What Are Consulting Brain Teasers & How To Answer Them

Brain Teasers

If you’re interviewing for a consulting position, you can expect brain teasers. Consulting firms use brain teasers as a way to assess problem-solving skills and critical thinking abilities. The brain teasers also let the consulting companies observe how exactly all the candidates react under pressure when they come face-to-face with a novel issue.

Most consulting firms use the brain teasers when interviewing undergraduates who do not carry much working experience. For instance, the Mitchell Madison Group has behavioral and market-sizing questions along with two brain teasers for every interview round. Bain & Company, which is a management consulting firm, has a logic brain teaser, which is available in their online assessment.

These brain teasers for interviews are designed to test your problem-solving skills and how you think on your feet. They can be tricky, but with a little preparation, you can answer them confidently.

In this blog post, we will discuss what brain teasers are and how to answer them. We’ll also provide some tips on how to prepare for brain teaser questions. Let’s get started!

What are Brain Teasers?

Brain teasers are questions or puzzles that test your problem-solving skills and critical thinking ability. They often involve using creative thinking and out-of-the-box reasoning to solve. Consulting firms use brain teasers as a way to assess these skills in candidates.

There are a few different types of brain teasers that you may encounter in an interview. Let’s take a look at each type:

  • Logic puzzles: These brain teasers require you to use logical reasoning to solve the problem. For example, you will be shown 2 doors where one door has nothing and another door has a treasure behind. Both of the doors have guards and they know, behind which door is the treasure. One guard will wear a white hat and the other wears a black hat and when you ask both the guards questions, one will lie to you and the other will speak the truth. Now, it will be up to you to find out who is telling the truth and who is lying. 
  • Math problems: These brain teasers will test your math skills. You may be asked to calculate the area of a shape or determine how many total items there are based on a set of information.
  • Word puzzles: These brain teasers involve using language skills to solve the problem. For example, you may be asked to unscramble a word or figure out an anagram.

To answer these brain teasers confidently, it is important to understand how they are designed and what the interviewer is looking for. Remember one thing, all the brain teasers are pretty abstract and it gives you the opportunity to apply a logical approach so that you can tackle them without facing many problems. But before doing anything, you need to first identify the type of brain teaser you’re facing. Once you do, try to compare it with the brain teasers that you have practiced before. Comparing will give you insights on whether or not the brain teasers are similar and so on. That will help you solve them in the best way.

How do Consulting Brain Teasers Differ from Traditional Brain Teasers?

While brain teasers can be used in any type of interview, consulting brain teasers are different from the brain teasers you may encounter in other interviews. Here’s how:

  • They are designed to assess specific skills: Consulting brain teasers are designed to assess problem-solving skills and critical thinking ability. This is different from brain teasers that are designed to assess general intelligence or knowledge.
  • They often have multiple correct answers: There is usually no one right answer to a consulting brain teaser. The interviewer is looking to see how you arrived at your solution and what thought process you used.
  • They require creative thinking: To solve a consulting brain teaser, you often have to think outside the box. Traditional brain teasers may have more straightforward answers that can be arrived at through logic and reasoning.

How to Answer Brain Teasers

Now that we’ve discussed what brain teasers are and how they differ from traditional brain teasers, let’s talk about how to answer them. Here are a few tips:

  • Take your time: Don’t rush to answer the question. Take a few moments to think about the problem and try to approach it from different angles. Have a clear understanding of the question and then think of the answer. That way it will become easier for you to answer all the toughest questions as well.
  • Consider all possibilities: There may be more than one correct answer to the brain teaser. Consider all of the possible solutions and choose the one that makes the most sense. Don’t randomly pick an answer and provide it. Take the time to go through all the answers and understand them right before you get to pick the right one. That will help you consider all possibilities and identify the correct answer.

After you’ve arrived at a solution, take a moment to explain your thought process to the interviewer. They want to see how you arrived at your solution and what method you used. Explain the entire method one by one so that the interviewer has a good understanding of the solution that you have provided. Also, you have to feel discouraged if you can’t immediately solve the brain teaser. Take a deep breath and try to approach the problem from a different angle.

Additional Tips for Answering Brain Teasers

When answering brain teasers, it is important to:

  • Listen carefully to the question: Make sure you understand what is being asked before trying to answer. This means you should listen to the question carefully so that you can provide the correct answer for it.
  • Read the question thoroughly: Sometimes the answer is hidden in the question. Read it carefully to see if there are any clues that can help you solve the problem. When you think you have found some hints in the question, you can instantly provide the answer
  • Ask clarifying questions if needed: If you’re unsure about what is being asked, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

What to Expect During Your Consulting Interview?

If you’re interviewing for a consulting position, you can expect to encounter brain teasers during your interview. Here are a few tips to help you prepare:

  • Do your research: Familiarize yourself with the types of brain teasers that are commonly used in consulting interviews. When you do a good amount of research, it will give you an idea about the kind of brain teasers you might face. That’s why doing some research on them will help you greatly.
  • Practice, practice, practice: The more brain teasers you solve, the better prepared you’ll be for your interview. When you practice, you will be exposed to various kinds of brain teasers, which will enable you to see different types of patterns right between them. Besides that, you will also come across hints or clues, making it a lot easier for you to tackle them.

Along with that, consulting brain teasers often require creative thinking. Practice using different methods to approach problems so that you’re ready for anything on interview day. Apart from that, when you’re dealing with brainteasers, you have to forget completely what you know is the truth and find how things can be easily interpreted creatively.

Also, remember that there is usually no one right answer to a brain teaser. The interviewer is looking to see how you arrived at your solution and what your thought process was. With these tips in mind, you’ll be ready to tackle any brain teaser that comes your way.


When you have decided to interview at the consulting company, make sure to prepare yourself properly. Go through the internet, do some research on the type of questions the interviewer might ask, and take a look at the brain teasers that you might face during an interview. You can contact the experts of the company where you wish to apply. Otherwise, you can leave a comment or visit their website to gain more information about the brain teasers. The experts can surely provide you with an idea about the type of brain teaser questions you might come across.

So, until then, here’s wishing you happy brainstorming sessions!

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.