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Can You Solve These 3 Fiendish Recruitment Puzzles?

Can You Solve These 3 Fiendish Recruitment Puzzles?  main image

The ‘recruitment puzzle’ is as old as time. As well as providing good material for marketing and branding campaigns and often going viral online, these conundrums help large companies narrow down a huge graduate applicant pool to a select few.

Here are three of the most compelling recruitment challenges from the past year. Can you crack them?

1. The Google one

Google has always been king of riddle recruitment – and its methods of delivering puzzles can, in turn, be puzzling. In 2015, a coder Googled the words ‘python lambda function list comprehension’. The search engine served him up a message: “You’re speaking our language. Up for a challenge?”

After the coder solved the following conundrum, Google invited him to submit his CV. He was offered a job at the tech powerhouse three months later.

This year, another Google puzzle for candidates was released to the press. Dubbed “The 100 Hat Riddle”, it challenged budding Google employees to prove their problem-solving abilities. Here’s the scenario:

1. 100 prisoners are lined up, all facing the same way, so that each prisoner is looking at the back of the one in front of them.
2. Each prisoner is given a hat to wear that is either blue or red, although they are not told which.
3. Every prisoner can see all of the prisoners, and thus hats, that are in front of them. They cannot see their own hat or the hats of the prisoners behind.
4. Going from the back to the front, the prisoners are made to guess the color of their own hat: blue or red. If they get it right, they live. If they get it wrong, they die.
5. The prisoners are allowed to confer and discuss tactics before they are all lined up. 

What should the prisoners agree to do to ensure the most possible survive?

Check out this page for the answer.

2. The Bletchley one

We all know about the Pentagon and the decisions of global impact made within its walls. But have you heard of GCHQ, the UK intelligence and security agency based in small-town Cheltenham?

No? Well maybe you should have, if you like puzzles. These guys are always churning out challenges in their efforts to find the nation’s next Alan Turing. Back in 2011, they posted this series online:

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Somewhere, hidden in all that information, is a keyword. Find it and GCHQ might well have a job for you. And the bar is high: this code was actually cracked within hours of going online. Find out how on the website.

Need more GCHQ goodness? The agency released a puzzle book for charity this year. And if you can’t crack the code above, don’t worry too much. GCHQ is only the home-based branch of UK intelligence; no martinis (either shaken or stirred) in sight.

3. The video one

In October this year, innovative British company Dyson released the first of four challenges aimed at engaging the nation’s best young minds. Those few who complete all four will be invited to a job interview with Dyson’s CEO at the company headquarters in Wilshire, England.

 

 

Want some help working it out? You cheat! But okay.

There are plenty of fun puzzles around the net from recruitment processes past. Of course, not all are clear on motive or company. The mysterious organization ‘Cicada 3301’ has been releasing online encryptions since 2012, drawing top code-breakers to accept their challenges – and nobody yet knows why. Many believe the group is an illegal hacking conglomerate, or even a cult.

Maybe, for now, you’d do best to stick with Dyson.

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