Those logic puzzles, ugh
I have a good one to share. Interviewing as a programmer for a biotech firm. Very open office trendy kind of place. There are 3 of us in a small-ish room. The part that might not play well in a typed story is that my answers were immediate. I didn't sit there and think about for a few minutes or anything like that.
"Nobody can tell anyone else how much they make a year. With only the items in this room, how can you figure out how much everyone makes in a year?"
Looking around, I see a whiteboard and some markers, there are a few pieces of blank paper and pens on the table. My laptop bag is next to me, and in the middle of the table... a phone.
"I would pick up that phone and call HR."
"Okay, lets say that the phone isn't here. How would you figure out how much everyone makes a year?"
"I would get my cell phone out of my laptop bag and call HR."
"Okay (big exasperated breath), lets pretend you don't have your cellphone. You don't have any kind of phone. How would you figure out how much everyone makes per year?"
"I would pull out my laptop, find the company website, and email HR."
Main interviewer's face is noticably redder now. I remember thinking that was unusual for someone who looked to be about 27 years old. "Okay... lets pretend there is no HR department. How do you figure out how much we each make a year?"
I stopped right before saying something about how if there is no HR, who do I turn this paperwork they gave me in to. Instead, I said something that, in retrospect, was probably as bad. "I just came up with 3 fast and effective solutions to the problem I was presented. Why would I want to continue to search for more solutions, all of which are likely to be more complex? I am sorry, but I guess I just don't get it."
The interviewer proceeded to outline some strange scenario invloving passing papers from one person to the next, with each person adding their salary to what amounted to a hash, then me subtracting something to arrive at the desired answer.
Something felt wrong about his solution, mathematically speaking. Next day I emailed him a proof that showed that his solution was flawed.
I didn't get the job.