Brain Teaser Consulting – Challenge Your Logical and Numerical Thinking

A brain teaser is a riddle or puzzle which is designed to challenge your logical thinking. In consulting interviews, the interviewer may use them to get clues about your logical and creative thinking skills which you will need in a career as a management consultant. The most important aspect for you here is not the answer but how you approach the problem. Practice our brain teasers to prepare yourself for any interview situation!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are brain teasers still used in management consulting interviews?

Brain teasers in the form of math problems and logic puzzles can still be used in a management consulting interview but it is quite rare. More common in case interviews now are market sizing guesstimates such as “how many tennis balls can fit into a smart?”. They are sometimes referred to as brain teasers, as well. In general brain teasers test your creativity and ability to think outside the box.

When do I have to solve a brain teaser in an interview?

Brain teasers are quite rare in management consulting interviews and there is neither a particular rule when the interviewer may decide to use one nor a specific part of the interview dedicated for brain teasers. However, they are more typical in final rounds and can be asked either before or after the case.

What is the difference between a brain teaser and a market sizing guesstimate?

What we call “brain teasers” are riddles or puzzles which are designed to challenge your logical and outside-the-box thinking. This may be for example: “Which 7 letter word becomes longer when the third letter is removed?“.

Market sizing guesstimates” are sometimes referred to as brain teasers, as well. They are more common in case interviews and consist of one question asking to determine a specific number of things, for example “How many golf balls can you fit into a passenger Boeing 747?”. These questions test your ability to define a problem, break it down based on assumptions, and use math to solve it.

What can I do if I am stuck with a brain teaser?

There are a few things you can do if you get stuck. The first thing to do is to stay calm and take a breath. Furthermore, you can take a moment to recap your thinking process so far and what you still need to find out in order to address the question at hand. If you are puzzled by some obvious contradiction, actively discuss this with your interviewer! Oftentimes an interviewer will wait for you to explicitly verbalize what combination of findings is puzzling you before gently giving you guidance.

How important are brain teasers when preparing for my case interview?

Always prioritize cases and the personal fit part in your interview preparation. They are the crucial and most important aspects of your interview! Once you are more comfortable with those, you can integrate some brain teaser practice into your preparation. This may just give you the advantage you need to stand out among other candidates! You can use our brain teaser library to challenge your creative thinking. Have fun!