Logical Questions and Answers (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 26 August 2022 | Published 14 July 2021

Updated 26 August 2022

Published 14 July 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When you interview for a job, you often expect questions about your education, background and experience, though you also might encounter logical questions. Logical questions give a hiring manager insight into your problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Knowing more about logical questions and how to answer them can help you develop professional skills to do well in a job interview. In this article, we explore what logical questions are, why they are used in interviews, and outline some sample logical questions and answers.

Related: How To Prepare for a Job Interview

What are logical questions?

Logical interview questions pose concepts and problems that require reasoning, analytical, and critical thinking skills, like riddles and mathematical problems. They allow a hiring manager to assess your ability to think under pressure, use your available resources or ask additional questions to help inform your answer or decision.

Logical questions can be tough, though you can improve your chances of answering them successfully through research and preparation. Here are the three major categories for logical interview questions:

  • Numeracy problems: Numerical problems require you to make calculations, like finding probability or estimating a computation through deductive and inductive reasoning. You can show your problem-solving and analytical skills by explaining your method, which is often more important than the right answer.

  • Riddles: Riddles are a common way to pose logical questions during an interview and they often are puzzle-focused. With these types of logical questions, the correct answer is often not the most important aspect. The interviewer asks them to assess your ability to think creatively, problem-solve with unique approaches and use your critical thinking skills to find ways to create solutions.

  • Determining amounts: Similarly, finding amounts to solve puzzle questions can involve mathematical and critical thinking skills. While these questions typically have an actual answer, the process you use to determine it is often more insightful to an interviewer than the reply.

Related: How To Succeed in Your First Interview

Why are logical questions used in interviews?

Employers often use logical questions in interviews to help determine your analytical, critical thinking, decision-making and problem-solving skills. The focus of these questions is rarely on getting a correct answer. Using these questions, the interviewer wants to understand how you approach unfamiliar scenarios and solve problems. Your answer gives interviewers insight into your work methods, including when you ask for information and how you use the resources available to you.

Related: 9 Common Mistakes To Avoid in an Interview

How do I prepare for logical questions in an interview?

You can prepare for logical questions by learning more about them and training in how to answer. Here are three specific ways to prepare and help improve your abilities:

  • Research: Consider researching various logical questions interviewers often ask. Find books and websites with helpful information on how to answer these questions.

  • Practise: Practise logical reasoning questions and answers from various online forums or ask a friend or colleague to ask you some, without hearing the questions first.

  • Do a mock test or interview: You can take online mock tests or conduct a mock interview with someone to get used to answering these questions in an interview format.

Related: How To Prepare and Practise for a Mock Interview

Sample logical questions and answers for interviews

Here are sample logical questions and answers you may be asked in an interview:

Sewer hole covers

With this question, you are asked why sewer hole covers are round.

Example answer: "Sewer covers are round for the ease and protection of using them. You do not need to rotate them to put on and they do not fall into the hole if they were to turn sideways, whereas a square cover might diagonally."

Light bulbs

In this scenario, you are standing in a room with three light switches. Each corresponds to a different light bulb in another room that you cannot see. If all the light switches are off, how do you find out which one turns on which bulb?

Answer: "I will turn on one switch and leave it for a few minutes. When I turn it off, I will quickly turn on another switch. I will go to the room which shows what light turned on from the second switch and feel the other bulbs for which is warmer, which would be the switch I left on for a while. The third switch belongs to the bulb that is off and cool."

Four names

This riddle is about listening skills and asks: Jane's mother has four children. Their names are Spring, Summer, and Autumn. What is the fourth child's name?

Answer: "It is Jane because it got mentioned at the start of the question."

Weather forecasting

You are travelling to Jaipur to visit friends and call all three to ask if it is raining in the city. What is the probability it is actually raining in Jaipur?

Answer: "Only one friend needs to be honest for it to be raining, so it is easier to calculate the probability of all three friends lying about the rain, which is one-third. Multiple that together and I get a one-twenty seventh chance all three are lying about the rain, which means there is a 96% chance it is actually raining."

Dice rolling

In this scenario, you roll two dice. What is the probability you get a two on the second roll?

Answer: "I will calculate the probability of rolling a two overall, which is a one-sixth chance. That will be the same for the second roll, too. I will multiply those probabilities together, getting a one-twelfth chance of getting a two on the second roll."

Filling up water jugs

You are carrying water jugs in this scenario, a three-gallon one and a five-gallon one. How can you measure precisely four gallons of water?

Answer: "I will fill the three-gallon jug and pour it into the five-gallon one. I will fill the three-gallon one up again and pour it into the five-gallon one until it is full, leaving one gallon in the three-gallon jug. I will dump out the five-gallon jug, pour the one gallon into it, then fill up the three-gallon one and add it to the five-gallon jug which now has four gallons total."

Airplane pingpong balls

This question might need factual information, though how you approach the problem and what you inquire about is more important when asked how many pingpong balls fit into an aeroplane.

Answer: "I must first know the volume of a pingpong ball and the volume inside which specific plane is in question. Then I can divide the volume of the plane by the volume of one ball to give me an estimate of how many pingpong balls fit inside."

Stacking coins

An interviewer wants to know how many rupees stacked on top of each other it takes to reach the top of the Palais Royale.

Answer: "I will have to know how tall the Palais Royale is and how tall a rupee is when it is laying flat. Assuming it is one-half of a centimetre high, I divide the height of the Palais Royale by the height of a rupee to get the number I will need to stack up."

Fruit prices

You are asked to determine how much a pear costs if an apple is 40 rupees, a banana is 60 rupees and grapefruit is 80 rupees.

Answer: "In counting up the vowels of each fruit word, it looks like each vowel is 20 rupees, so a pear costs 40 rupees."

Other logical questions

Here are 25 other examples of logical questions you might get asked in an interview:

  1. "What is the sum when you total the numbers one to 100?"

  2. "What is the angle between the hour and minute hand on a clock at 9 a.m.?"

  3. "In this series, which number is next: 2, 1, 3, 2, 4, 3?"

  4. "In this series, which number is next: 2, 1, (1/2), (1/4)?"

  5. "In this series, what letter is next: Y, Z, V, W, S, T, P, Q?"

  6. "Which verb does not belong in this list: Fight, Teach, Think, Draw, Catch, Buy"

  7. "Imagine you are at the bottom of a six-meter wall. Each hour you climb a meter but slide down two. How long until you reach the top?"

  8. "How can a farmer safely cross the river with a fox, chicken, and bag of corn if he can only bring one item at a time?"

  9. "How do you best test a calculator?"

  10. "How many traffic lights are there total in India?"

  11. "How many barbers are there in Mumbai?"

  12. "How many goats are in New Delhi?"

  13. "How many trees are in Gir National Park?"

  14. "How many litres does it take to paint the Taj Mahal?"

  15. "Which meal does this represent: FAST?"

  16. "How is it possible for a doctor's son's father not to be a doctor?"

  17. "A farmer has 15 goats and all but nine die. How many remain?"

  18. "A doctor says take these three pills, one at each half-hour. How many minutes total until you are done?"

  19. "A man is dead in the middle of a field, in a puddle, wearing a wetsuit. How will he pass away?"

  20. "A woman born in 1945 is only 30 years old right now—how is it possible?"

  21. "What has four legs but only one foot?"

  22. "How many basketballs fit on a school bus?"

  23. "How would you benefit from carrying scissors with you like a pizza delivery man?"

  24. "How many kilograms of potatoes do fast-food chains in India sell in a year for french fries?"

  25. "How can you tell if the light inside a refrigerator is on or off?"

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