### Microsoft interview questions

Posted:

**September 21st, 2006, 4:23 pm**These three riddles appeared during a certain Microsoft job interview.

The interviewer would watch how the interviewee responds to these riddles. Even if they didn't get the answer, the interviewer wants to see how they think as they explain the steps they're making to TRY to solve it. Some might be too easy to solve directly! See if you can solve these.

Riddle #1:

1

1 1

2 1

1 2 1 1

1 1 1 2 2 1

3 1 2 2 1 1

What's the pattern?

Riddle #2:

You have four people at a bridge... one HAS to carry a flashlight as they cross, but only two can cross at a time. And nobody can go alone.

It only takes one 1 minute to cross. Another takes 2 minutes. Another, 5. And the last, 10.

If the person who takes 1 minute goes with the person who takes 10... it automatically takes 10 minutes.

How many minutes will it take them all to cross.. at the quickest?

Riddle #3:

You have two fuses... they burn at different rates and not at steady rates. BUT! They only burn for one hour. One could burn the entire way except one inch within one minute, then spend the last 59 on that last inch, for example.

You also have to use this to somehow time 45 minutes exactly. How would you do it?

The interviewer would watch how the interviewee responds to these riddles. Even if they didn't get the answer, the interviewer wants to see how they think as they explain the steps they're making to TRY to solve it. Some might be too easy to solve directly! See if you can solve these.

Riddle #1:

1

1 1

2 1

1 2 1 1

1 1 1 2 2 1

3 1 2 2 1 1

What's the pattern?

Riddle #2:

You have four people at a bridge... one HAS to carry a flashlight as they cross, but only two can cross at a time. And nobody can go alone.

It only takes one 1 minute to cross. Another takes 2 minutes. Another, 5. And the last, 10.

If the person who takes 1 minute goes with the person who takes 10... it automatically takes 10 minutes.

How many minutes will it take them all to cross.. at the quickest?

Riddle #3:

You have two fuses... they burn at different rates and not at steady rates. BUT! They only burn for one hour. One could burn the entire way except one inch within one minute, then spend the last 59 on that last inch, for example.

You also have to use this to somehow time 45 minutes exactly. How would you do it?