Advice | October 29, 2020 11:34 am

Elon Musk Reportedly Asks This Riddle During Job Interviews

Unfortunately not while dressed as The Riddler

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk
Elon Musk is known for asking brain teasers during job interviews.
Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Tesla CEO and all-around enigma Elon Musk apparently likes brain teasers.

As Popular Mechanics points out, the tech guru supposedly asks would-be SpaceX employees the following question:

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

That interview question was first reported in Ashlee Vance’s 2017 Musk-approved biography Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future.

Solved it yet?

The surprisingly easy part of the answer is that you’re taking a triangular path to (and from) the North Pole. The not-so-easy part? Musk also points out there is another correct answer.

The following video serves as an explanation — for example, you could start one mile north of a one-mile-in-circumference circle near the South Pole, and you’ll end up where you started (but really, there are “infinite” points where you could start and finish like this … again, watch the video).

Apparently this riddle stumps a lot of interviewees, but Musk is more focused on how the engineers try to explain their answer.

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