Math Interview Questions

In today’s competitive job market, it is essential to be well-prepared for interviews. If you are applying for a position that requires mathematical skills, it is crucial to showcase your knowledge and problem-solving abilities. To help you in your preparation, we have compiled a list of the top 20 math interview questions and answers. These questions cover a range of mathematical concepts and will give you an idea of what to expect during your interview.

Get ready for your math job interview with our expertly compiled list of the top 26 math interview questions and answers. Ace your interview and impress your potential employers with your mathematical knowledge and problem-solving abilities.

So, let’s dive in!

Table of Contents

Top 26 Math Interview Questions

Here is the list of most popular top 26 Math interview questions and answers.

1) What are the different classes of maths, and which math do you prefer?

Mathematics is a vast field with various branches, including Calculus, Algebra, and Fractions. Each branch has its own set of principles and applications. When asked this question, it is good to showcase your understanding of different mathematical disciplines. You can share that you are familiar with all types of math but have a particular interest in Calculus due to its practical applications in various real-world scenarios.

2) What is Algebra?

Algebra is a fundamental branch of mathematics that deals with symbols and letters to represent numbers, points, and objects, as well as the relationships between them. It is widely used to solve equations and find unknown variables. For example, if you have lost 5 pens and are left with 10 pens, you can use an algebraic equation to determine the total number of pens you initially had:

x – 5 = 10

By solving this equation, you can find that x = 15, which represents the total number of pens you had.

3) How much wall space would a 30-cup shelf require if a 12-shell cupboard requires 18 ft. of wall space?

To calculate the wall space required for a 30-cup shelf, we can use a proportionate approach.

Given: 12 shelves require 18 ft. of wall space

Let “x” be the wall space required for a 30-cup shelf.

Using the proportion:

12 shelves / 30 cups = 18 ft. / x ft.

Cross-multiplying, we get:

12x = 30 * 18

Solving for x, we find:

x = (30 * 18) / 12

x = 45 ft.

Therefore, a 30-cup shelf would require 45 ft. of wall space.

4) In a staff room, there are four racks with 10 boxes of chalk sticks each. In a given day, 10 boxes of chalk sticks are in use. What fraction remains in the rack?

If each rack consists of 10 boxes of chalk sticks, the total number of boxes on four racks would be:

4 racks × 10 boxes = 40 boxes

Since 10 boxes are in use, the total number of boxes remaining in the racks would be:

40 boxes – 10 boxes = 30 boxes

To find the fraction that remains in the rack, we can divide the number of boxes remaining by the total number of boxes:

Fraction remaining = (Number of boxes remaining) / (Total number of boxes)
= 30 boxes / 40 boxes
= 3/4

Therefore, the fraction of chalk stick boxes remaining in the rack is 3/4.

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5) What is the formula for calculating interest rate?

There are two types of interest rates: simple interest and compound interest.

The formula for calculating simple interest is:
Simple Interest (SI) = (Principal amount) × (Rate of interest) × (Time)

The formula for calculating compound interest is:
Compound Interest (CI) = (Principal amount) × [(1 + Rate of interest/100)^(Time)]

Understanding and being able to apply these formulas is crucial in financial calculations and investments.

6) Explain the Commutative, Associative, and Distributive laws in math.

In mathematics, the Commutative, Associative, and Distributive laws are essential properties associated with arithmetic operations.

  • Commutative laws: The commutative laws state that the order of numbers or operations does not affect the result. In other words, when we add or multiply numbers, we can swap their positions without changing the final outcome. For example, a + b = b + a (addition) and a × b = b × a (multiplication).
  • Associative laws: The associative laws state that the grouping of numbers or operations does not affect the result. In both addition and multiplication, we can regroup numbers without changing the final value. For example, (a + b) + c = a + (b + c) (addition) and (a × b) × c = a × (b × c) (multiplication).
  • Distributive laws: The distributive laws state that we can multiply a number by a group of numbers added together or multiply them separately and then add the products. This law is often used in simplifying expressions. For example, a × (b + c) = (a × b) + (a × c), which means multiplying “a” by the sum of “b” and “c” is equivalent to multiplying “a” by each individually and then adding the products.

Understanding these properties helps in simplifying expressions and solving equations efficiently.

7) In a small company, the average salary of three employees is $1000 per week. If one employee earns $1100 and another earns $500, how much will the third employee earn on average?

