A Guide to Understanding and Solving Consulting Brain Teasers 

Brain Teasers

You’ve probably already heard about the brain teasers that are an inevitable part of consulting interviews.

Therefore, if you are preparing for such an interview, it is good to tackle the challenges if they come your way.

Brain teasers help recruiters assess the candidate’s critical thinking skills and how well they react under pressure. 

In the following, we will talk more about brain teasers for interview purposes since you might face this situation when applying for a consulting management position.

How To Understand Brain Teasers?

3X3 Rubik's cube on top of desk

Brain teasers are abstract, but this doesn’t mean you can’t apply any logical thinking to tackling them. First, you need to identify the type of brain teaser you are attacking so you know how to solve it. 

Brain teasers for adults and children are different. But brain teaser’s playing habits are making your mind sharp and active despite every age of players.

1. Practice

As we all know, practice makes perfect. Solve as many brain teasers riddles as you can since that way, you can get a sense of how they are structured and what’s their context so you can start seeing patterns between them. 

This way, you can look for clues on how to tackle them. But, most importantly, try to understand what the brain teaser is about.

2. Do Not Be Afraid To Fail

Don’t be afraid to think aloud or fail a question. Failing helps you face a tricky teaser while verbalizing what you are thinking can get you through the problem.

4 Types of Brain Teasers

There are many types of brain teasers. And every type of brain teaser has different solving techniques. And guess what? For solving the individual brain teasers, you need to work out the different parts of your brain.

Here are the four common types of brain teasers for every age player.

1. Pattern Brain Teasers

Pattern brain teasers will usually consist of a list of data that will require you to search for a trend or a pattern and fill in the gaps. It’s usually a sequence of numbers or a graphic of a certain pattern.

2. Wording Brain Teasers

Wording brain teasers consist of conflicting and unusual words for fooling your brain into pursuing a logical answer. You need to have a look beyond the logical meaning to find the answer.

3. Logic Brain Teasers

Logic brain teasers rely on pure logical thinking and skills. These types of riddles will not confuse you or distract you with unnecessary or unconventional scenarios or ask you to be creative while answering. The math brain teasers for adults are all sort of logical brain teasers.

4. Illusion Brain Teasers

These types of teasers will lead you to a false answer. They will often try and trick you into drawing wrong conclusions, so you will need to read them a couple of times more to find the right answer. Visual brain teasers for adults. 

Brain Teasers Examples

Brain Teasers Examples

Brain teasers give insight into the candidate’s logic, so let’s check some of the most common ones and see how we can answer them. 

Here is one brain teasers example: “ A train can hold 20 people. At the start of the journey, it was half full. Six people get off at the first station and several get on.

The trains are leaving the station and there are no available empty seats. How many passengers got into the train?” If we do the maths right, the answer would be 16. 

If the train can hold 20 people and only half of it was full at the beginning, it means only ten people were on the train at the beginning. Six people get off at the first station, which leaves the train with four people inside.

Several get on, and now the train is full. 16 people must have boarded the train, so no seats are left empty.

How To Solve Consulting Brain Teasers?

How To Solve Consulting Brain Teasers?

Some tips can help you how to answer and solve brain teasers. First of all, always doubt your first answer. Whether it is a draw-explanation, illusion, logic, wording, or pattern brain teaser, your instinctive answer is almost always wrong. 

These questions lure you into seemingly correct answers, so you fall into the trap of failing them. Although each approach is different, be aware of such traps.

Secondly, you can use paper and pen to write down the question and your answer. It can save you a lot of brainpower instead of recalling the question each time. This way, you will have it written, and you can revisit it as many times as needed.

Wording and draw-explanation brain teasers rely on unusual and unconventional contexts. Some common and accepted interpretations of such a riddle can lead you to the wrong conclusion. 

There are shortcuts to solving problems and explaining situations. However, these types will lead you to a dead end. If your brain thinks it’s impossible to solve, the question or some concern just can’t be right, disregard the notion and continue thinking.


In the end, stay confident and calm since it’s the best you can do. Do not be afraid of solving the riddle wrong. Brain teasers are mostly about the thinking process and how you handle situations under pressure. You need to stay collected and calm throughout the process if you want to have any chances of answering correctly.

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