How will you react if the interviewer asks you “what your career goals are”?
You won’t smirk and tell them, ‘I already know the answer to this question. Please give me another one that’s more challenging.’
You’d go ahead and answer it, right? Do the same for the puzzle question.
Often, the reason for interviewers to ask you puzzles is not because they are interested in the final solution (unless you are applying for a puzzle designer’s or solver’s position). Remember the interviewer doesn’t want to see what you come up with. They want to see how you come up with. Puzzle questions, ultimately don’t tell if you’re a good person to work with, they just show that you can solve a certain type of problem (or in your case, memorize a solution). If you answer it quickly, it’s an opportunity to explore other areas of the question, so not all is lost.
Interviewers just want to understand how you think through the problem and present the answer.
Answer the question efficiently, then disclose immediately.
Use the opportunity to demonstrate other skills that are important for the job you’ve applied for. Like the following:
Your ability to break up a bigger problem into sub-parts,
Your expertise in analysing them independently and in conjunction
Your communication skills to articulate what concepts you used and how you arrived at the answer.
That will impress your interviewer more than whether you knew the puzzle or or not.
So, prepare well before interview from puzzleFry and the more you know the better it is.