To find the average salary of three employees, we can use the formula:

Average Salary = (Total Salary) / (Number of Employees)

Given that the average salary is $1000 per week for three employees, the total salary would be:

Total Salary = Average Salary × Number of Employees
= $1000 × 3
= $3000

If one employee earns $1100 and the other earns $500, we can subtract their salaries from the total salary to find the third employee’s salary.

Third Employee’s Salary = Total Salary – ($1100 + $500)
= $3000 – $1600
= $1400

Therefore, the third employee will earn $1400 on average.

8) Explain how to prioritize calculations when faced with a complicated expression like 8 + (9 × 52 + 8).

To avoid confusion and perform calculations accurately, it is essential to follow the BODMAS rule. BODMAS stands for:

  • Brackets first,
  • Orders (Powers and Square roots),
  • Division and Multiplication (from left to right),
  • Addition and Subtraction (from left to right).

Applying the BODMAS rule to the given expression, we first evaluate the expression within the brackets:

8 + (9 × 52 + 8) = 8 + (9 × 52 + 8)

Next, we simplify the multiplication within the brackets:

8 + (9 × 52 + 8) = 8 + (9 × 52 + 8)

Finally, we perform the addition:

= 8 + (468 + 8)
= 8 + 476
= 484

The answer is 484.

9) What is Geometry?

Geometry is a branch of mathematics that deals with the study of shapes, sizes, and properties of figures and spaces. It can be classified into two main classes: Plane Geometry and Solid Geometry.

  • Plane Geometry: Plane Geometry focuses on two-dimensional shapes like triangles, lines, and circles that can be drawn on a flat surface, such as a piece of paper.
  • Solid Geometry: Solid Geometry deals with three-dimensional objects like cylinders, cubes, prisms, and spheres. It includes the study of volume, surface area, and various properties of these objects.

Geometry plays a fundamental role in various fields, including architecture, engineering, and design.

10) What is the difference between a Line, Point, Plane, and Solid?

In geometry, different terms represent distinct elements.

  • Point: A point has no dimensions and is represented by a dot. It is considered the most basic element in geometry.
  • Line: A line is one-dimensional and is made up of an infinite number of points. It has length but no width or thickness.
  • Plane: A plane is a two-dimensional surface that extends infinitely in all directions. It is defined by at least three non-collinear points and contains an infinite number of lines.
  • Solid: A solid is a three-dimensional object that has length, width, and height. It occupies a definite amount of space and has a boundary surface.

Understanding the distinction between these terms is important for studying geometric properties and relationships.

11) What is an Exterior Angle in polygons?

In polygons, an exterior angle is an angle formed between any side of the shape and a line extended from the next side. In other words, it is the angle that lies outside the polygon. The sum of all exterior angles of a polygon is always 360 degrees.

Understanding exterior angles is crucial for analyzing the properties and measurements of polygons.

12) How do you convert a fraction to a percentage?

To convert a fraction to a percentage, you can follow these steps:

  1. Divide the numerator (top number) of the fraction by the denominator (bottom number) to get the decimal form of the fraction.
  2. Multiply the decimal by 100 to convert it to a percentage.
  3. Add the “%” symbol to indicate that the value is a percentage.

For example, let’s convert the fraction 4/9 to a percentage:

Step 1: 4 ÷ 9 = 0.444 (rounded to three decimal places)
Step 2: 0.444 × 100 = 44.4
Step 3: 44.4%

Therefore, the fraction 4/9 is equivalent to 44.4%.

13) How do you convert a percentage to a fraction?

To convert a percentage to a fraction, follow these steps:

  1. Convert the percentage to decimal form by dividing it by 100.
  2. Simplify the resulting decimal if possible.
  3. If the decimal can be expressed as a fraction, convert it to fraction form.
  4. Reduce the fraction to its simplest form, if necessary.

For example, let’s convert 70% to a fraction:

Step 1: 70% ÷ 100 = 0.7 (decimal form)
Step 2: The decimal 0.7 is already simplified.
Step 3: Convert the decimal to fraction form by writing it over 1: 0.7/1
Step 4: Multiply the numerator and denominator by 10 to remove the decimal: (0.7 × 10)/(1 × 10) = 7/10

Therefore, 70% is equivalent to the fraction 7/10.

14) What is a Cubic Meter?

A cubic meter (m³) is the standard unit of measurement used to quantify volume. It represents the space occupied by an object or substance in three-dimensional space. One cubic meter is equal to the volume of a cube that measures 1 meter in length, width, and height.

