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Hedge Fund Brainteasers: How Many Golf Balls Fit Into a School Bus?

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EP 795 Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter explains how to answer this hedge fund brainteaser, “How many golf balls would fit into a standard school bus?”


I've got another 1 of those tough interview questions. Now, I confess, neither the question nor the answer is one that I would've found without Google. The question is, "How many golf balls it a Standard school bus?"

I stumbled into this question on from someone who answered in this way:You make an assumption that the size of the bus is 35' x 7.5' x 6.5'. The volume of the bus equals 1706.25 cubic feet. One cubic foot equals 1728 Cubic inches. Therefore, 1706.2 5×1728 = 2948400 Cubic inches. Again, it is about the process. You can change the numbers anyway that you want.

The radius of a golf ball is .85 inches. Thus, the volume of a golf ball is for over 3 times pie times the radius of 3 equals 2.5 cubic inches.. The number of golf balls that could be accumulated in the bus is 2948400 divided by 2.5 Equals 1,179,360. However, assuming 25% of the space is occupied by seats in the bus, that really leaves about 75% of the space to accommodate balls. As such, 75% of 2,948,400 is 2211300. Thus, the number 2 million to thus, the number of golf balls that can be accommodated is 884, 520.

Notice that it all works with assumptions. That, at the end of the day, you are walking through a process starting off the size of the bus, determining the volume of the bus, translating cubic feet into cubic inches and, from there, progressing into the size of the golf ball, the volume of the golf ball, the number of golf balls that to be a common it bus and then noticing that there are Seats in there and making an assumption about them.

That's the process in; you can make up the numbers as you go along.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio” and “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” both available through iTunes and Stitcher.

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