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What would you do if you found a battleship in a forest?

Look, I know it is not a problem you are probably going to have to solve very often. But I remember reading a book on interviewing 25 years ago, when books were still paper, and thinking what a ridiculous interview technique. But it was quite popular at the time, and some employers still use the “impossible to solve” question as a technique to see how candidates react under pressure. It's a load of nonsense of course, because if you've ever been asked something similar before you are prepared and you will know how to react. And if you haven't, your mind will either freeze or you will mumble some reply. Whatever you decide to do, your answer cannot be right but you will be judged on how you handle the situation. So prepare for the unexpected, it may just come at you. And decide how you would deal with this situation. If I was asked a similar question, then I would do what most people should do, ask for more information. "What type of battleship is it?", “How big a forest?". Even if the interviewer gets back to you and says sorry, I have no more information available, it buys you time to think and that, if nothing else, shows that you are calm under pressure. By the way the interviewer in the book said the best answer that he had heard was "Change my brand of vodka".  Want to subscribe to this blog? click here.


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