Everyone uses the "How many golf balls fit inside a jumbo jet?" example but I've never heard or seen anyone solve it. How could it be solved????

Kevin asked on Jun 26, 2017 - 2 answers
International MBA student interested in consulting.
2 answers

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Luca replied on Jun 26, 2017
Looking for solid partners. Currently preparing for McK, Bain and ATK interviews

I was actually asked a similar question, but with ping pong balls.

The way I went about it (and it seemed to have worked):

  • First, i inquired about the Jumbo Jet and, more specifically, i asked if it was compepletely empty or if it was filled with seats and other furniture.
  • In case teh interviewer tells you that the airplain is empty, simply calculate the volume of the golf ball, the volume of the different parts of the plane (e.g. body, tail, etc) and then divide the volume of the plane by the volume of the golf ball. Conclude by reducing the number by 5% since it would be impossible for all the balls to perfectly fit in the airplane, hence there is still a certain amount of free space.
  • in case the interviewer tells you that the plane is completely furnished, you will have to approximate a capacity of free space (i'd say 60%).
    • in this scenario you should also consider the different between the cabin and the luggage storage on the plane (different capacities)

Hope this helps you

"Conclude by reducing the number by 5% since it would be impossible for all the balls to perfectly fit in the airplane, hence there is still a certain amount of free space". - so this the filling concept mentioned in the prep lounge video (link posted above) ? — Cédric on Aug 15, 2018

Anonymous updated his answer on Jun 26, 2017

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