# Consultant Interview Questions in Boston, MA

Consultant interview questions shared by candidates

## Top Interview Questions

### Associate Consultant at Bain & Company was asked...

Estimate how many windows are in New York 34 AnswersDivide 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. 10 windows per person?!?! I want to see what apartment you're living in!! 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. Show More Responses I would have said , "if you hire me, I'll get my team on that right away." Not everyone in the city has a vehicle, so 10 per person can't be the basis of calculation. estimated Define "New York". Should the answer include opportunities and operating systems? There is an N, e, w, a Y....nope, no windows 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. I don't do windows, sorry 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? "call Microsoft" Show More Responses Four, the answer is four. Seriously?! No. Simple, all of them. 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). 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! 42. as many as the glasses.. new y " O " rk. only one window. 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? windows 8 Show More Responses 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, only one microsoft windows more than door............ 1 window compulsory = no. of houses in NY 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. 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.) There are no windows for new york because it is a city not a house to provide windows @Bill: you forget '2' the after the '4' People 50m=dwelling x 5 windows =250million What size is your window dimensions ? Large commercial could equal 4 residential size windows. Do you consider single pane or double glass as still one window ? What about glass block windows, do they count ? Like Carl Segan used to say, billions and billions... Show More Responses When I think about this question I would want to simplify the categories into Residence windows and Business windows (other types exist but this should cover a large majority of standard construction windows). Starting with residency, I'll assume ~15M New York population, with roughly 80% in apartments and 20% in homes. Of the apartments I'd go with an average occupancy of 2, and home of 3. Then thinking about how many windows are in typical rooms in each residency (bedroom, dining, kitchen etc.) I came up with 14 windows in homes and 5 in apartments. Multiplying the numbers correctly I came up with 30M apartment windows and 14M home windows. Then for business windows, I decided that an appropriate number would be 80% of population is working, 20% with their own office which has one window. The other people are in shared work spaces, which I will assume on average have half as many windows as people. When multiplying these correctly I got 7.2M business windows. Total I ended up at 51.2 M windows. |

### Consulting at Cambridge Associates, LLC was asked...

How many baseball's can you fit on a 747? 4 AnswersWork through the question.. they just want to see how you approach a problem and analyze it. There is no right or wrong answer, they just knew i liked baseball and thought it would be good to see me talk through the problem. One thing that I don't quite understand. The 747 is somewhat cylindrical, which means that the top of it is rounded off, as in, not flat enough to hold any baseballs without them falling off. So, you attempt to put a baseball on top of a 747 and it will probably just roll off wouldn't it? Then you actually can't put any baseballs on top of a 747. Anyway, I don't know if this is the right answer, or if there even is one, but that's my analysis of the situation. This type of question is about demonstrating your thinking process and your comfort level with estimation. Here's one approach: 1. Estimate the width and height of the fuselage (main body of the jet). It's roughly a cylinder, so you could assume that the width and height are approximately the same. (Maybe 20 ft.) 2. Now estimate the length of the fuselage. (Maybe 150 ft.) 3. I can't remember the formula for the volume of a cylinder, but the formula for the volume of a cube is length x width x height. In this case, 20 x 20 x 150 or 60,000 cubic feet. 4. Now estimate the number of baseballs in one cubic foot. (Maybe four high, four wide, and four long, or 4 x 4 x 4, or 64. 5. Now multiply 64 baseballs per cubit foot by the number of total cubic feet on a 747 (60,000) to get approximately 3,840,000 baseballs. Show More Responses Hey Steve I think you are thinking about volume- This type of question intrigues me because there are so many unstated variables such as, is there adhesive of some sort involved? Does "on" mean "all around" or covering the 747? If there is no adhesive, does that mean 'how many baseballs could you put on TOP of the 747' - does this also include the wings? And would it count if there is no adhesive material and one rolls off - as Curio stated, it is not a flat surface. Actually there are a million other hypothetical questions that could pertain to the imaginary baseball on the 747, but the interesting part for me is to read each post and determine what 'controlling statements' each person adds to the question before answering it. It is so easy to simply answer a hypothetical question with predetermined figures based on each persons thinking process or experience, instead of taking only the facts stated in the question and determining a hypothetical answer or two. I am thoroughly enjoying reading these questions, posts, and analyzing thought responses. Sometimes I am even enlightened. ;-) |

