Puzzles & Quizzes

Can You Correctly Answer Elon Musk's Favorite Job Interview Question?

Snagging a job interview with notorious futurist Elon Musk would be a dream in itself. Getting the job would be cool, too, don't get us wrong, but we're not trying to count our electric chickens before they hatch. Thanks to Musk's biography, we know one way to prepare for this fictional future interview. Have any job openings for a full-time groupie, Elon?

A Musk-Answer Question

If nerves somehow don't completely destroy you before sitting down for a job interview with Elon Musk, here's how to handle the rest of the experience. While speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai in February 2017, Musk gave some insight on how to nail an interview with him. Spoiler: It's not easy.

"Tell me the story of your life and the decisions that you made along the way and why you made them, and also tell me about some of the most difficult problems you worked on and how you solved them," Musk said, adding that the question is "very important." Yeah, you heard the man, tell him. Your. Life. Story. But really, what were you expecting?

Here's the Interview Question

According to Elon Musk's biography written by Ashlee Vance, the tech mogul has — or at one point had — one particular interview question he'd ask every candidate. Unlike the daunting story about your life's journey, this one is almost a riddle. Here goes:

You're standing on the surface of Earth. You walk one mile south, one mile west, and one mile north. You end up exactly where you started. Where are you?

Scroll down to see if Elon would hire you, er, if you got the correct answer. Hint: There are two correct answers to this tricky riddle.

VIDEO: How to Answer Elon Musk's Favorite Job Interview Question

Here's the Answer

The first correct answer is the North Pole. Because the Earth is a sphere, your three-mile walk would make a sort of triangle to put you right back where you started. The second correct answer is anywhere that's one mile outside a one-mile in circumference circle around the South Pole. Walking one mile south will place you on this circumference path. When you walk west, you will walk in a complete circle. Walking north will place you back where you started. Did you get either or both correct answers?

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Want more Elon? We don't blame you. Check out his biography by Ashlee Vance entitled "Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future." You can get the audiobook free with a trial of Audible. We handpick reading recommendations we think you may like. If you choose to make a purchase, Curiosity will get a share of the sale.

Written by Joanie Faletto December 7, 2017

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