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Guesstimate Tips on How to Prepare for an Interview

Beginning your job search and preparation for the same, you must have come across various suggestions about how to approach the preparations. 

A popular choice among candidates is to solve guesstimates to prepare for the target job and company, especially as it is becoming a trending set of questions in consulting interviews. 

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?

Guesstimate is a mix of guess and estimate, which also refers to an educated guess. We make a guesstimate when there is enough information to avoid making a wild guess but not enough information to create a statistically valid estimate.

For example, It is known that the age of 10+2 students in India is typically 18 years old. Aman is in class 12th, so 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.

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 questions for a Job Interview?

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.

The typical process to solve guesstimates can be broken down into phases:

Clarification: 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.

Definition: 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.

Analysing: 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.

Conclusion: 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:

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

Clarification:

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

Definition:

Assumption 1: 70% of students drink tea

Assumption 2 : It is just a students’ canteen

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

Assumption 4: College remains open 6 days a week.

Assumption 5: 25 working days in a month

Analysing:

The total number of student who drinks tea is 140 (200*70%)

Number of cups of tea consumed in a day 280 (two cups a day)

Rs value of tea consumed per day at the college canteen is 2800 (280*10)

Amount spent in a month (2800*25) Rs 70000

Conclusion:

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

Conclusion

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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