How many people can you fit into texas? 5 AnswersAll the people in the world will fit in Texas. Added to the previous comment: if with the population density of NYC. Depends on how much cubic feet of space each person requires; then requires analysis of total people in world/usa, and total space they require. Then compare with total space in Texas. Show More Responses If they are just occupying the space and there is no need to live there, the entire population of the world could theoretically be in Texas at the same time. Presuming you aren't given the size of texas... Population of New York City: 8 million. Population of the world? 7 billion. Could you fit 1000 New York Cities in to Texas? Probably not. You can check it with numbers, 300sq mi for NYC, 250k sq mi for Texas. You could then go a step further and say that if we were only concerned with how many people can we cram in there, then we could probably increase the density of NYC by an order of magnitude at least, in which case yes, we could probably fit the whole world in there. An assumption that you can fit NYC in a 100 times (a reasonable if not low estimate), and that you could probably fit 80 million people in to New York city if they all squeeze together, you would get a total fit of about 8 billion people could fit in Texas. |

An insurance company only makes a payout when damage is above 1000. Only 50% of the damage above 1000, including the 1000 is paid out. If the payout was 1250, what was the damage? 4 Answers3500 1250 = 1000 + 50% * (X) 250 = 50%* (X) X = 500 Total Damage = 1000 + X = 1500 1250 = 50%*(damage - 1000) 2500 = damage - 1000 Damage = 3500 Show More Responses hmm... ok I may be wrong but 3500 Total damage doesn’t add up with 1250 payout. The claim is paid at 50 percent of the excess of 1000 and then you add back in the 1000. So 3500 total damage means that 2500 (excess over 1000) at 50 percent = 1250 then you add back 1000 which means total payout would be 2250 on 3500 total damage. 1250 payout means total damage is 1500. 250 (is excess of 1000) is half of 500 or 50 percent .... 250 +1000 = 1250. Etc.... 1700 total payout = 2400 total damage. 700 is the excess of 1000 and 50 percent of 1400 ... 1400 and 1000 added equals 2400. |

If the lights were turned off and you had to reach into a drawer that had 10 white socks and 10 black socks how many would you have to pull out to guarantee that you had a matching pair? 3 Answersthree I think the correct answer is 11. Pulling out three could mean three black or three white. Pulling out 11 means, for sure, you get 10 of all the black OR white ones (since there are only 10 of either one) and 1 of the opposite ... making a pair. @Steve. A matching pair means two of the same color. When does one black and one white sock make a matching pair? If you came to work like that, I would fire you. |

### Consultant at Forrester was asked...

What salary are you looking for? 2 AnswersI personally think in an initial interview this is a topic that shouldn't be brought up. The HR rep said, "We'd like to know that we have the same ballpark figure that you have in mind, otherwise we might not be on the same page." I suspect this is data gathering for the HR department. I deflected a response, but the HR rep persisted by saying, "Are you thinking of a salary in X - Y range?" This left a very bad impression in my mind because soon after she asked the salary question, she revealed that they had a final candidate for the job, so basically the interview was just a cursory one. Maybe u should have gave a number |

Your resume is tailored to this job, did you make it up? 3 AnswersNo answer. I just stared at her. The correct answer is: As a matter of fact I did, over a period of years. (that should elicit another question). As a matter of fact I did, I saw what you were looking for in the position and I tailored my relevant skills to reflect those items. Every resume should be tailored to the position that's being sought. |

### Connectivity Consultant at Eze Software was asked...

How do you get 4 gallons of liquid with only 5 and 3 gallon drums 2 AnswersFill 5 gallons up, scoop out 3 gallons. You have 2 gallons remaining. Repeat. Combine the 2 gallons. You have 4 gallons. Take the 3 gallon drum and fill up the 5 gallon drum. This will put 3 gallons in the 5 gallon and repeat the step so the 5 gallon drum is full. This will leave 1 gallon left in the 3 gallon drum. You pour out the 5 gallon drum and take the 1 gallon left in the 3 gallon drum and pour it into the 5 gallon. Then fill up the 3 gallon drum and pour it into the 5 gallon drum. |

How many fathers are there in the US? 1 Answerpretty easy/straight-forward market sizing question I got in the final round. |

Case - I am a welding parts manufacturer and we are losing market share. Tell me why. 1 AnswerLook at everything from distribution issues to internal company metrics and end-user customer trends, as well as the competitive landscape |

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