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Microsoft's 'impossible' interview question leaving candidates confused
Executive Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd

Microsoft's 'impossible' interview question leaving candidates confused

Interviews can be nerve-wracking enough for your candidates, but how would you expect them to cope when a near-impossible question is thrown at them right at the end of the process?

Technology giant Microsoft has allegedly done just that to hopeful jobseekers looking to secure a role at the company.

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Comments (24)

  • Arnold
    Tue, 7 Jun 2016 9:53am BST
    area = 24
    expect answer not complain from people who are interested no matter it is right or wrong.
  • gaborelectric
    Tue, 7 Jun 2016 8:50am BST
    At the heart of this is whether the phrase "altitude to the hypotenuse" has been correctly used. If it was, then there has been a miscalculation, and the information needs to be checked. If, however, what was meant was the length of side a, then we have a 3-4-5 right angled triangle, so the length of side b is 8. Isn't this what Microsoft want: someone who will test the assumptions?
  • BillH
    BillH@ Stephen
    Fri, 27 May 2016 2:27pm BST
    You did and so did I, the point is a right angle triangle with a hypotenuse of 10 and an altitude to the hypotenuse of 6 can't exist, Google " altitude to the hypotenuse".
  • Martin Parkinson
    Martin Parkinson
    Tue, 24 May 2016 5:18pm BST
    Just to re-iterate: This is an impossible question as a triangle with a hypotenuse of 10 cannot be a right angled triangle if it has an altitude of 6 to the hypotenuse.

    The altitude to the hypotenuse is defined as the distance from the intersection of the other two sides to the hypotenuse (at a right angle to the hypotenuse).

    To see it is impossible, just use a ruler, draw a line 10cm long, then try to draw a right angled triangle where the distance from the angle opposite the hypotenuse to the actual hypotenuse (at a right angle) is 6cm. It is impossible, you can only draw a scalene triangle. Just stick the ruler 6cm from the hypotenuse at right angles and slide it along the whole length. You will see at no point is a right angled triangle possible (apart from at each end where a new hypotenuse would be created).

    Basically all the calculations everyone is putting up are nonsense as the triangle itself cannot possibly exist. Hence the original article.
  • David
    David@ Martin
    Mon, 23 May 2016 1:00am BST
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