9 Wall Street Brain Teasers That Will Make Your Head Hurt

brain injury

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

This is for our readers who love a mental challenge.Every year young people sit through Wall Street interviews in hopes of getting a position at a bank where they will be subjected to long hours and thankless tasks.

The least we can do to help is let them know a little of what they’re up against. That’s why we’re sharing some of our favourite traditional Wall Street brain teasers. We got most of these questions from IBankingFAQ, a site brilliantly recommended by our sources.

This is a sampling of the kinds of questions your interviewer may ask you in an effort to see if you have the mental acuity to rise through the ranks at Wall Street banks.

Good luck. We’ll give you the answers tomorrow after you’ve sufficiently broken a sweat.

How many quarter would it take to make a stack from the floor of this room to the ceiling?

Source: Former Wall Street Intern

Three envelopes are presented in front of you by an interviewer...

One contains a job offer, the other two contain rejection letters. You pick one of the envelopes. The interviewer then shows you the contents of one of the other envelopes, which is a rejection letter. The interviewer now gives you the opportunity to switch envelope choices. Should you switch?

Source: Former M&A analyst/IBankingFAQ

A windowless room has 3 light bulbs...

You are outside the room with 3 switches, each controlling one of the light bulbs. If you can only enter the room one time, how can you determine which switch controls which light bulb?

Source: Former M&A analyst/IBankingFAQ

Four investment bankers need to cross a bridge at night to get to a meeting...

They have only one flashlight and 17 minutes to get there. The bridge must be crossed with the flashlight and can only support two bankers at a time. The Analyst can cross in 1 minute, the Associate can cross in 2 minutes, the VP can cross in 5 minutes and the MD takes 10 minutes to cross. How can they all make it to the meeting in time?

Source: Former M&A analyst/IBankingFAQ

A car travels a distance of 60 miles at an average speed of 30 mph. How fast would the car have to travel the same 60 mile distance home to average 60 mph over the entire trip?

Source: Former M&A analyst/IBankingFAQ

What is the angle between the hour-hand and minute-hand of a clock at 3:15?

Source: Former M&A analyst/IBankingFAQ

You are given a 3-gallon jug and a 5-gallon jug. How do you use them to get 4 gallons of liquid?

Source: Former M&A analyst/IBankingFAQ

You are given 12 balls and a scale....

Of the 12 balls, 11 are identical and 1 weighs slightly more. How do you find the heavier ball using the scale only three times?

Source: Former M&A analyst/IBankingFAQ

You are given 12 balls and a scale...

Of the 12 balls, 11 are identical and 1 weighs EITHER slightly more or less. How do you find the ball that is different using the scale only three times AND tell if it is heavier or lighter than the others?

Source: Former M&A analyst/IBankingFAQ

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