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I applied for a junior c# developer position.And they prepared an aptitude test.I got 1 out of 5 questions right. The questions give you a box of a set of numbers with different values in the numbers box. Then you get instructions to manipulate the numbers and after completing the instructions it asks you for one of the numbers value. I have never taken a test like this before. Should I study more tests like these? Before taking the test they said there is no way to prepare for it. What do these results mean? Did I ruin my chances for a real interview?

How do I cope if the same situation comes up in future interviews?

closed as off-topic by Masked Man, gnat, rath, Thalantas, Lilienthal Feb 3 '17 at 11:06

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    It sounds like the company has no clue how to conduct hiring. – FiringSquadWitness Feb 3 '17 at 4:49
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    Without seeing the test, it's impossible to say what they were looking for or what you should or shouldn't study. – keshlam Feb 3 '17 at 6:25
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    Did the questions have anything to do with programming or C#? If not, don't try to study for such tests. – Brandin Feb 3 '17 at 7:26
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    @Brandin It sounds as though they may have been trying to test a key skill for programming, the ability to project the results of running a piece of code from the inputs and the sequence of operations on them. – Patricia Shanahan Feb 3 '17 at 7:33
  • Well, if you prepare for them they're no longer unexpected, are they? – xDaizu Feb 3 '17 at 9:05
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The questions give you a box of a set of numbers with different values in the numbers box. Then you get instructions to manipulate the numbers and after completing the instructions it asks you for one of the numbers value.

That sounds like an excerpt from an IQ test. Unlike brain teasers, where once you know the answer they are dead easy, IQ tests test logical reasoning, pattern matching and short term memory under a time constraint. This is a pretty good indicator on how you will do as a programmer. It's not the only one, but one.

What do these results mean? Did I ruin my chances for a real interview?

Well, that is in the eye of your interviewer. We cannot tell what they were looking for, how they weighted the results with all the other indicators or how the other candidates did.

Should I study more tests like these? Before taking the test they said there is no way to prepare for it.

If it was an excerpt from an IQ test then indeed you cannot prepare for the test itself. Your brain will be able to do this in the time given, or not. You can take another thousand tests and it will not change. However, the process of getting the task to your brain, reading the instructions, understanding what task you need to do, is something that does get easier with practice. So just go on the internet, google IQ test and do a few for fun. You won't get a better IQ, but you will get better at understanding the instructions to random, unknown puzzles.

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I'm guessing the hiring manager wanted to shake up the interview process (possibly as an experiment to see how it fared).

Questions and tasks like these don't necessarily reward levels of "rightness", but serve to illustrate to the interviewer how you think and how you approach problem solving (and how you react to the unknown).

It might be an idea for you to take a look at How would you move Mount Fuji:

For years, Microsoft and other high-tech companies have been posing riddles and logic puzzles like these in their notoriously gruelling job interviews. Now "puzzle interviews" have become a hot new trend in hiring. From Wall Street to Silicon Valley, employers are using tough and tricky questions to gauge job candidates' intelligence, imagination, and problem-solving ability -- qualities needed to survive in today's hypercompetitive global marketplace.

For the first time, William Poundstone reveals the toughest questions used at Microsoft and other Fortune 500 companies -- and supplies the answers. He traces the rise and controversial fall of employer-mandated IQ tests, the peculiar obsessions of Bill Gates (who plays jigsaw puzzles as a competitive sport), the sadistic mind games of Wall Street (which reportedly led one job seeker to smash a forty-third-story window), and the bizarre excesses of today's hiring managers (who may start off your interview with a box of Legos or a game of virtual Russian roulette). How Would You Move Mount Fuji? is an indispensable book for anyone in business.

Managers seeking the most talented employees will learn to incorporate puzzle interviews in their search for the top candidates. Job seekers will discover how to tackle even the most brain-busting questions, and gain the advantage that could win the job of a lifetime. And anyone who has ever dreamed of going up against the best minds in business may discover that these puzzles are simply a lot of fun. Why are beer cans tapered on the end, anyway?

In summary, don't worry to much about this, but it might be an idea to put yourself through some brain training. Even if your future interviews don't have puzzle tasks like this, you could use these skills in "normal" interviews to prove how agile your problem solving methods are.

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    I know how I would honestly answer that question in an interview: How would you move Mount Fuji? -Easy, glTranslatef() or equivalent. No, I didn't mean a 3d model of it, but the real thing... -(confused look)...then why did you ask a computer engineer? – xDaizu Feb 3 '17 at 9:10

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