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Profile for Rob Scott, Managing Director of Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment

 Not all interviews follow the same pattern. If you’re looking to hire for a sales role that requires a lot of analytical work, or any role that requires problem-solving, it’s possible you’d want to set puzzle questions to the candidate. After all, if they can’t handle these, they’re not likely to be much use for your business.

Most people going for these roles expect to be thrown a couple of ‘live grenades’ in the form of tough analytical interview questions. In this guide, we’ll examine ‘puzzle interview questions and answers’ and give five great examples you can use. They’ve been chosen carefully to be challenging even for the savvy candidate who has already researched and rehearsed answers to the most commonly used questions.

Why use logic questions for interview?

If you’re filling a normal sales position, there’s no need. But if you’re hiring a sales role that requires business intelligence or marketing analysis, or one that involves running reports on business activity to spot opportunities, then analytical interview questions could be relevant.

Some of the world’s biggest companies, including Google, Apple and LinkedIn have used puzzle questions in the past.

Given that your candidate will be under some duress during the interview, it’s useful to observe how they handle such teasers under pressure. What’s their thinking process and do they assess the task logically?

Some questions (not our examples) don’t have a right answer, such as “How many windows are there in London”, but the interviewer wants to see how the candidate gets to an estimate. Do they fire questions back at you, even if it’s as simple as: “Do you mean Central or Greater London?”. Their questions help you understand their work and thought process.

That said, you need to use the tactic carefully. You can get false positive signals from a candidate who has already rehearsed common puzzle interview questions found on the internet. And if you make a judgement on a candidate, perhaps ruling them out of a job on the basis of their handling of a puzzle question, you could open yourself up to accusations of being inappropriate or, at worst, discriminative.

One last tip for you as an interviewer: don’t ask questions that make you seem like you’re ‘showboating’, so that if challenged by the candidate you can substantiate why you’re asking.

So, let’s get to it…

Five great puzzle interview questions and answers

1. Newcastle rain


You’re about to board a flight to Newcastle from London. You want to know if it’s raining, so you call three friends who live there. Each of them has a 2/3 chance of telling you the truth and a 1/3 chance of telling you a complete lie.

All three friends tell you that, yes, it’s raining in Newcastle.

What is the probability that it is, in fact, raining in Newcastle?


The answer is around 96%. How?

You only need one of them to be telling the truth. So, calculate the odds of them ALL lying, that’s 1/3 multiplied together, making 1/27 (1/3 x 1/3 x 1/3).

So that’s a 1 in 27 chance that all three friends are lying. Now, turn that around, and it’s a 26/27 chance one of them is telling the truth – or about 96% - and that it is, indeed raining in Newcastle!

2. Juggling jugs


You have a 5-litre jug and a 3-litre jug. That’s nice, but how do you measure out exactly 4 litres without using any other equipment?


This is a good logic question. First fill the 3-litre jug and pour it into the 5-litre jug. The 3-litre jug is now empty, and the 5-litre jug has 3 litres in it. Still with us?

Now fill the 3-litre jug again and tip it slowly into the 5-litre jug. You’ll get 2 litres in before the 5-litre jug is full, because it already has 3 litres in from before? OK so far?

Now you have 1 litre left in the 3-litre jug and the 5-litre jug is full.

Empty the 5-litre jug. Now pour the remaining 1 litre in the 3-litre jug  into the 5-litre jug.

Lastly, fill up the 3-litre jug again and tip it all into the 5-litre jug, which now ends up with exactly four litres in it!

3. Snail trail

A snail sits at the bottom of a 30-foot wall. Each hour it can climb three feet, but it then slips down two feet. How long does it take the snail to reach the top?


A slimy question. The answer is 28 hours. That’s because for the first 27 hours it climbs a net one foot. But in the 28th hour it reaches the top with its three-foot climb before having the chance to slide down two feet.


4. Door to door


You are confronted by two doors. Opening one leads to certain death, while the other provides untold riches. Standing outside are two men, who both know which the treasure door is. One always lies, and the other always tells the truth.

You don’t know who is who and have just one question to save yourself from death. What do you ask, and to whom?


The answer is you can ask either man: “Which door will the other man say leads to untold riches?”

Why? Because the liar will give you the WRONG door because he’ll lie about what the 'truth teller' will say. And the 'truth teller' will give you the WRONG door because he’ll correctly tell you the liar will be lying.

So, without further ado, you can select the opposite door to the one either of them says. And be very rich indeed.

5. A quacking question


There are two ducks in front of a duck, two ducks behind a duck and one duck sitting in the middle. How many ducks are there?

Easy, you say. There must be five, in the shape of the number 5 on a dice.


Wrong! There are three standing in line. The last two are behind the front duck. The front two are ahead of the last duck. And one of them is in the middle.

So, there you have five logic questions to use at interview. For the right role, they can be useful. But be aware the candidate might know the question, so balance their answer with your assessment of their overall interview performance and skillset.



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Aaron Wallis has continuously provided us with suitable candidates that have been proactively sourced. Having used countless recruitment companies, Aaron Wallis are the only company that I can count on to deliver.

Managing Director, JARK Healthcare Recruitment

I have used Aaron Wallis to fill a number of our Sales Development Manager roles and I have found them to provide a very professional service. I will use their services again in future recruitment campaigns.

HR Business Partner, Greene King

Rob is a true recruitment professional that goes the extra mile that I have never experienced from any other recruitment agency before. If you need sales people call Rob or someone in his team, as they really are experts in sales recruitment.

Sales Director, Inside Business

We were impressed not only by the quality of candidates you found for us but also the level of information, preparation and qualification you put into the process. You continually kept us informed of each person’s feelings about the process, which is very important but often overlooked. I am looking forward to working with your company again in the future.

