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Discuss interview que. within the JOB OFFERS , Recruitments , Placements !! forums, part of the Management Students Voices ( MBA,BMS,MMS,BMM,BBA) category; Here are some brainteasers which you may face in interviews for i-bank or consulting job....(source vault.com) ------------------------------------------------------------------- Creativity and mental ...

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interview que. - June 8th, 2008

Here are some brainteasers which you may face in interviews for i-bank or consulting job....(source vault.com)

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Creativity and mental flexibility and speed are of paramount importance to high-tech firms, and one surefire way to test these qualities are through these slightly offbeat questions.

If you field one of these brainteasers, your interviewer may give you a time limit. Don't become flustered. Simply try to think through the question from every angle you can. Most questions require either logic, that ever-popular "out of the box" thinking, or both.


1) If you look at a clock and the time is 3:15, what is the angle between the hour and the minute hands?

The answer to this is not zero! The hour hand, remember, moves as well. The hour hand moves a quarter of the way between three and four, so it moves a quarter of a twelfth (1/4 of 360 degrees. So the answer is seven and a half degrees, to be exact.


2) A company has ten machines that produce gold coins. One of the machines is producing coins that are a gram light. How do you tell which machine is making the defective coins with only one weighing?

Think this through - clearly, every machine will have to produce a sample coin or coins, and you must weigh all these coins together. How can you somehow indicate which coins came from which machine? The best way to do it is to have every machine crank out its number in coins, so that machine 1 will make one coin, machine 2 will make two coins, and so on. Take all the coins, weigh them together, and consider their weight against the total theoretical weight. If you're four grams short, for example, you'll know that machine 4 is defective.


3) Four members of U2 (Bono, the Edge, Larry and Adam) need to get across a narrow bridge to play a concert. Since it's dark, a flashlight is required to cross, but the band has only one flashlight, and only two people can cross the bridge at a time. (This is not to say, of course, that if one of the members of the band has crossed the bridge, he can't come back by himself with the flashlight). Adam takes only a minute to get across, Larry takes two minutes, the Edge takes five minutes, and slowpoke Bono takes ten minutes. A pair can only go as fast as the slowest member. They have 17 minutes to get across. How should they do it?

The key to attacking this question is to understand that Bono and the Edge are major liabilities and must be grouped together. In other words, if you sent them across separately, you'd already be using fifteen minutes.

What does this mean? That Bono and the Edge must go across together. But they can not be the first pair (or one of them will have to transport the flashlight back). Instead, you send Larry and Adam over first, taking two minutes. Adam comes back, taking another minute, for a total of three minutes. Bono and the Edge then go over, taking ten minutes, and bringing the total to 13. Larry comes back, taking another two minutes, for a total of 15. Adam and Larry go back over, bringing the total time to 17 minutes.


4) How many gallons of white house paint are sold in the U.S. every year?

THE "START BIG" APPROACH: If you're not sure where to begin, start with the basic assumption that there are 270 million people in the U.S. (or 25 million businesses, depending on the question). If there are 270 million people in the United States, perhaps half of them live in houses (or 135 million people). The average family size is about three people, so there would be 45 million houses in the United States. Let's add another 10 percent to that for second houses and houses used for other purposes besides residential. So there are about 50 million houses.

If houses are painted every 10 years, on average (notice how we deftly make that number easy to work with), then there are 5 million houses painted every year. Assuming that one gallon of paint covers 100 square feet of wall, and that the average house has 2,000 square feet of wall to cover, then each house needs 20 gallons of paint. So 100 million gallons of paint are sold per year (5 million houses x 20 gallons). (Note: If you want to be fancy, you can ask your interviewer whether you should include inner walls as well!) If 80 percent of all houses are white, then 80 million gallons of white house paint are sold each year. (Don't forget that last step!)

