questions that are simply difficult, but not really brainteasers.
So lets go to Dictionary.com. The definition of brainteaser is a puzzle or problem whose solution requires great ingenuity.
There are many questions that are challenging that are NOT brainteasers. These include tough technical questions, questions about your values, questions about failures or weaknesses, and others.
With a brainteaser question, the focus is on a puzzle or problem.
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What Are Brain Teasers And Why Do Interviewers Ask Them
Brain teasers can be thought of broadly as types of puzzles that test problem-solving and critical thinking, and potentially other related skills such as logic, math, and creativity.
An interviewer may ask a brain teaser to see how you would approach a problem or challenge, and to assess your critical thinking skills and how you think under pressure. Some brain teasers also test your ability to be flexible, creative, and adaptable.
You will most commonly see brain teaser interview questions in these types of industries and roles:
- Quantitative finance including institutional and prop trading, hedge funds, quant trading and modeling
- Consulting including management and strategy consulting
- Engineering interviews including software engineering and data science & analytics
Back in the day, Google and Microsoft were notorious for asking brain teasers, and every trader interview featured a brain teaser.
In recent years, brain teasers have largely fallen out of favor with interviewers, partly because they typically do a poor job of assessing on-the-job performance. But you may still encounter them for certain roles and firms, so read on and learn how to prepare!
Math Brain Teasers For Kids
Like math puzzles, these brain teasers for kids can increase engagement with math content and inspire your students to work on math concepts and problems outside of regular lessons.
1. Math riddles
These riddles are just as amusing as the ones above, but theyre math-focused. Use them to give students some extra math practice and encourage resourceful thinking.
a) Divide 30 by ½ and add 10. Whats the answer?
b) A clerk at the butcher shop is six feet tall and wears size 10 shoes. What does he weigh?
c) A farmer has 19 sheep on his land. One day, a big storm hits and all but seven run away. How many sheep does the farmer have left?
d) Your sock drawer only contains 18 white socks and 18 blue socks. How many times do you need to reach inside the drawer and take out a sock to guarantee a matching pair?
e) You planted sunflower seeds in your back garden. Every day, the number of flowers doubles. If it takes 52 days for the flowers to fill the garden, how many days would it take for them to fill half the garden?
f) Using only addition, how can you use eight eights to get the number 1,000?
g) When Ashley was 15, her mother was 37. Now, her mother is twice her age. How old is Ashley?
a) It’s 70. Youre dividing 30 by ½, not by two. Thirty divided by ½ is the same thing as multiplying it by two, which is 60. Plus 10 makes 70!
b) Meat. He works at the butcher shop, so he weighs meat for a living.
f) 888 +88 +8 +8 +8
2. Pattern problems
Image source: AOL
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Why Do Companies Ask Brainteaser Questions
Interviewers ask brainteaser questions because they think your ability to answer will provide some indication of your ability to do the job. Often, the hiring manager feels the brainteaser will help them to evaluate your strength in one or more of the following competency areas:
- Problem solving Can you quickly analyze a problem and devise a solution?
- Critical thinking Can you see the big picture, think clearly, evaluate options?
- Analytic skills Can you analyze data, determine probability, make calculations?
- Creativity Do you take an innovative approach to problems?
- Ability to think on your feet Can you wing it without preparation or structure?
- Ability to perform under pressure Can you stay cool and logical under stress?
The interviewer is most interested in your approach to the brainteaser and how you think. The actual answer is often irrelevant.
Charley Polachi is a partner at Polachi Access Executive Search with more than 30 years of experience recruiting top technology talent. While these questions are popular at innovative firms, they are useful for college hires and not executives, says Polachi. Recruiters often use brainteaser questions for recent college graduates to understand their critical thinking process.
How To Tackle A Marketing Sizing Question
Imagine youre conducting a market growth analysis for a new client who imports roasted and ground coffee beans. You might be asked to determine how many independent coffee houses there are in New York.
Providing an estimate of how many business outlets might be interested in purchasing coffee from your client helps them assess the size of their potential market, sales, and revenue.
There are 2 main ways of tackling a market sizing case example:
- Top-down: Start with the total volume and divide down to the relevant market.
- Bottom-up: Start with a single unit and multiply up to include the relevant market.
Which approach you use depends on the information in the question and the size of the market. As a rule of thumb, the top-down approach works best for large markets, and for smaller markets, using the bottom-up method is smart.
Break down the market into key segments by type of customer and use these segments to inform your estimation. For example, if youre doing a top-down estimate of the market for cell phones in North America, you might break the market into:
- Business customers
- Price-sensitive personal customers
- Functionality focused personal customers
Alternatively, you could break down the retail market for cell phones by age group. This is particularly helpful if a teenage buyer would have substantially different product needs or budgets for the product.
. Remember, its just an estimate!
Here are some key numbers it might be worth knowing:
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Answers To Medium Difficulty Consulting Brain Teasers
Spot The Difference: Office Edition
You may remember Spot the Difference games in magazines when you were a kid. Spot the Difference: Office Edition plays with a similar concept, but transplants the game to your real-life office.
