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Abstract Interview Questions

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Two people are each stuck on their own island, connected by a ferryman with a lockable box. Each person has their own lock and key, but can't send the key along with the box. One person wants to send the other a diamond, but it must be placed into the box and locked or it will be stolen by the ferryman. How do you send the diamond without the ferryman stealing it?

6 Answers

This is an analog version, if you like, of public key encryption.

1) person A sends key only in a unlocked box to person B. 2) person B sends key only in a unlocked box to person A. 3) 3rd trip person A puts diamonds in the box snaps the lock their holding closed. (At this point owner of the lock can't open the lock. Ensure all contents are in the box before engaging lock.) 4) once the lock box arrives to person B, they can use the key provided on the trip before to open and stare at the contents, And realizes he can pay the ferryman to give him/her ride off the island. Then place a thank you note in the box and close with lock initially held by person B and which now person A has the key. Option B for #4 step) send a thank you note and lock with which the diamonds were so cleverly send to you sealed with. ;) *** Now follow up question would be, how to ensure the ferryman didn't copy the keys during the first transfer of keys? Answer) well, I guess you could have exchanged open locks and not the keys between the two people, and if he could copy a lock on a boat - the ferryman should be looking into more rewarding currier. But why do they care about diamonds when their stuck on an island, not stranded just stuck - pay the ferryman. There is always a man in the middle, know what to trust and what not to. Focusing on security when you may have bigger problems is useless.

A comment: What if the ferryman never comes back after you send your diamond first to other person with the locked box? Do you believe the other person is in with the ferryman? Did person A Paid the ferryman to take him/her off the island? Did the ferryman just take off with both of you in the dark? Did the boat sink? This is for sure "thanks for coming in, but you should only answer the question best possible without asking any questions. We can't have you make the BAs put details in specs - we would just have code it. Next please..." But here it goes, So did you chain lock your bike around its frame in high school? - since when did it become not ok to really express your thoughts when all job descriptions read: self motivated, talented, team player and innovative persons this is for you when your not allowed to engage in interviews in the same manner you would when your working there? Why does the interview meeting nothing like what the work environment will be? I hope most of these places you don't have 5 people show up at your cube and just ask you to loop using a for construct and alert different messages at patterned criteria, then just walk away with out telling if you did good or bad. Just getting ready for this process after 15 year. Well for the first time really I only worked for one employer all my life and internal interviews are not the same as with people who need to just weed out people on both ends of the bell curve. Must you just play along and give the answer 514 gives thumbs up to on three job and social sites? Or can you ask questions and be really who you are? Would love feedback.....

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