2021 will bring a soar of new candidates to your job postings, so ensure you choose the right candidate and try some of the toughest interview questions. 

There is always a big focus on checking skills and experience in interviews, whether the focus is on personality, adaptability, problem-solving and the ability to think on your feet.

Tech companies are one industry that is using this interview method to find preferred team members that excel in these areas.

Check out four of the toughest interview questions candidates have reportedly faced at some of the world’s biggest tech companies.

1. One Mile Question

Q: You’re standing on the surface of the Earth, and you walk one mile south, one mile west, and one mile north. You finish where you started, so where are you?

A: If you are standing directly on the north pole and you walk one mile south, then one mile west and one mile north, you will arrive back at the north pole.

2. 100 Coins Question

Q: You have 100 coins lying flat on a table; each coin has a head and a tail side. 

Ten of the coins have heads facing up, and 90 of the coins have tails up. 

You can’t feel, see, or find which side is up and which side is down. 

How would you split the coins into two piles so there is the same number of heads in each pile?

A: Count 50, and you’re done.

3. Three Doors Question

Q: There are three doors. Behind the doors are two goats and a car. You pick a door. 

Call it door ‘A’. You want the car. 

The host opens door ‘B’, which reveals a goat behind it. 

You now have a choice; do you stick with Door ‘A’ or change to door ‘C?’ Does it matter?

A: Change to door C. When you first choose, there is a 1/3 chance of the car being behind door A and a 2/3 chance that the car isn’t behind door A. 

After the host opens door B to reveal a goat, there’s still a 1/3 chance that the car is behind door A and a 2/3 chance that the car isn’t behind door A. 

Surprisingly, the odds aren’t 50-50. If you switch doors, you’ll win 2/3 of the time!

4. Bucket Question

Q: You have an endless supply of water, a five-litre bucket, and a three-litre bucket. How do you measure four litres of water?

A: Fill the five-litre bucket with water and pour it into the three-litre bucket. There are now two litres in the big bucket and three in the little one. Empty the small bucket and pour the last two litres from the big bucket into the little bucket. The little bucket already has two litres, so it will only fill up with one more, leaving the big bucket with four litres.

These interview questions made us squirm in our seats, and you can imagine the candidate’s reactions let alone their responses!

Consider incorporating one in your next interview as they’re a great way to test your candidate’s ability to think on their feet, and most likely their sense of humour too!

Have Questions?

We Have The Answers!

Why should we ask tough questions in interviews?

Tough questions reveal a candidate's problem-solving skills, adaptability, and quick thinking. They help identify candidates who can handle pressure and think creatively.

How can I ensure a tough question is fair?

Ensure the question has a clear answer and is relevant to the job role. Provide all necessary information and avoid overly obscure or trick questions.

What are examples of tough interview questions?

Examples include puzzles like the "One Mile Question" or logic problems like the "Three Doors Question," which assess problem-solving skills.

How should candidates respond to these tough questions?

Candidates should approach these questions methodically, showing their reasoning process and thought patterns. There is often no single "right" answer.

Important Notice

The information contained in this article is general in nature and you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs. Legal and other matters referred to in this article are of a general nature only and are based on RosterElf's interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied on in place of professional advice.

RosterElf is not responsible for the content of any site owned by a third party that may be linked to this article and no warranty is made by us concerning the suitability, accuracy or timeliness of the content of any site that may be linked to this article.

RosterElf disclaims all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded) for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information contained in this article and any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.