The solution is really about talking out loud and being plausible. Ostensibly this is a question that Goldman and several other firms ask on their interviews. But, I want to be clear, the exact answer isn’t the important thing. It’s the process that you go through that is.
Here is what you do:
Listen to the question very carefully and if you’re unsure about something ask for any sort of clarification that you think you need or if you need additional information.
From there, use a launch point.
Here’s how to go through it.
If there are 320 million people in the US, how many square feet of pizza do they eat each year? To get the number, you have to figure out how many of these people actually eat pizza each year. For the sake of simplicity, start with a round number. So, you would say, “Let’s say there are about 200 million pizza eaters and that is about two-thirds of the total US population. I may be being conservative but round numbers are always easier to work with.” You say that out loud.
Once you have the actual population of pizza eaters you need to have the rate of pizza consumption per person. Work with the assumption of 4 slices of pizza per person per month. In other words, 48 slices per year. That can be way off, but it’s a reasonable guess. Again, it’s logic that matters, not the numbers.
Now, translate pizza slices into square feet. Estimate the area of a triangle. So take the base times the height and divided by 2. If the pizza slices 6 inches at the base and 10 inches long, the area is 30 inches. Multiply 30 in.² by 48 slices per year and you have the average square inches eaten per person– 1440. Multiply that by 200 million and you have 288,000,000,000 in.² of pizza.
Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
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