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Test yourself with these brainteasers from Google, Apple and Facebook

Erin Delaney

Careers Commentator

If you’ve ever dreamed of working at a top-tier company, you’ll know competition is fiercer than Beyonce’s hair game at the Grammys. You’ve got to bring it.

Many a befuddled grad has come out of an interview with Google, Facebook and Apple still trying to figure out the answer to one of the mind-bending questions they’ve been known to throw around.

When dream companies hire, they’ve got all kinds of grads clamouring for their attention, so to cut through the crowd they don’t only look at things like ATARs and co-curriculars, they really want to know how you think. How do you see the world? And are you going to be one of the superstars to change it? While you don’t necessarily need to get the answers right, what these brainmelters show to recruiters is how your mind works, the steps you take to unpack a problem, and what’s instinctively important to you.

If you want to test your skills and see how you stack up, try these on for size.

1. Google

“You’re the captain of a pirate ship and your crew gets to vote on how the gold is divided up. If fewer than half of the pirates agree with you, you die. How do you recommend apportioning the gold in such a way that you get a good share of the booty, but still survive?

2. Facebook

'You are trying to rob houses on a street. Each house has some amount of cash. Your goal is to rob houses such that you maximise the total robbed amount. The constraint is once you rob a house you cannot rob a house adjacent to that house.'

3. Apple

“If you were a pizza delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors?”

4. Goldman Sachs

“There are infinite black and white dots on a plane. Prove that the distance between one black dot and one white dot is one unit.”

5. McKinsey & Company

“If you were 80 years old, what would you tell your children?”

However you decide to answer, make sure you don’t just give a one-word response! There are as many points for creativity at stake as there for getting anything close to a correct answer.