Riddle of the Day: Engineering Job Interview Riddle

Answer to Jan 13th, 2018 Riddle: A river.

Rivers and I have a love and hate situation. Since most of my work is on rivers I get to go on a few inspections. And falling into a swamp filled river is not fun!

New Riddle of the Day

Let’s kick it up a bit with riddles this week. Hopefully you’ll find these riddles helpful as they might come up in interviews. Fortunately for me, I’ve only ran into one riddle in my experiences with interviews.

This is a riddle I got while interviewing with a transportation engineering project manager from HDR Inc. Funny thing about this interview was that it was an on the spot interview. I had met this project manager earlier on in my freshman year of college, we ran into each other again during my 4th year at a talk that he gave at my school. He said that the lasting impression he had on me was, “you made a lasting impression by simply telling me why you wanted to do engineering.”

The riddle:

Next thing I know we’re sitting face to face and he’s bombarding me with interview questions, things like my weaknesses, my goals, my 5 years plan. Then he said, “this is something I always ask my interviewee, You’re standing on the surface of the Earth. You walk one mile south, one mile west, and one mile north. You end up exactly where you started. Where are you?”

The Answer:

Of course this would be an easy answer if you know that the earth is a sphere. The trick is he gave you directions: south, west and north, so you gotta be standing somewhere on Earth where you can walk that way and still come back to the same spot. The answer would be the North Pole. I later found out after reading Elon Musk’s Biography that this is a question Musk also asks his interviewee.

This riddle goes to show that they can really ask out of nowhere questions just to watch you suffer, trip your shit, but most likely to see how you think. Are you able to take on challenges head on or will you be hesitant and say, “I don’t know.” It could be a really hard riddle or something easy like, “what’s your favorite book and why?” Just make sure you compose yourself and take it on with confidence! They love seeing that.

Now you’re thinking, did you get hired though. No I did not. I did get an offer to work in Transportation Engineering in his group but it wasn’t what I was looking for as far as technical training. So I never got hired with HDR Inc.

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