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EP 823 Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter explains how to answer this elegant question.

 Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio,” “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.”

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Here is another 1 of those tough interview questions that confuses a lot of folks. Like most of them, it is very easy question… Today’s question is, “Al plane is flying from Paris to New York at 500 mph. There is another plane that is flying from New York to Paris at 450 mph. They meet over the Atlantic Ocean. Which plane is closer to Paris?”
They are in the same place. They are equidistant from Paris.
After all, they MET over the Atlantic Ocean. They are in the same place. We aren’t talking about a crash. They are in the same location over the Atlantic.

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4 Responses
  1. Ian Webb

    Hi, love the videos…..

    Sometimes, I find the common answer to questions is not strictly true. In these cases, is it worth taking a risk at “surprising them” or should I just “playing the game & jump through the hoop” ? Since I work as a developer involved with data, accuracy and being able to consider edge cases is a requirement. So, I’m torn between using this as a way to differentiate myself vs being considered a smart-ar** !

    My answer is: “It all comes down to how accurate the measurement needs to be. If we are simply asking in terms of Km, then we can say that they are equally far from Paris because that are both at the same point when they meet. But, in reality, planes have real length/width/height and so cannot be considered as singularity points. The exact point at which the planes meet can be defined as touching nose-to-nose. Therefore, it would be more accurate to say that the Paris plane would be closer to Paris when they meet.

    1. Jeff Altman

      Ian, you are absolutely right AND most people can’t pull off the answer you offered. If you are actually asked the question, I would encourage you to say, “Most people would say something along the lines of . . . ” and offer them my answer. From there, transition by saying, “However that isn’t strictly true . . . ” and continue with your answer.

    2. Ian Webb

      Cheers – its usually tech questions, but I have found several cases where the simple tick-box answer that I know they want wasn’t strictly correct. Years ago, this did lead to one instance of “well, you’re being a bit pedantic…” In hindsight, I think this was because I rushed into the more detailed version. Encouraged by your comment -> given them what they want, and then make a clear transition. Thanks and all the best

    3. Jeff Altman

      Ian, I am glad to help and I hope you find many of my other videos helpful. There are more than 3000 of them on YouTube

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