Simple questions hard to answer

To get a job at Google you should answer several weird interview questions like “Why is a manhole round?” All of those questions test the candidates’ math skills, ability at logical reasoning or involve calculation and physics.

But my post isn’t actually about Google. Today I want to talk about Bridgewater founder Ray Dalio and his questions.

Bridgewater is the largest hedge fund in the world. Ray Dalio, according to Forbes, is the 29th richest person in America and the 60th richest person on the planet. He is also famous for his daily meditation practice that helps him perceive reality more clearly and creatively and get rid of irrational thoughts (now you know what to include in your morning routine to become a millionaire). Ray describes his management philosophy as “radical transparency”. Everyone is allowed to speak up and criticize a certain project as long as the criticism is constructive.

But to get a seat at the meeting first you have to face your job interview. Bridgewater’s questions have nothing to do with math, physics, logic or any other favorite words of every student. You don’t need any special knowledge to answer them. In fact, these questions don’t have a right or wrong answer. They aim to look inside your heart and ‘feel’ your way of thinking.

Just in case you want to be a millionaire, not a blogger, ask yourself and answer some of these questions.

“Is television damaging to society?”

“Would the world be better off with an open border policy?” a Russian tourist (who wished to remain anonymous) asks

“Would you sell cigarettes to a smoker even if it was bad for them?”

“How do you think people perceive you?”

“If you had to push a button to eliminate death, will you push it?”

“If you could genetically modify your children, would you, and with what conditions?”

“Why shouldn’t we hire you?”

64 thoughts on “Simple questions hard to answer

  1. I liked the Google question more!!! Just kidding. But those questions were every day life. In order to be the best, you should both understand and feel the most important: Life…
    No wonder why he is successful!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know why but your post made me so happy. Maybe it’s the amazing writing. I found you on searchingforfai and boy, am I glad that I did.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love questions with no right or wrong answer. That leaves room for me to bloviate profusely on all my rightfully wrong answers. When I hire physicists, scientists, and engineers I look for a sense of humor. If they don’t know who Monty Python is then they aren’t a good candidate. When you are working on a project that will come to fruition after you’ve died and the people that will use it haven’t been born yet, you need a sense of humor or else you will play it safe and invent silly putty or self-sharpening pencils. I need people that will invent humanoids that will live on Venus and mine for gold. Yes, a sense of humor is mandatory.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Absolutely agree on that. Even if the person is the smartest and the greatest human being that’s ever lived but has no sense of humor, I won’t be able to talk with them. How on earth will I explain to them that my hobby is blogging?!

      Liked by 2 people

    • I take offense, slightly. I don’t particularly like Monty Python (and i tried). And its not that i dont “get it” as some folks tell me…i just find the humor has aged horribly, and you get the sense that you’re being “told” what’s funny, at the cost of making you feel like a moron if you don’t find it so. (Am i making sense? Lol)I still think I have value, though. Hire me!

      Liked by 2 people

      • That’s quite alright. I remain rigidly flexible and if someone tells me Monty Python isn’t funny anymore, I ask them who is. If they can answer the who is question they win because they obviously have a sense of humor if they know who makes them laugh. The only people that scare me are the biomolecular physicists. They don’t smile much around the job. But they do seem to develop very close relationships with the microscopes. You made it to the end of this comment. You have a sense of humor. Your hired.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. I like open ended questions. It feels more genuine then asking, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” The obvious answer is always, “Working for you!!!!” I just don’t buy into that logic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have never answered that 5-year question this way 🙂 It didn’t even come to my mind to say this, no matter how obvious it is. I always start dreaming and planning like it’s my mum who’s in front of me, not HR manager 😂


  5. Marta I so agree with Ray Dalio philosophy, over the last 12 years I have interviewed over 2000 candidates for various positions at our facility. And all of my decisions have been heart based. I always go with my inner feelings. Great post

    Liked by 1 person

    • When it comes to people I always trust my gut. And if my inner voice tells me this is the right person, I believe they are. Even if other people say the opposite. Thank you for the insight, Masha!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I know the answer to the manhole question as all possible answers came up in a class before… like IQ tests, a question where an extensive sprinkling of random knowledge gives an unfair advantage!
    The morality questions though are interesting… and does a candidate answer what they believe or what they believe you want to hear?

    Liked by 1 person

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