How to answer basic market sizing interview questions

You typically get market sizing questions in interviews, whether they’re for technical, finance, marketing or consulting positions.
Companies such as Google and McKinsey are well-known for using Market Sizing questions in interviews to assess strong candidates.

The reasons why interviewers ask Market Sizing questions are to:

  • Assess a candidate’s thinking and problem-solving process.
  • Understand how a candidate breaks a problem down and supports their reasoning

For example, a basic Market Sizing question could look like this:

Interviewer: “How many households are in the United States?”

At this point, you might be saying to yourself “How could I possibly know this? It’s not like there’s a specific number of U.S. households out there on the Internet! I didn’t know you’d ask me this question – otherwise, I would’ve looked it up beforehand!”

Well, one tip is to see if you can use the human population as a starting point.

To answer this question, you could say something like:

You: “Well, I know that there are around 300 million people living in the United States. I personally live in a family of 3 people, so assuming that there are roughly 3 people living in 1 household, that leaves me with around 100 million households in the United States.”

According to Statista, there are approximately over 125 million households in the United States.

Pretty close, right? Here’s another one:

Interviewer: “How many cars are there in the United States?”

Take a moment to think about this yourself. While it seems like a big question that’s impossible to answer, it’s actually simpler than you might think.

You: “Well, I know that there are around 300 million people in the United States. I live in a family of 3 people, and we have 2 cars at our house. So assuming that there are roughly 3 people living in 1 household, that gives me roughly 100 million U.S. households. Assuming that each household has roughly 2 cars (some might have more, some might have less), that gives me roughly 200 million cars in the United States.”

Statista estimates that there are roughly over 260 million cars in the United States.

Again, considering this kind of thinking takes less than 30 seconds, we came pretty close to the answer starting from scratch!

And another one:

Interviewer:  “How many Starbucks stores are there in the United States?”

You: “Interesting question! Well, I need to break this down a bit. You see, I live in X-Town where we have roughly 100,000 people, and I estimate that we have anywhere between 3 to 5 Starbucks stores. I also know that there are 300 million people in the United States. Based on my town of 100,000 people, I know that I would need to multiple my town’s population by 3000 to get 300 million people (the U.S. population) – this means that I can pretty much fit 3000 X-Towns in the United States!
Thus, since I know that 1 X-Town has anywhere between 3 to 5 Starbucks stores, and that I can fit roughly 3000 X-Towns in the U.S, this gives me anywhere from 9000 (3 Starbucks in X-Town * 3000 X-Towns) to 15,000 Starbucks stores (5 * 3000) in the United States.”

Statista estimates that there are roughly 12,000+ Starbucks stores in the United States (company-operated AND licensed).

Interviewer: “Great! Thank you for sharing your thinking process!”

Overall, these are some of the basic kinds of market sizing questions one could expect in an interview.

As you can see, these kinds of market sizing question requires one to:

  • Break down the problem into smaller pieces.
  • Use AND justify assumptions. 

    Again, interviewers don’t expect you to get the “correct” answer. For the record, it’s highly likely they don’t know the answer themselves – for example, they probably don’t have the exact number of Starbucks stores in the U.S. written at the top of their notes.

What they want to see is your thinking process, and whether you can come up with reasonable assumptions to justify your answer.

Take 2 minutes to recognize questions where you can use the human population to help you answer market sizing interview questions! It can really be helpful for future interviews.

Hope this helps!

Source : Kelvin Luo’s Answer on Quora.

Must Read Article : Why should we hire you?




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Why resume is rejected or shortlisted

So what goes in the mind of recruiter or HR when they are looking at your resume?
what are the factors which decide whether your resume is going to be shortlisted or rejected?
What you should do so that you can be assured that your resume is selected?

We tried answering these questions in this article.

