Embarking on your job search journey? You might be seeking valuable advice on how to prepare for interviews. One popular strategy among candidates is mastering guesstimates, particularly for consulting interviews. In this guide, we’ll explore guesstimates, understand their importance, and learn how to effectively prepare for them. So, let’s dive in!

There are numerous platforms available where one can find these questions and guides. The most important thing to be kept in mind while trying to learn to solve guesstimates using this method is to find the right set of questions for the target profile and not just go for random online questions.

What is a Guesstimate?

A guesstimate is a blend of “guess” and “estimate.” It’s an educated guess made when you have just enough information to avoid a wild guess, but more is needed for a statistically valid estimate.

For example, if you know most 12th-grade students in India are around 18 and you know that a student called Aman is in class 12th, it can be guesstimated that his age is around 18 years.

Why are Guesstimates asked?

Guesstimates are important to understand and prepare; many top firms have included guesstimates in their interview processes. These questions are atypical and can catch a candidate off guard if he does not understand the logic and approach to solving guesstimates.

Top firms often include guesstimates in their interview processes to evaluate your ability to:

  1. Structure information
  2. Handle numbers and perform quick calculations
  3. Manage problems logically

Now that you know why guesstimates matter, let’s look at how to approach them.

The Basic Approach to Solving Guesstimates

To solve guesstimates, we need to understand which approach fits the best towards solving the questions. 

The information given in the questions can help you decide which approach is best.

Basic Maths Approach

Questions involving simple mathematical assumptions to make an educated guess to solve the problems are handled under this approach. For example, A question asking how many rooms are in the building does not require factoring in demand and supply or a per-capita approach.

Supply and Demand Approach

If the question has elements of consumption of the product in the country, it, in general, requires one to make some assumption of expected demand or supply of a particular product.

Per-capita Approach

Where a problem requires estimations by calculating a per-person breakdown of the subject, it is dealt with using the per-capita approach.

How to Solve Guesstimates for Job Interviews

To solve guesstimates questions for job interviews, candidates need to break down the given complex-looking information that can be estimated in small pieces based on general information or through an assumption.

To effectively tackle guesstimates, follow these easy steps:

1. Clarify

The most important step while solving a guesstimate is clearly understanding the question’s nature. Suppose an interviewer asks you a basic question: How many students are there in your college now? Here you need to understand clearly whether the interviewer wants to know the number of students enrolled in your college now or whether They want to know the number of students on a college campus at that particular time. Before estimation, you need to be clear about the intention of the question.

2. Define

There is no absolute mathematical method for approaching a guess. An estimate may be solved using various techniques, including top-down, bottom-up, process mapping, layout-centric, and critical comparison. The idea here is to choose a technique that allows you to reduce assumptions, a basic guideline to follow when approaching guesstimates.

3. Analyse

One thing is for sure, depending on how many guesstimates you have handled before, you will start getting the hang of how to handle any particular questions; the analysis of the question will give you an idea of the best possible method. To begin with, making 2-3 steps start will indicate the proper method. To become an expert in solving guesstimates, it is suggested to do a lot of guesstimates exercises from authentic platforms.

4. Summarize

After taking all the steps above, the final step requires you to conclude your assumptions and test whether your estimates are correct. To master guesstimates, solve as much as you can from reliable sources.

A job interview involving guesstimates enables the interview to understand your ability to:

  • Structure information
  • Deal with numbers
  • Do quick calculations
  • Logical manage the problems

Example on a Guesstimate

Problem: Calculate the amount spent in your College Canteen on tea per month:


Amount spent on tea per month required

The price of tea/cup is Rs 10

The canteen remains open until 5 pm

There are 200 students


Assumption 1: 70% of students drink tea

Assumption 2: It is just a students’ canteen

Assumption 3: Each student who drinks tea consumes 2 cups a day

Assumption 4: The college remains open 6 days a week.

Assumption 5: 25 working days in a month


# students who drink tea = 200 x 70% = 140

# cups of tea consumed in a day = 2 (Assumption 3) x 140 = 280

Value of tea consumed / day at the college canteen = 280 x 10 = Rs. 2,800

Amount spent in a month = Rs 2,800 x 25 = 70,000


Given all the assumptions taken above hold true, the amount spent on tea on a college campus every month is Rs. 70,000.


Numerous fields include guesstimates in their Job interview. As a candidate, you must understand the type and kind of problems that are expected to be asked in your field of choice. 

To achieve the same, you should interact with professionals in the field, join a course and solve as many guesstimates as possible, so the approach comes naturally to you.

To explore the plethora of guesstimate questions from a specific field and interact with an industry expert today, download the Seekho app today.


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