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Brain Teaser in Interview?

Dear prep lounge community,

In relation with brain teasers questions, which part of the interveiw does this type of questions usually come in? For companies like Mckinsey, BCG and Bain?

Will it be part of a FIT interview? or is there a dedicated session for it?

Thanks and regards,

Dear prep lounge community,

In relation with brain teasers questions, which part of the interveiw does this type of questions usually come in? For companies like Mckinsey, BCG and Bain?

Will it be part of a FIT interview? or is there a dedicated session for it?

Thanks and regards,

4 answers

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Best Answer

The brain teasers on this site are more like math problems or logic puzzles. You're not likely to encounter those in an interview.

More common in interviews (though not as much in case interviews) are brain teasers like, "how many golf balls can you fit into a passenger Boeing 747?" This question requires you to break down the problem area (the airplane's volume, which is made up of the cockpit, cargo hold, passenger area, etc.), make assumptions about it (the cockpit contains X cubic meters of space, the passenger area Y units, etc.) and do calculations (you can fit Z golf balls in X cubic meters, etc.). These questions test your ability to define a problem, break it down, and use math to solve it.

In case interviews, you more often see a business-oriented version of these, often called "estimation" or "back-of-the-envelope" questions. Though they often require similar techniques, estimation questions tend to focus on a market (e.g., the number of women's jeans sold per year or the vodka revenue in one night at a high-end night club) and are used to estimate the impact of a consultant's recommendation, often within a larger case.

For example, you may be completing a case with a clothing retailer and find that volume sales have declined significantly within a certain region where customers have turned to online shopping. You recommend the company invest in online retail platforms or form a partnership with an online retailer. Your interviewer sees your reasoning and asks you what the impact to the business's financials will be. You then have to estimate the revenue generated and compare that to the expected investment costs. Doing so allows you to take a recommendation ("partner with an online retailer") and actually calculate how much it helps you reach your client's goals.

As you prepare for your interview (and consulting itself), you can keep your skills sharp using the brain teasers on this site, but you'll want to really master estimation questions as they apply to business problem-solving and case interviews.

The brain teasers on this site are more like math problems or logic puzzles. You're not likely to encounter those in an interview.

More common in interviews (though not as much in case interviews) are brain teasers like, "how many golf balls can you fit into a passenger Boeing 747?" This question requires you to break down the problem area (the airplane's volume, which is made up of the cockpit, cargo hold, passenger area, etc.), make assumptions about it (the cockpit contains X cubic meters of space, the passenger area Y units, etc.) and do calculations (you can fit Z golf balls in X cubic meters, etc.). These questions test your ability to define a problem, break it down, and use math to solve it.

In case interviews, you more often see a business-oriented version of these, often called "estimation" or "back-of-the-envelope" questions. Though they often require similar techniques, estimation questions tend to focus on a market (e.g., the number of women's jeans sold per year or the vodka revenue in one night at a high-end night club) and are used to estimate the impact of a consultant's recommendation, often within a larger case.

For example, you may be completing a case with a clothing retailer and find that volume sales have declined significantly within a certain region where customers have turned to online shopping. You recommend the company invest in online retail platforms or form a partnership with an online retailer. Your interviewer sees your reasoning and asks you what the impact to the business's financials will be. You then have to estimate the revenue generated and compare that to the expected investment costs. Doing so allows you to take a recommendation ("partner with an online retailer") and actually calculate how much it helps you reach your client's goals.

As you prepare for your interview (and consulting itself), you can keep your skills sharp using the brain teasers on this site, but you'll want to really master estimation questions as they apply to business problem-solving and case interviews.

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Hi Anonymous,

in my experience brainteasers are more typical in final rounds, in particular if you get a market sizing and you are quick to solve it. I agree with Vlad they are not frequent though – I got a couple of them in only one interview out of the 20+ I did when I applied for consulting (that happened in an MBB interview).

Best,

Francesco

Hi Anonymous,

in my experience brainteasers are more typical in final rounds, in particular if you get a market sizing and you are quick to solve it. I agree with Vlad they are not frequent though – I got a couple of them in only one interview out of the 20+ I did when I applied for consulting (that happened in an MBB interview).

Best,

Francesco

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Hi,

There is no dedicated part of the interview for brainteasers and to be honest they are quite rare. Although the interviewer might want to ask you a brainteaser question either before or after the case.

Best

Hi,

There is no dedicated part of the interview for brainteasers and to be honest they are quite rare. Although the interviewer might want to ask you a brainteaser question either before or after the case.

Best

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Hello!

On top of the insights already shared in the post, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34)

It provides an end-to-end preparation for all three MBB interviews, tackling each firms particularities and combining key concepts review and a hands-on methodology. Following the book, the candidate will prepare his/her stories by practicing with over 50 real questions and leveraging special frameworks and worksheets that guide step-by-step, developed by the author and her experience as a Master in Management professor and coach. Finally, as further guidance, the guide encompasses over 20 examples from real candidates.

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes, since we still have some left from the launch!

Hope you find it useful!

Best,

Clara

Hello!

On top of the insights already shared in the post, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34)

It provides an end-to-end preparation for all three MBB interviews, tackling each firms particularities and combining key concepts review and a hands-on methodology. Following the book, the candidate will prepare his/her stories by practicing with over 50 real questions and leveraging special frameworks and worksheets that guide step-by-step, developed by the author and her experience as a Master in Management professor and coach. Finally, as further guidance, the guide encompasses over 20 examples from real candidates.

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes, since we still have some left from the launch!

Hope you find it useful!

Best,

Clara

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