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#24. Quick brainteaser games for consulting/ tech job interviews

Try to quick­ly ESTIMATE the answers to the ques­tions below, based on your own log­i­cal approach. The goal is not to find out (or Google) the right answer, but to, first, iden­tify a log­i­cal approach that can help “guessti­mate” an appro­pri­ate range–say + or – 30% of the actu­al answer– and then com­plete the cal­cu­la­tions (ide­ally men­tally, but you can also take notes) to pro­vide a good-enough esti­mate.

Ready. Set. Go!

Ques­tions:

1) How many times heav­ier than a mouse is an ele­phant?.

2) How many fire­fight­ers are there in San Fran­cis­co?.

3) How many trees are there in NYC’s Cen­tral Park?.

 

The Answer appear below. Again, the key here is to try, plan the steps towards the solu­tion, and do the men­tal cal­cu­la­tions to find a rea­son­able range. That’s the brain chal­lenge. The goal is not to find the pre­cise cor­rect answer.

Answers:

1) Around 150,000. An aver­age ele­phant weighs 4,000 kg; an aver­age mouse 25 grams.

2) Around 350 fire­fight­ers on duty on any giv­en day, out of a pool of 1700 fire­fight­ing over­all staff.

3) There are over 26,000 trees (of approx­i­mate­ly 175 species) in the Park.

 

Next brain teas­er in Sharp­Brains’ top 25 series:

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8 Responses

  1. Tim says:

    maybe

    1) 10,000 times (1 ton ver­sus 100 grams)

    2) 800 fire­fight­ers (80 sta­tions x 10 in each)

    3) 5,000 trees

  2. tiki says:

    1. 8000

    2. 650

    3. 1500

  3. Alvaro says:

    Again, the key here is to try, plan the steps towards the solu­tion, and do the men­tal calculations.That’s the brain exer­cise.

    Answers:

    1. Around 150,000. Ele­phant: 4,000 kg on aver­age; mouse is 25 grams.

    2. Around 350 fire­fight­ers on duty on any giv­en day, out of a pool of 1700 fire­fight­ing and emer­gency med­ical field per­son­nel

    3. “There are over 26,000 trees of approx­i­mate­ly 175 species in the Park.” More infor­ma­tion at http://www.centralparknyc.org/17613/4604933

  4. Mitch says:

    I said 80000 times as heav­ier (ele­phant 2000kg, mouse 25g).

    Im aus­tralian so i have no idea about those amer­i­can-based ques­tions.

  5. Aaron says:

    1. 14,000 times heav­ier

    2. 1,300

    3. 3,624

  6. Bushy Mouse says:

    1 mil­lion
    30.000
    200.000

  7. datasam says:

    my no-calc guessti­ma­tions were:
    10,000
    5,000
    8,000

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