For better understanding, it’s helpful to know that:

  • 1 cubic meter is equivalent to 1,000 liters.
  • 1 cubic meter is equal to the volume of a cube measuring 1 meter on each side.

Cubic meters are used in various fields, such as construction, engineering, and scientific calculations.

15) What is a Hectare and how much is a Square Millimeter?

A hectare is a unit of area commonly used in measuring land. It equals 10,000 square meters or 2.471 acres. A hectare is often used in agriculture, forestry, and urban planning.

On the other hand, a square millimeter is the smallest unit of area in the metric system. It is equal to a square measuring 1 millimeter on each side. To put it into perspective, 1 square millimeter is one-millionth of a square meter.

Understanding the relationship between these units helps in visualizing and comparing areas of different sizes.

16) If a bus conductor issues 50 tickets in 30 minutes, how many tickets can he issue in 8 hours?

To solve this problem, we need to find the number of tickets the bus conductor can issue in 8 hours based on the given information.


  • The bus conductor issues 50 tickets in 30 minutes.
  • There are 60 minutes in 1 hour.
  • There are 8 hours in a complete work shift.

First, let’s calculate the number of tickets issued per minute:
50 tickets ÷ 30 minutes = 1.67 tickets/minute.

Next, calculate the number of minutes in 8 hours:
8 hours × 60 minutes/hour = 480 minutes.

Finally, multiply the tickets issued per minute by the number of minutes in 8 hours:
1.67 tickets/minute × 480 minutes = 800 tickets.

Therefore, the bus conductor can issue approximately 800 tickets in 8 hours.

17) What is Permutation?

In mathematics, permutation refers to the ordered arrangement of objects from a given set. The number of permutations can be determined by using the permutation formula, which takes into account the number of objects and the number to be selected.

The formula for calculating permutations is given by:

n_Pr_ = n! / (n – r)!

where n represents the total number of objects in the set, and r represents the number of objects selected for the arrangement.

For example, if you have 9 different balls of various colors and want to arrange them in 3 different rows, the number of possible arrangements (permutations) can be calculated using the formula:

9! ÷ (9 – 3)! = 9! ÷ 6!

Therefore, the number of arrangements (permutations) would be 9P3 = 504 ways.

Permutations are commonly used in combinatorial problems and have various applications in probability, statistics, and cryptography.

18) What is a linear equation? What is it used for?

A linear equation is an algebraic equation that involves variables raised to the power of 1, with no exponents higher than 1. It represents a straight line on a graph and is used to describe a relationship between two variables. The general form of a linear equation is:

ax + by + cz + … = d

where a, b, c, … are coefficients, and x, y, z, … are variables.

Linear equations are primarily used to model and solve problems involving distance, speed, time, weight, mass, and density. They provide a way to represent and analyze the relationship between different quantities.

19) Can you provide an example of how linear equations can be applied in daily life?

Certainly! Linear equations have practical applications in various real-life scenarios. Here’s an example:

Suppose you live 20 miles away from your office, and you know that the average traffic speed during your commute is 40 miles per hour. To determine what time you should leave home to arrive at the office by 8 a.m., you can use a linear equation.

The equation’s formula that we can use is:

Time taken = distance / rate of travel

In this case, the distance is 20 miles, and the rate of travel is 40 miles per hour. To find the time taken, we can substitute these values into the equation:

Time taken = 20 miles / 40 miles per hour
= 0.5 hour or 30 minutes

Therefore, to reach the office at 8 a.m., you should leave home at 7:30 a.m. By utilizing linear equations, we can make informed decisions and effectively manage our time in daily life situations.

20) What is a tangent?

In geometry, a tangent refers to a line or line segment that intersects a curve or a circle at exactly one point, without passing through it or cutting across it. The point of intersection is called the point of tangency.

The tangent line touches the curve or circle at that specific point and has the property that it is perpendicular to the radius vector at that point. Tangents are commonly discussed in relation to circles, but they can also be defined for other curves and surfaces.

Understanding tangents is crucial in analyzing the properties and relationships of curves and circles, such as finding the slope of a curve at a given point or constructing tangent lines to approximate curved shapes.

21) What is Standard Deviation?

Standard deviation is a statistical measure that quantifies the amount of variation or dispersion in a set of data. It provides information about the spread of values around the mean (average) of a dataset. The standard deviation is represented by the symbol σ (sigma).

A higher standard deviation indicates greater variability, while a lower standard deviation suggests less variability. It is widely used in various fields, including finance, economics, and scientific research.

