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The interview process at Google doesn't consist of questions like, 'What's your greatest strength?' Instead, nervous applicants are asked to deconstruct puzzles like: "You are shrunk to the height of a nickel and thrown in a blender. The blades start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do?" From William Poundstone's new book Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google?, here are 10 sample headscratchers that Google interviewers might throw an applicant's way. Can you solve them?
When there's a wind blowing, does a round-trip by plane take more time, less time, or the same time?
How does wind affect the length of a flight?
The same time
It depends on the airplane
You put a glass of water on a record turntable and begin increasing the speed slowly. What will happen first: will the glass slide off, will it tip over, or will the water splash out?
Will a glass of water fall, tip over or have water splash out first?
Have water splash out
Depends on the shape of the glass and how full it is
Using only a 4-minute hourglass and a 7-minute hourglass, measure exactly nine minutes. You must use both.
Measure 9 minutes using two hourglasses.
Start both hourglasses, flip over the 4-minute glass when it's done, flip both glasses over when the 7-minute glass is done, then flip over the 7-minute glass when the 4-minute glass is done
Start both hourglasses, flip over the 4-minute glass when it's done, flip over the 7-minute glass when it's done, let it run 1 minute, then flip it again for the 9th minute
Start the 7-minute hourglass, flip the 4-minute hourglass when the 7-minute glass is done, measure 2 minutes using the 4-minute hourglass
Start the 4-minute glass, flip it when it's done to measure another 4 minutes, then flip the 7-minute hourglass to measure 1 minute