Heres how to play:
Spot the Difference: Office Edition is a fun brain teaser for teams because it transforms the office from a workplace to a puzzle. Also, any number of people can play, and you do not need specialized skills to win. Best of all, when team members rack their brains together, it facilitates team bonding.
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Seven Degrees Of Separation
If you have ever heard of the game, Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon, then Seven Degrees of Separation operates on similar rules, except that connecting to Kevin Bacon is not the only ultimate goal.
Heres how to play:
Your teams objective is to try to find some way to connect the two objects or ideas in less than seven steps.
Seven Degrees of Separation challenges your team to exercise their minds to find links that may not be apparent at first. This group brain teaser is a simple way to get everyone together that does not require any additional materials or much planning. If you feel your office having a slow day, then you can pull out Seven Degrees of Separation to break up the lull in activity.
How To Solve Brainteasers
As with all case studies, the structure leading towards the solution of a consulting brainteaser is more important than actually finding the final answer.
- Write down every piece of information you get. Listen very carefully because one specific word can convey the answer. Repeat the question to make sure you didnt add or miss anything important.
- Think of solutions or required information you might need without looking at the facts. There are three possibilities:
1. Youll find a solution without any information. Sometimes common sense brainteasers can be solved this way. In this case, the only purpose of the starting information is to confuse you.
2. Both needed and given information match.
3. You need further information in order to be able to solve the brainteaser. In this case, convey to the interviewer how you would have solved it if that information were available. This will demonstrate your creativity.
- Take notes of solutions that didnt work and communicate the reason to the interviewer. Clearly communicate the reasons that would prevent you from repeating a similar analysis.
- Make the problem visible through schematics and graphs. These habits foster creative thinking.
- Put yourself in the shoes of the person affected by the issue addressed by the consulting brainteaser. If the problem were your own, you might tackle it more creatively.
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Visual Brain Teasers For Kids
1. Spot the difference
This ever-popular activity might remind you of your own childhood and kids still love it! Spot the difference puzzles require lots of deduction and attention to detail.
Heres an example of a printable spot the difference activity.
2. Rebus puzzles
A rebus is a visual word puzzle that uses lateral thinking to find its intended meaning. The word or phrase is depicted with a visual illustration, including letters and words. Students must think creatively to figure out the meaning from the clues theyre given.
b) Theyre exactly the same colour. If you place your finger over the spot where the squares meet, you can see theyre the same. Try this impossible paper puzzle if you want a more hands-on optical illusion. You can make one to show your class, then have students make their own as a fun brain teaser to show friends and family.
4. Stroop effect test
The Stroop effect was discovered in the 1930s by John Ridley Stroop. During the test, youre given a list of colour names, with each word being a different colour than what they describe.
The test involves saying the colour of a word, rather than reading the word itself. Your mind must process the two conflicting pieces of information, which slows down reaction speed and requires careful thought to get through.
Image source: The Crafty Classroom
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Brain Teaser Questions And Answers
A game that my dad taught me when I was young was chess. It was a great way to have fun with my dad while also sharpening my mind. Riddles are good for that, too. But brain teaser questions work in a lot of the same ways. They are a great way to stay mentally sharp and challenge yourself. Share these with your kids and you will have a fun time while also getting a brain workout.
Solve With Brute Force
Similar to mathematical questions, if you get a brainteaser with a restricted amount of possible solutions, try a backward approach. First, assume one of the solutions is correct and see if it works with the information you were given.
Example: I have a horse. Do you know what color it is? Allan said, “I guess it is not black”. Brian said, “It is either brown or gray”. Charlie said, “I know it is brown”. I said, “At least one of you is right and at least one of you is wrong.” What is the color of my horse if the color is one of the above?
Solution: The horse is brown, black, or gray. So three options you have to check:If the horse is brown, then everyone is right. This is not the answer. If the horse is black, then everyone is wrong. This isn’t the answer either. Therefore, the horse is gray. To verify the answer, Allan was right, Brian was right, but Charlie was wrong.
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How To Approach The Interview
The last step is learning and becoming comfortable with how you should be approaching the brain teaser at the interview itself.
1. Clarify the question
You need to fully understand the question in order to come up with a good solution. Ask clarifying questions.
2. Talk through your reasoning
Always talk through your reasoning, for a number of helpful reasons:
- You dont necessarily need to solve the brain teaser to do well, you just need to demonstrate how you would tackle a difficult problem. This is like getting partial credit in school for showing your work.
- Talking through your reasoning can buy you some time to think, and for some people it also helps organize your thoughts.
- This gives the interviewer an opportunity to steer you off the wrong track. You may misinterpret a piece of information or make an invalid assumption, and if the interviewer is able to jump in a correct your assumptions, you will waste less time.
3. Organize your solution
Remember that this is still an interview. While the brain teaser tests your critical thinking, you also should demonstrate other relevant skills to the job, such as organization, communication, and presentation.
So after you piece together the answer, package it together and clearly present the steps of your solution.
4. Impress the interviewer
Naturally, this is difficult to do, so dont worry if you are not able to.