Understanding standard deviation helps in assessing the consistency and reliability of data, making it an essential tool for statistical analysis.

22) What is the Pythagorean Theorem?

The Pythagorean Theorem is a fundamental principle in geometry that relates the lengths of the sides of a right triangle. It states that in a right triangle, the square of the length of the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of the squares of the lengths of the other two sides.

The equation for the Pythagorean Theorem is:

a² + b² = c²

where “a” and “b” represent the lengths of the two legs of the triangle, and “c” represents the length of the hypotenuse.

The Pythagorean Theorem is applicable to any right triangle, allowing us to calculate missing side lengths or check if a triangle is a right triangle based on its side lengths.

23) What is Prime Factorization?

Prime factorization is the process of breaking down a composite number into its prime factors (numbers that are only divisible by 1 and themselves). It is a crucial concept in number theory and serves as a foundation for various mathematical operations.

To determine the prime factorization of a number, you need to divide it by prime numbers until all the factors are prime. The prime factors are then multiplied together to obtain the original number.

For example, let’s find the prime factorization of 72:

Divide 72 by the smallest prime number, 2:
72 ÷ 2 = 36

Next, continue dividing 36 by 2:
36 ÷ 2 = 18

Further divide 18 by 2:
18 ÷ 2 = 9

Since 9 is a perfect square, we can divide it by 3:
9 ÷ 3 = 3

At this point, we have reached a prime number (3). Therefore, the prime factorization of 72 is:

2 × 2 × 2 × 3 × 3 = 2³ × 3²

Understanding prime factorization is essential in various mathematical operations, such as finding the greatest common divisor and simplifying fractions.

24) What are the Different Trigonometric Functions?

In trigonometry, there are six primary trigonometric functions that relate the angles and sides of a right triangle. These functions are sine, cosine, tangent, cosecant, secant, and cotangent. Each function represents a ratio of two sides of a right triangle.

The common abbreviations for the trigonometric functions are:

  • Sine (sin)
  • Cosine (cos)
  • Tangent (tan)
  • Cosecant (csc)
  • Secant (sec)
  • Cotangent (cot)

These functions can be defined using the sides of a right triangle as follows:

  • Sine (sin) = Opposite / Hypotenuse
  • Cosine (cos) = Adjacent / Hypotenuse
  • Tangent (tan) = Opposite / Adjacent
  • Cosecant (csc) = 1 / Sin
  • Secant (sec) = 1 / Cos
  • Cotangent (cot) = 1 / Tan

Trigonometric functions are extensively used in geometry, physics, engineering, and various other fields involving angles and measurements.

25) What is Logarithm?

A logarithm is a mathematical function that represents the exponent to which a base number must be raised to obtain another number. In simpler terms, the logarithm of a number provides the power or exponent needed to produce that number.

The logarithm function is denoted as log. The base of the logarithm determines the number that is raised to the exponent. Common bases include 10 (log base 10) and e (natural logarithm).

For example, if we have log base 10:

log base 10 of 100 = 2

This means that 10 raised to the power of 2 gives us 100.

Logarithms have wide applications in various fields, such as solving exponential equations, analyzing data, and measuring the intensity of earthquakes using the Richter scale.

26) What is the Difference Between Probability and Statistics?

Though related, probability and statistics are distinct branches of mathematics.

  • Probability: Probability is the study of uncertainty and the likelihood of events occurring. It deals with predicting outcomes and analyzing the chances of events based on assumptions or known conditions. Probability theory is used to make predictions, conduct risk assessments, and make informed decisions under uncertain circumstances.
  • Statistics: Statistics involves the collection, analysis, interpretation, presentation, and organization of data. It includes methods for summarizing and visualizing data, drawing inferences from data samples, and making predictions or generalizations based on observed data. Statistics play a vital role in research, data-driven decision-making, hypothesis testing, and drawing conclusions about populations based on sample data.

While probability determines the likelihood of outcomes, statistics analyzes and interprets data to draw meaningful insights and make informed decisions.

Congratulations! You have now explored the top 26 math interview questions and answers for 2023. These questions cover a wide range of mathematical concepts and will help you prepare thoroughly for your math-focused job interview. Remember to practice and familiarize yourself with these concepts to showcase your mathematical skills and problem-solving abilities with confidence. Good luck with your interview!

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Published by Sarah Samson

Sarah Samson is a professional career advisor and resume expert. She specializes in helping recent college graduates and mid-career professionals improve their resumes and format them for the modern job market. In addition, she has also been a contributor to several online publications.

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