9 Tricky Brain Teaser Questions Tech Engineers Struggle To Answer At Job Interviews

Rosie McCall 08 Jun 2018, 20:15

Tech engineers are some of the smartest people in the world.

But even they have a hard time answering the brain teaser questions a lot of tech companies like to ask during job interviews.

We went through Glassdoor to find some of the trickiest brain teaser questions they get asked, and the best way to answer them.

Systems engineer at Google: "How many trailing zeros are in the number 5! (5 factorial)?"

Business Insider / Jillian D'Onfro

Suggested answers:

"5!=120. So there is 1 trailing zero."

"This sounds like one geared not so much towards getting the right answer, but getting to it the right way. If you think a bit and say "one", the interviewer will know you did it the brute-force way, doing the math. You'd get at the answer faster, and probably impress them more, if you think instead how many times a ten will be produced in doing that math, rather than what the actual result of the math will be."

Software engineer at Facebook: “You have two lightbulbs at a 100-story building. You want to find the floor at which the bulbs will break when dropped. Find the floor using the least number of drops.”

Flickr / Jackman Chiu

Suggested answers:

"Start moving up in increments of 10 floors and dropping the bulb until it breaks (ie: drop from floor 10, if it doesn't break, drop from floor 20, etc.). Once the bulb breaks, move down to the floor before it broke on and start moving up floors in increments of one until the second bulb breaks. This results in a worst case scenario of 19 drops."

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