You could also start small, and take a town of 27,000 (about 1/10,000 of the population). If you use the same assumption that half the town lives in houses in groups of three, then there are 4,500 houses, plus another 10 percent, then there are really 5,000 houses to worry about. Painted every 10 years, 500 houses are being painted in any given year. If each house has 2,000 square feet of wall, and each gallon of paint covers 100 square feet, then each house needs 20 gallons - and so 10,000 gallons of house paint are sold each year in your typical town. Perhaps 8,000 of those are white. Multiply by 10,000 - you have 80 million gallons.

Your interviewer may then ask you how you would actually get that number, on the job, if necessary. Use your creativity - contacting major paint producers would be smart, putting in a call to HUD's statistics arm could help, or even conducting a small sample of the second calculation in a few representative towns is possible.


5) What is the size of the market for disposable diapers in China?
Here's a good example of a market sizing. How many people live in China? A billion. Because the population of China is young, a full 600 million of those inhabitants might be of child-bearing age. Half are women, so there are about 300 million Chinese women of childbearing age. Now, the average family size in China is restricted, so it might be 1.5 children, on average, per family. Let's say two-thirds of Chinese women have children. That means that there are about 200 million children in China. How many of those kids are under the age of two? About a tenth, or 20 million. So there are at least 20 million possible consumers of disposable diapers.

To summarize:

1 billion people x 60% childbearing age = 600,000,000 people
600,000,000 people x 1/2 are women = 300,000,000 women of childbearing age
300,000,000 women x 2/3 have children = 200,000,000 women with children
200,000,000 women x 1.5 children each = 300,000,000 children
300,000,000 children x 1/10 under age 2 = 30 million


6) How many square feet of pizza are eaten in the United States each month?

Take your figure of 300 million people in America. How many people eat pizza? Let's say 200 million. Now let's say the average pizza-eating person eats pizza twice a month, and eats two slices at a time. That's four slices a month. If the average slice of pizza is perhaps six inches at the base and 10 inches long, then the slice is 30 square inches of pizza. So four pizza slices would be 120 square inches. Therefore, there are a billion square feet of pizza eaten every month.

To summarize:

300 million people in America
200 million eat pizza
Average slice of pizza is six inches at the base and 10 inches long = 30 square inches (height x half the base)
Average American eats four slices of pizza a month
Four pieces x 30 square inches = 120 square inches (one square foot is 144 inches), so let's assume one square foot per person
200 million square feet a month


7) How would you estimate the weight of the Chrysler building?

This is a process guesstimate - the interviewer wants to know if you know what questions to ask. First, you would find out the dimensions of the building (height, weight, depth). This will allow you to determine the volume of the building. Does it taper at the top? (Yes.) Then, you need to estimate the composition of the Chrysler building. Is it mostly steel? Concrete? How much would those components weigh per square inch? Remember the extra step - find out whether you're considering the building totally empty or with office furniture, people, etc.? (If you're including the contents, you might have to add 20 percent or so to the building's weight.)


8 ) You are faced with two doors. One door leads to your job offer (that's the one you want!), and the other leads to the exit. In front of each door is a guard. One guard always tells the truth. The other always lies. You can ask one question to decide which door is the correct one. What will you ask?

The way to logically attack this question is to ask how you can construct a question that provides the same answer (either a true statement or a lie), no matter who you ask.

There are two simple answers. Ask a guard: "If I were to ask you if this door were the correct one, what would you say?" The truthful consultant would answer yes (if it's the correct one), or no (if it's not). Now take the lying consultant. If you asked the liar if the correct door is the right way, he would answer no. But if you ask him: "If I were to ask you if this door were the correct one, what would you say," he would be forced to lie about how he would answer, and say yes. Alternately, ask a guard: "If I were to ask the other guard which way is correct, what would he say?" Here, the truthful guard would tell you the wrong way (because he is truthfully reporting what the liar would say), while the lying guard would also tell you the wrong way (because he is lying about what the truthful guard would say).
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