The harder the job, the harder the interview questions. And if you’re interviewing for a job with a guy who builds mini flamethrowers for kicks and sends convertibles into space, well, things are going to get complicated. Obviously, we’re talking about Elon Musk.
According to Reader’s Digest, when candidates landed job interviews directly with him for SpaceX, he would ask a question that left the brightest minds stumped.
This is what he’d ask,
You’re standing on the surface of the Earth. You walk one mile south, one mile west, and one mile north. You end up exactly where you started. Where are you?
The question was a way to check a potential employee’s problem-solving skills. If it’s left you stumped as well, the answer is the North Pole. Here, if you go south, then west, then back north, you’ll end up walking in a triangle, right back to the start.
In most parts of the planet, taking the south-west-north path would leave you a mile west of where you started, meaning the answer had to be a place that doesn’t follow the same directional rules as the rest of the planet.
It’s a 2-part question however. The follow-up question is – Where else could you be? The answer is near the South Pole.
It would specifically be 1 mile north of the line where Earth has a one-mile circumference. The person would walk south to hit that one-mile circumference area, travel in a complete circle while walking a mile west, then head back north to reach their original position.
So there you go – all you need to do to work with Musk is have the ability to answer some weirdly-framed questions. And probably a 4 digit IQ.