Killer Interview Question: How Much Does This Nail Cost?

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Killer Interview Question: How Much Does This Nail Cost?


This addition to our killer interview questions collection has a definite mathematical flavour. Read on — and don’t answer too quickly!

Hammer picture from Shutterstock

Converto is a measurement firm tracking advertising, so it’s not surprising that CEO Jeff Zwelling includes a mathematics question in interview rounds. Here it is:

A hammer and a nail cost $1.10, and the hammer costs one dollar more than the nail. How much does the nail cost?

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If you quickly blurt out “10 cents”, you’re not paying attention. (If the nail cost 10 cents, the hammer cost a dollar, which would make it 90 cents more expensive.)

There’s only one correct answer here, so it’s not a question of how you answer, but how you handle any delay while you work it out. For a coding job, you’d ideally express the solution algebraically.

One CEO Asks This Tricky Maths Question To Size Up Candidates [Business Insider]

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