Bain & Company

  www.bain.com
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

Bain & Company Associate Consultant Interview Question

I interviewed in Boston, MA and was asked:
"Estimate how many windows are in New York"
Add Tags [?]
Answer

Part of a Associate Consultant Interview Review - one of 331 Bain & Company Interview Reviews

Answers & Comments

8
of 8
votes
Divide and conquer. I may not know the answer to the question, but I can determine the answer because I can approximate two supportnig questions:
* How many people are in New York (City or State, btw)
* How many windows, on average, does each person have (home, car, work, shopping center, ....)

I'll say 10M in NYC and 10 windows per person so my answer is 100M windows in NYC.
- Bill on Aug 17, 2012
3
of 6
votes
10 windows per person?!?! I want to see what apartment you're living in!!
- Kim on Aug 20, 2012
4
of 5
votes
he said 10 windows per person total (including car, home etc).
10 makes good sense.
However, i do believe you'll have to go deeper than that.
i.e- calculate that, add businesses, shopping centres, cabs and passing cars etc.
- raphael on Aug 30, 2012
4
of 8
votes
I would have said , "if you hire me, I'll get my team on that right away."
- Jonathan Schlackman on Jan 11, 2013
0
of 1
vote
Not everyone in the city has a vehicle, so 10 per person can't be the basis of calculation.
- AB on Jan 11, 2013
2
of 2
votes
estimated
- Kaushal Chawda on Jan 13, 2013
9
of 10
votes
Define "New York".
- SoCal on Jan 17, 2013
13
of 13
votes
Should the answer include opportunities and operating systems?
- Rich on Jan 17, 2013
6
of 7
votes
There is an N, e, w, a Y....nope, no windows
- SMB on Jan 17, 2013
21
of 21
votes
Since Bain is a consulting firm, this question seems to be used as a way to probe applicant's approach to engagement problems.

First ask questions to clarify the goal. Is New York the city, the state, or another municipality that happens to also be called New York, such as New York, Texas. Are we talking about windows on a building, or will it also include car windows, store shelf windows, or maybe even MS Windows licenses.

After the information is clarified, it's time to analyze. Estimating the population and estimate an average number of windows per person is one approach, but it may seem too general. Another approach can be divide and conquer. Estimate the number of residential houses, estimate the number of offices, and number of vehicles, etc, and multiply by an average number for each type of structure. Round the number to the nearest million or tenth of million to make it easy to remember for the client.
- John on Jan 17, 2013
4
of 6
votes
I don't do windows, sorry
- KT on Jan 18, 2013
5
of 7
votes
I gather that this very important question has some significant meaning to you, and I feel you should hire me to get to work on the answer right away. I'm going to need some support staff for this, and a travel expenses budget, and a small but dedicatd team of window counters. Gosh, see how when you ask me a question of genuine importance, I get all fired up?
- Jim on Jan 18, 2013
6
of 6
votes
"call Microsoft"
- Ed on Jan 22, 2013
1
of 1
vote
Four, the answer is four.
- Bill on Jan 23, 2013
0
of 0
votes
Seriously?! No.
- matthew on Jan 23, 2013
2
of 2
votes
Simple, all of them.
- Robby on Jan 23, 2013
1
of 1
vote
If you are going to estimate correctly, you need to come up with a range. A single point estimate is pretty much guaranteed to be wrong. No matter which approach you take (average building floors by average number of windows, people * number of windows, etc), at best you get a midpoint of a range. The question is how wide does the range need to be? At this point, with little information, you need a pretty wide estimate (in the million window + range).
- Greg Beamer on Jan 23, 2013
0
of 0
votes
Exactly why I was thinking of Corning as a great Private Equity deal! Let me explain...and let's take this one step further...let's start with the Eastern Seabord, and the number of windows that are really hurricane proof..now let's look at the advantages of Gorilla Glass, it's uses, and strategic opportunities...let's go bigger than New York!
- Tim Pilon on Jan 24, 2013
0
of 0
votes
42.
- Cheeky Monkey on Jan 24, 2013
0
of 0
votes
as many as the glasses..
- pankaj on Jan 24, 2013
2
of 3
votes
new y " O " rk. only one window.
- naveen varada on Jan 24, 2013
0
of 1
vote
I personally don't have the answer but I will find out and get back to you. When do you need to have a response?
- Julie on Jan 25, 2013
0
of 0
votes
windows 8
- neha jagare on Jan 27, 2013
1
of 1
vote
do i include window's on every1's computers monitor or laptop for this?? if so then 10 windows per person at instant will be less caz the question is not clear at all,
- Chirag Sarang on Jan 27, 2013
0
of 0
votes
only one microsoft windows
- Raja sekhar on Jan 29, 2013
0
of 0
votes
more than door............
- sukhdeep on Jan 30, 2013
0
of 0
votes
1 window compulsory = no. of houses in NY
- nilesh manjavkar on Feb 3, 2013
1
of 1
vote
There are 271,925,321 windows.
If there are more windows then it would have been made after the survey and if it is less, then it would have broken down.
- Pranay Shah on Feb 4, 2013
0
of 0
votes
Are you talking about glass pained windows? Do double pained windows count as two or only one. Should I include MS Windows? What about the number of windows the average person has open at any one time? Which version of MS Windows? Are we talking both server and desktop versions of Windows?
I know the answers to all of these questions, but I need to know which ones you want included in the answer. Then (if you have some paper) write some numbers down, do some calculations and give them an answer of some big number that is based on the calculations you made.

(This is a question where they are trying to see if you can think outside the box and come up with some sort of reasonable estimate. There is no right answer that can be acheived or verified.)
- Ken on Feb 14, 2013
0
of 0
votes
There are no windows for new york because it is a city not a house to provide windows
- kumar on Jun 3, 2013
0
of 0
votes
@Bill: you forget '2' the after the '4'
- michou on Jun 4, 2013

To comment on this question, Sign In with Facebook or Sign Up

Tags are like keywords that help categorize interview questions that have something in common.