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most absurd guesstimate

 
#1 most absurd guesstimate
22/01/2008 13:37

consultant

guesstimates are besides other things intended to catch you by surprise and to throw you off - so what's the craziest guesstimate you ever heard or you could ever think of?

Ill start - not extremely spectacular, but still: How much does New York weigh?

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#2 RE: most absurd guesstimate
22/01/2008 13:55

NEWYORKNEWYORK to consultant (#1)

The state or the city?

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#3 RE: most absurd guesstimate
22/01/2008 14:13

consultant to NEWYORKNEWYORK (#2)

they were talking of the city (actually got that one a while ago)

just curious what others have heard or can come up with

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#4 RE: most absurd guesstimate
22/01/2008 20:07

anon to consultant (#3)

How many baked beans fit inside a VW Beetle?

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#5 RE: most absurd guesstimate
22/01/2008 22:22

ginster to anon (#4)

How many roads must a man walk down before you can call him a man.

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#6 RE: most absurd guesstimate
23/01/2008 00:12

anon to consultant (#1)

How long is a piece of string?

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#7 RE: most absurd guesstimate
23/01/2008 00:47

Corporate Whore to anon (#6)

How long is a piece of string?

"Twice the size of half it's length" - My mate 'Dave'

http://corporatewhore.blog.com

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#8 RE: most absurd guesstimate
23/01/2008 08:56

? to Corporate Whore (#7)

How much does New York weigh? What answer did you give?

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#9 RE: most absurd guesstimate
23/01/2008 09:47

TB to ? (#8)

THe question about NY is amazing.. Answering would be very difficult, but I think a good way to tackle this problem is start asking for sensible info..

For example:

1. Do I have to consider also people and cars in NY? Or can I just consider buildings?

2. Is night or day? (During the day obviously there are more people than night in NY)

After this intro, we need to ask the interviewer lots of thing. We need some info to start a decent reasoning. If the interviewer doesn't provide any useful info concerning avg building weight or volume, then we need to make assumptions.

I think the key is just to be creative. One important thing that I will mention is the fact there is Central Park which must be taken into account during our process.

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#10 RE: most absurd guesstimate
23/01/2008 10:20

The Senior Vice President to TB (#9)

I once asked the following question:

How much horsepower does it take to run the Internet?

Hehe.

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#11 RE: most absurd guesstimate
23/01/2008 11:22

consultant to The Senior Vice President (#10)

I tackled the one about NY roughly the following:

How many inhabitants + workers/tourists and their avg. weight

No. of cars and their weight

With the buildings it gets really tricky. Obviously I had no idea what a house weighs, so I said a family house should equal to about 60 cars of 1.5 t, so around 90,000t per house. The funny thing: a few weeks later I found that a family house on avg weighs around 100,000t so I wasnt even too far off. But it gets even worse when you try to consider all the skyscrapers and also the underground.

At Senior Vice President: you didnt really want to give that applicant a chance did you :-)

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#12 RE: most absurd guesstimate
23/01/2008 12:11

student to consultant (#11)

I know these are supposeed to test your thought processes and logic, but how are you supposed to answer these? How much are you allowed to assume?

If I assumed that the average house weighed 10t and the average skyscraper 100,000t would I be marked down considering that these figures are way off?

Am I expected to know about Central Park and that? I'm good at creative, but my knowledge in this area would have been poor.

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#13 RE: most absurd guesstimate
23/01/2008 12:24

TB to student (#12)

Everyone knows that there is Central Park in NY.. Remember, if you don't know anything about the subject, state it clearly to your interviewer. This is way better than assuming things when you have zero knowledge.

Summing up, my approach is:

1. Asking for precise information

2. If the interviewer gives me the info I need, then I'm fine

3. If the interviewer wants me to make assumptions, I will make them relying on my knowledge

4. If I don't know anything, before starting with assumptions I will say to the interviewer "Since I don't know anything about this topic, would you explain me sth?"

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#14 RE: most absurd guesstimate
23/01/2008 12:54

consultant to TB (#13)

whenever I had such guesstimates I was never provided with any further information. Obviously you have to deal with numbers here you absolutely dont know. So as TB said, I always stated where I was missing any info and how I would approximate it. I guess thats the only way you can really do it since there are too many things you just dont know in this case.

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#15 RE: most absurd guesstimate
24/01/2008 15:08

caerurfan to ginster (#5)

..the answer my friend is blowing in the wind...

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#16 How much does new york weigh?
24/01/2008 15:10

caerurfan to consultant (#1)

How much does New York weigh?.

Answer: Don't know for sure but if it is typical of the USA then it'll be about 30% heavier than it should be..

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