Reasons which leads to the rejection of resume:
  • Grammatical mistakes (these can play a huge part even if you’re perfect candidate). Not all of us are great writers and anyone can make mistakes, but the most common mistake is – spelling mistakes, make sure your resume is error-free.
    Tip: Run your resume through spell-checker or at-least copy paste in google docs and correct the spelling errors.
  • Nowadays many resumes get rejected due to the reason that you have to travel an hour, so by looking at your address or place, HR would probably reject you, avoid adding the address.
  • Lying – such as, when you saw the job posting you tried to change your resume and added some skill set or pointers in which you do not have any experience or just know the basics.
  • Your resume is way lengthy, trust me HR gets loads of resumes and if you’re going to make it look like short-novel we suggest hire some professionals to make your resume.
  • If sending resume via email, always name your resume with combination of your name and position you are apply for.
Reasons which leads to the shortlisting of resume:
  • Excellent Cover letter with neat and precise Resume, nicely formatted with bullet points and a positive objective.
  • Adding your achievements.
  • Certifications – for example – a Project Manager with PMP certification will get shortlisted first then who do not.
  • Done Coaching and Mentoring to your juniors or subordinates.
  • You’ve come through referral.
  • Creative resume and good online presence.
  • A good summary with keywords specific to job.

Read  how to Improve communication skills.


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Things you should never say in an interview

There are few things you should never say in an interview. If you include these things in your answer than there are huge chances that you will not be selected for next round. So what are those things which you should take care of during any interview? Lets see.

  • Never tell or even hint that you are not really interested in the job and you are taking it just because you have to.
    “You know, ah, my last start-up bombed. So I need a job desperately to get back on my feet.”
    “I actually want to be in <another domain>. But I am not getting anything. So I’m applying here in the meantime. <Domain you are interviewing for> isn’t exactly my passion”.

Continue reading “Things you should never say in an interview”

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What is your weakness? – Interview question

You’re in an interview, things seem to be going well, and then they ask one of the most commonly asked, and most poorly answered questions: “What do you consider to be your greatest weakness?”

Common thinking has been to give an answer that turns a negative into a positive; like: “My biggest weakness is that I work too hard and don’t know when to turn it off sometimes.” Or “I push myself too hard.” Or else people answer “I can’t think of any.” Or “I don’t have any!”.

Continue reading “What is your weakness? – Interview question”

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Why should we hire you

Just like questions ‘what is your hobby?’ and ‘Tell me something about yourself‘, this question ‘why should we hire you’ is one of the standard question which is asked in every interview.

Why this question is asked?

If you are facing this question that means you have cleared preliminary rounds. Selection team knows that you are potential candidate. They know that you have skills required for this job. But now you have to prove it by giving examples how you fit for the job and how you have all the skills required for this job.

What is there in it for you?

This question is a great opportunity to sell yourself. This is your chance to convince your interviewer why he/she should hire you. This is the time when ball is in your court. Brag about your skills, accomplishments and achievements. You need to correlate your skills with job requirements. Explain with the help of examples from past so that you can outshine your peers.

Things to be included in the answer?
  • What can you do for company:  Most of the people answer this question by stating their experience and skills. This is ok but not good. Employer wants to know how can you improve the company. What ideas do you have to make life better for interviewer. So always talk about benefits (what you can improve) before features (your skills).
  • Required skills and experience: Read the job description carefully. Most of the job description clearly mention the technical skills required, experience and the job profile. Now show that you have required skills to do the job. Use past experience as proof for you claim. If you do not have any prior experience then use your final year project experience or your internship experience. Convince them that you are qualified to deliver exceptional results.
  • Why you fit for the job: Employers are extremely happy to know that you have taken the time to understand their product, team and company. Learn about the company culture from current employees or your seniors or from the Internet. Use this knowledge to relate yourself with the company at personal level. How you are gonna fit into the team.
  • Person who get things done: Tell them you are the person who get things done no matter how tough the job is or how many obstacles are there in path. Give some example from past how you completed a project in spite of multiple challenges.

For each of the above point, memorize some anecdotes to support your claim. Be concise with your stories. Use words ‘passion’, ‘love’, ‘excited’ frequently in your answer. But remember not to overdo it.

Story time:

Here is a story to help you. This happened during the Flipkart placement interview at IIT Madras 2014.

