Home Others What Are Consulting Brain Teasers & How To Answer Them

What Are Consulting Brain Teasers & How To Answer Them


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Brain teasers are short word problems and riddles used by some consulting first to test the candidates’ critical thinking skills when faced with a problem. Consulting case interviews can include full cases like estimation, and brainstorming besides the brain teasers. The definition of a brainteaser is designed to challenge your ability to think reasonably and logically to make not-so-obvious connections. Your ability to solve a brain teaser will give an indication to the interviewer about your problem-solving skills and how quick you are on your feet. Brain teasers tend to be short, unusual problems where the answer is often counter-intuitive. Our purpose is to help you solve any puzzle with logical thinking while remaining calm.

Therefore, we will discuss some brain teasers for interview processes and help you learn how you can answer those.

How Can You Prepare For Brain Teasers?

The key to preparing for brain teasers is by breaking the questions into sub-types and then answering each type accordingly. Most of the brain teasers will be divided into several categories like Illusion, draw-explanation, wording, pattern, logic, letter-trick, and market-sizing. We’ll discuss each type and how you can prepare the best to answer them.

Draw-Explanation Brain Teasers

This type of brain teaser gives seemingly impossible and weird situations and later asks you to explain the situation. In this case, you need to be imaginative and creative to be able to answer it correctly. For example, we have the riddle “ A doctor’s son’s father was not a doctor. How is this possible?”. While you might be thinking about all of the possible scenarios on how would this be possible and try to connect the relative connection, the answer is that the doctor is a female, which means, the doctor is the mother, not the father. In the question, it is said that the father is not a doctor, which means the father of the kid, while the mother is the doctor.

Pattern Brain Teasers

Pattern brain teasers present with numbers and data to follow certain trends or patterns where you’ll be required to fill in the blanks. If you are given such questions, you can try solving them by using different angles, trying out different techniques like dividing, subtracting, multiplying, etc. Questions of the type – “What is the next number in the following sequence: 0, 0, 1, 2, 2, 4, 3, 6, 4, 8, 5?”  The answer would be 10 because this is a combination of two alternate series: 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Hence, the next in line is 10.

Illusion Brain Teasers

Illusion brain teasers will trick you into drawing conclusions based on misleading details. To avoid such a trap, you need to pay close attention to every detail. This way you can highlight the important details and answer the question correctly. For example, let’s analyze the following brain teaser and see the answer. “Mark’s father has three children. One child is named Monday and the second one has the name Tuesday. What’s the name of the third kid?” While this might be an easy question for you since it’s asked almost everywhere, and the obvious answer can be Wednesday, it’s “Mark”. These types of riddles and questions give the impression and illusion that the answer is obvious if you follow a certain pattern. However, if you analyze the structure of the riddle, you’ll see the answer is in the riddle itself.

Wording Brain Teasers

Wording brain teasers will tend to confuse you by using conflicting words to describe inexplicable situations and scenarios. The key to solving such teasers is to doubt every interpretation of every word in the question. You need to find other meaningful wording to make the scenario possible. Here we have the puzzle – “What two words, when combined, hold the most letters?”. While the answer might not be very obvious, it’s “post” and “office”. A post office holds the most letters. Here you have a play with words to find the right answer.

Logical Brain Teasers

Logical brain teasers are just that. Riddles that require logical thinking and analysis. No creativity, tricks, or illusions included. You need to rely only on the logic muscles of your brain. Let’s check the following – “An explorer found a silver coin marked 7 BC. He was told it was a forgery. Why?” – There is no “Before-Christ” – BC in the Before-Christ years because nobody knew who he was back then.

Why Do Interviewers Ask Brain Teasers?

As we mentioned earlier, interviewers ask brain teasers to test your logical thinking capacity and how creative you are with answering questions. As well, as dealing with a situation under pressure. Candidates will need to think outside of the box and deliver an answer in a collected and calm manner. Even though the use of brain teasers has decreased in the past couple of years, recruiters still impose such questions on candidates, especially in the IT industry.