Secret to Solving Puzzles in Interviews

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After my post regarding preparation strategy for placements,I have been asked many a times by my juniors about preparation of puzzles and Guess estimates for interviews. Many students don’t even know the importance of these. So, here I will try to clear your doubts and increase your understanding about preparation strategy of Puzzles for Campus Interviews.

I remember my time before placements when I used to be so much scared of puzzles. When I saw few puzzles which are asked in Interviews after doing a google search I was dis-heartened as I felt lost. Forget about solving, Sometimes I didn’t know how to even start solving a puzzle. But I didn’t loose my patience. I kept trying, reading solutions, thinking over for hours about puzzles, discussing puzzles with my friends and even solving them during my boring lectures. After few days my mind started working and I was eventually able to at-least proceed in right direction of solving them.

The biggest secret of preparing for puzzles is PRACTICE. I know its pretty obvious but this is the only way you will learn. Here are 2 good sources for preparing for puzzles: Top 10 interview puzzles & Most Common Puzzles.

Now, Let me tell you exactly what happens in an Interview from my own experience. The main reason Interviewer asks you puzzle is to see your though process. Believe me, interviewer don’t want an answer from you. What they expect from you is a healthy discussion. In my own 3 rounds of interviews, there was always 1 puzzle in each round about which I had no idea how to proceed but still i kept on discussing about it with interviewer without loosing my confidence. You need to be confident at all points while solving puzzle. Believe in yourself and be confident even if you are unable to solve it. But never keep quiet. Be calm, Listen to puzzle carefully, then take a pause, then repeat the puzzle to the interview in your own words of whatever you have understood. Your 50% work is done till here only. Now think and speak up about the way you will proceed. Your Interviewer will surely help you with proceeding the puzzle if you show your eagerness and confidence to solve the puzzle.

To conclude, Interview puzzles are not meant to be solved. They are meant to check the thought process of the student and to check how student handles situations where he/she has no idea about the situation. You just need to be calm and confident (fake it even if you don’t feel confident), and show interviewer that you are comfortable even in tough situations, try to find the logic and make clear to the interviewer wherever you get stuck !

All the Best!

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