What are some of the most common statistical questions asked in interviews with marketing/management/finance firms?

What are some of the most common statistical questions asked in interviews with marketing/management/finance firms?

Here are some examples:

  • “How many airplanes leave from Boston’s Logan Airport on Monday?”
  • “How many lightbulbs are there in Manhattan?”
  • “What is the market size for a cancer diagnostic technology in the U.S.?”
  • “How many passengers fly through LAX in a calendar year?”
  • How many watermelons were sold in the USA last year
  • How many bricks are there in Big Ben
  • How many traffic lights are there in New York

A working example:

Estimate how much time it would take a single average size dump truck…to move an average size mountain from one location to another one located 1 mile away.

How I would work it out: (all guesses)

  • The average size dump truck can hold 2 tonnes
  • The average size mountain is 1 million tonnes
  • That means it needs 500,000 dump truck journeys to transport it
  • If it can travel approximately 60 miles per hour that’s 1 minute per mile
  • Loading time is 1 hour
  • Drop off time is 30 minutes
  • Get in/Get out/Speed Up - Slow Down time is 2 minutes
  • Return journey another 1 minute

1 return trip is 1 hour 34 minutes

Which is 94 x 500k (Round it up maths w/no calculator)

= 4.7 million minutes.

If we assume the driver needs breaks/shift changes etc etc. It’s around 2 hours 'slippage every 1000 tonnes.

That’s an additional 1000 hours or 60k minutes.

So the true total is then 4.76 million minutes

[NB I didn’t check this against anything online - it’s just an example of how I would answer this - I could be very wrong - it’s just important to have a rationale]

transcribed from most common statistical questions asked in marketing interviews