By Vidhyalakshmi Manivannan

“Let’s play a game of Russian roulette,” it begins. “You are tied to your chair and can’t get up. Here’s a gun. Here’s the barrel of the gun, six chambers, all empty. Now watch me as I put two bullets in the gun. See how I put them in two adjacent chambers? I close the barrel and spin it. I put the gun to your head and pull the trigger. CLICK. You’re still alive. Lucky you! Now, before we discuss your résumé”, I’m going to pull the trigger one more time. Which would you prefer that I spin the barrel first, or that I just pull the trigger?”
No. This isn’t some scene from the MI series and that ain’t Tom Cruise’s dialogue. It’s what you are likely to face in a few more months’ time if you’re an orange tag or what you may have already faced if you’re a brown. Didn’t get it? That people: is an interview scenario and the person speaking; your potential interviewer.And it turns out that what you need to solve that riddle is elementary mathematics. Specifically, 10th grade probability. More specifically just the first 5 pages of the chapter. And if you are not so lucky consider these.
How many piano tuners are there in the world?
If the Star Trek transporter was for real, how would that affect the transportation industry?
Why does a mirror reverse right and left instead of up and down?
If you could kill someone who would it be?
Why are beer cans tapered on the ends?
How long would it take to move Mount Fuji?

intervRiddles and puzzles have become a hot trend in the world of recruiting. There is no answer that is the correct one. Heck some don’t have an answer at all and are termed impossible questions! No amount of google searching would tell you how many piano tuners are there in the world. These questions have been designed to test your creativity and see how you respond to the question rather than to see what your response is. In other words every answer is a “correct” (provided you don’t say something really thick-headed) answer. Just may not be the one to impress your interviewer. It has also become a cult in companies like Microsoft who started with puzzle interviews as a technique. And answering them gives a sense of belonging to their club, being of their standard. It is seen as a measure of your intelligence that is hardly ever evaluated in a structured academic system. So next time someone challenges you to a riddle don’t just swat it off as a kid’s thing. Who knows one day you might be the one asked to play a game of Russian roulette.

Vidhyalakshmi Manivannan is an Electronics undergrad who is passionate about contemplative writing. JK Rowling and Dan Brown are her role models. She is a fan of Sherlock and British English.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *