Re: what is the url where you can get the microsoft interviewquestions

Gregory Alan Bolcer (
Fri, 24 Sep 1999 14:49:45 -0700

See below.

Rohit Khare wrote:
> At 3:17 PM -0400 9/24/99, wrote:
> >From:
> >Date: Fri, 24 Sep 1999 15:17:05 EDT
> >Subject: i just need this one answer
> >To:
> >
> >i was just wondering what the answer to the mirror questions is because i do
> >not know how come it switches it left to right but now up and down. please
> >>help
> >i was just wondering where the page is where you can get those questions?
> No, I believe it's
> Ooops! wait, that's Bill's alias. You may just have to resort to
> declaring your simpering cluelessness to
> Sheesh.
> Rohit

You have to hurry as there are a lot of MSFT'ers on this list
and they'll take it down as soon as they figure out. The login
is 'Jobs' and the password is 'Steve'.

Also, if you go back for a second interview, if they asked you the mirror
question and you didn't get it, they'll probably ask you a theory question next.
In fact, I am positive they'll ask you the following. I've included the
question and the answer below. If you get this one, then they typically will
give you an extra $10k-$15k worth of options as a signing bonus. Good luck!
Also, because of the role we play in helping recruits get better salaries, we
typically ask for a finder's fee. You don't have to pay this out of your pocket--
it comes out of the MSFT Human Resources slush fund. Make sure that you tell them
that you were referred by FoRK so that we get our appropriate kickback.


Microsoft Interview Question number 4: (Theory)

An evil captor captured and enslaved a random number of dwarves. The captor
made sure that no dwarf could talk to any other dwarf. Also to discourage plotting,
he embedded in each of their foreheads either a red or green gem. When he introduced
a dwarf into the he didn't tell them what color gem they had on their forward, but
only told them that it was either red or green and that all of one color were spies
and all the others were captives, but he wouldn't ever tell them which was which.
Every day he'd make them all line up and he'd count all them to make sure none had
escape. After a while the captor tired of taking care of all of them, so he introduced
a puzzle. He offered to free all of them by giving them one chance. He told them:

o There is at least one dwarf with a red gem and one dwarve with a green gem
o No dwarf knows what gem is on their head, nor can anyone tell them
o All dwarves can see the colors of the gems on all others

The proposal was, on any day of their choice, if all the dwarves with green gems
and *only* green gems take one step out from the line and there are only dwarves
with red gems left on the line, then they can all go run off the coal mines and be free.

o They can take as long as they want to figure out when they want to take their chance,
o They only have one chance. If they blow it, all of them will be instantly slaughtered.

So, you are are a dwarf. What would you do?

The answer is easy. Dwarfs are good at math. Using simple induction you
can prove how many dwarves have green gems on their forehead.

If you look around and you see no other green gems, then you know you are
the only dwarf with a green gem on your forehead. On the first day you step out
and everyone gets to go back to the coal mines.

If you look around and you see one other dwarf with a green gem, then you know they
are the dwarf with the green gem. If they step out on the first day, you all get to
go back to the coal mines. If that dwarf doesn't step out on the first day, it means
that a) that dwarf saw another dwarf with a green gem, and b) that dwarf is you. On
the second day both of you step out and everyone gets to go back to the coal mines.

green gems, and on day N they don't step out, then there is N+1 dwarves and you
are the N+1st dwarf and need to step out on day N+1.