Commercial Director, Incentive Facilities Management

I found Aaron Wallis to be very professional and efficient, taking time to understand the role and the type of candidate we were looking for. The candidates they put forward met our criteria and were of a high standard. The service they provided was exemplary and I would have no hesitation in recommending them, and will certainly consider using them again in the future.

HR Assistant, Fischer Connectors Ltd

I just wanted to thank you for your help with our recruitment process which went very smoothly and has – we hope – found us just the person for the job!

Managing Director, Citrefine International Ltd

Rob’s knowledge of the recruitment industry and his thoughts and how to make it better for his clients have always been eye opening. I would recommend Rob to anybody who is looking for a professional, knowledgeable and flexible recruitment specialist.

CEO, Friday Ad Online Services

Since joining DSGi, Rob has been a supplier of permanent staff and has performed to an extremely high standard, successfully filling 98% of roles he has worked on. If anyone is looking for a good sales and marketing based consultancy with an informal yet professional approach, I would recommend Rob.

Senior Recruitment Consultant, DSG International

Thanks for all your help during the recruitment process. I have been extremely impressed with Aaron Wallis especially when compared to other agencies we have dealt with. I really felt you grasped the type of person we required and found strong candidates.

UK Sales Manager, Nexcom

Giles is highly professional and was a pleasure to work with. He achieves excellent results through his personable skills and tenacity. I have no hesitation in recommending Giles to anyone who considers employing his services.

Commercial Director, G4S Government & Outsourcing Solutions

In an industry where people over promise and under deliver, Rob and his teams have consistently provided a high-quality service. It is great to deal with someone that has an excellent understanding of UK industry, and a passion for sales.

Sales Manager, TR Fasteners

Understood the type of person we were looking for and good follow ups - not too frequent.

Managing Director, bigHead Bonding Fasteners Ltd

Giles Phillips is a rare find in the minefield of sales recruitment; an honest and thoughtful recruiter who considers the needs of both the client AND the candidate to create perfect role matches. I look forward to working with him again in the future.

Marketing Director, City of London Police

I have always found Rob to be very knowledgeable about our industry sector, and it is refreshing to see after all of these years that Rob continues to quickly and accurately understand my requirements.

HR and General Manager, THK

I really liked the YouTube presentations which made the service seem both simple and accessible. The company came to see me, and my management team, at short notice to present their service and I liked the support and advice that I received about maximising the results from the applicant.

Managing Director, Leisuresec plc

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Aaron Wallis have provided me with an excellent service, Giles went out of his way to help me preparing for my interview and supported me through all the processes. If you need an agency to give you a fully professional and consultative approach to finding you a new career move, the Aaron Wallis can certainly provide this for you.

D. Richards, Candidate

Less than two weeks after joining Aaron Wallis I was offered my new job. I got a £10,000 rise in my basic salary, car allowance, a laptop and many other perks, which will help to further my career. I definitely would not have found my dream job without the help of Aaron Wallis.

C. Hoy, Candidate

The Recruitment agent I used, Simon, was extremely helpful and really went the extra mile to ensure all of my questions were answered, and that I felt as comfortable and prepared as possible. Very professional company and would definitely recommend to others. Thank you Aaron Wallis!

A. Callaby, Candidate

Good swift process with Aaron Wallis, informative regarding the role and the process was moved at a good pace with healthy interaction. Would recommend them to anyone pursuing a change.

S. Bartlett, Candidate

Aaron Wallis helped me secure a position I really wanted. Giles saught to keep me updated with all the details preceding interviews and after with feedback. I would highly recommend Giles and Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment.

L. Taylor, Candidate

Really excellent experience dealing with Aaron Wallis. Liam Oakes who helped me get a great job was brilliant. Kept me up to date during the process and offered great help and advice, and a thoroughly nice guy. Highly recommended!

J. Hathaway, Candidate

I can honestly say that the time and expertise you gave me was way beyond any other recruitment consultant I dealt with. You are a rarity in your industry.

S. Akers, Candidate

Aaron Wallis (and in particular Rob Scott) have been fantastic throughout the recruitment process, and even a few months down the line, still continues to care. Rob clearly cares about each individual and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which shows in the work he does. Each candidate is not just a number, and the support received from Aaron Wallis has helped me get a career which I truly enjoy.

M. White, Candidate

Excellent service, very professional and friendly, would and have, recommended Aaron Wallis.

E. Heley, Candidate

Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dawrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard to secure my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.

R. Sealy, Candidate

Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf which sets them apart from many of their competitors who in my experience are willing to throw anything at you. We discussed my history, my preferences and my wishes - one opportunity was introduced. It was perfect. I start at the end of June.

R. Buckley, Candidate

I have to say coming across and having dealings with Aaron Wallis proved to be very successful. Being highly experienced did not seem to count for much during my job search bit a conversation with Robert Scott gave me a real confidence boost and enabled to get a position at the age of 63. Great service!!!!!!

D. Burgess, Candidate

I've had a really good experience working with Giles Phillips at Aaron Wallis. From initial contact to the finer details of securing the job, he has been very professional and a pleasure to work with.

M. Shutt, Candidate

Very good advice and support was given during the course of the interviewing process. Potential job seekers would be well advised to use this company whilst looking for their new career.

R. Speakman, Candidate

Excellent experience from first contact to ultimately securing a suitable placement. Giles looked after me in a very professional and friendly manner. He used his expertise and experience to ensure I was put forward for the most suitable positions for my skill set and found me a new role very quickly. I can't recommend Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment highly enough.

M. Green, Candidate

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