So after various questions, the interviewer tries to close the interview with this-

interviewer:  Why should we hire you?
candidate:  Sir, you see this shirt? It’s size 41. I ordered it on Flipkart. I wear 39. Returned it twice, got the same shirt back. So either change your system, or take me to change it! Because clearly it’s not working.


  • Be Confident. Maintain eye contact. Sit up straight.
  • Look charming. Wear your best dress. Prepare dress one night before.
  • Smile. Don’t cross your arms.
  • Stand when interviewer enters the room. Give respect.
  • Shake hands, firmly, quickly. Don’t avoid eye contact.
  • Do you research. What company does, What are their main products, what is the culture in company, what problem is company facing?
  • Never lie. Do not say bullshit. Don’t mention anything personal until asked. Interviewers don’t care.
  • Speak clearly and state your positive quality.
Example answer for an experienced programmer:

“Honestly, I almost feel like the job description was written with me in mind. I have the 6 years of programming experience you’re looking for, a track record of successful projects, and proven expertise in agile development processes.

At the same time, I have developed my communication skills from working directly with senior managers, which means I am well prepared to work on high-profile, cross-department projects. I have the experience to start contributing from day one and I am truly excited about the prospect of getting started.”

You can tailor the answer according to you. If you do not have any prior experience, use your final year project and internship learning.


Don’t do this –



Good luck.




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Tell me something about yourself

“Describe yourself” or “tell me something about yourself”.

This is the first question which is asked in most of the interviews. This question is asked not only HR interview, but in technical interview as well. Interviews are like speed dating. This question decides how long your interview is going to be. If you do not look impressive enough to interviewer he might call for next candidate.

What is the purpose of this question:

Continue reading “Tell me something about yourself”

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What is your hobby

“What is your hobby?”

This question is one of the most dreaded one out of all the questions asked in HR round. No matter which interview you appear for, this question will  be waiting for you. I have seen students fumbling and getting nervous when this question is asked. And under the influence of nervousness students start blabbering. But here is the good news. In this write-up we have come up with solution of ‘what should I answer when asked about my hobby?’.

Why this question is asked:
  • For some interviewers this is just a question to know more about you. Interviewer wants to know about your hobbies so that he can find a correlation with people currently on team so that he can know how you fit into the group.
  • Generally this question doesn’t decide whether you are hired or not hired.
  • But this question’s answer conveys a lot of information about your personality and nature.
  • For other interviewers it is an opportunity to know how you handle a situation when someone in higher authority asks you a stupid question. Do you correct him and steer him in right direction without making him feel like stupid?
  • For most of the interviewers this is a chance to connect at personal level. That’s all.
What is NOT a good hobby:
  • ‘Watching movies’ is not a hobby if you don’t know upcoming releases, famous movie directors and their movie making style and some basic movie genre. Also what is the full form of IMDb?
  • Similarly ‘watching TV’ and ‘playing cricket’ do not qualify as hobbies if you are not very passionate about it and you know the full form of CNN or how many teams play international cricket..
  • ‘Shopping’ and ‘photography’ is not a hobby if you don’t know about lenses and aperture.
  • Basically any activity which puts you in role of consumer rather than producer is not a good example of hobby. For example ‘writing short stories’ is way better than ‘reading’ as  a hobby.
What is a good hobby:
  • Any activity which needs creativity is a good hobby.
  • Anything where you are producer and not just consumer. Something which involves interactivity and you just don’t sit and watch or listen.
  • ‘Avid reader’, ‘Astronomy’ or playing some musical instrument are good hobbies.
  • Whatever activity you say as your hobby, you should be really passionate about it and you must know things in that field.
Tips while answering this question (or any question):
  • Don’t lie. You just need to lie once to loose your credibility. Its very tough to verify every statement you make. So a lie in one statement would make interviewer doubt all other statement you made.
  • Be comfortable with what you know and what you don’t know. It is ok to not know everything. Do not hesitate to admit if you don’t know anything. Demonstrate the willingness to learn new things and show an example from past how fast you could learn.
  • Be confident. It is easy if you work on point mentioned above.
  • Show enthusiasm but don’t look desperate. Interviewers look for non-verbal cues so you could reveal more about yourself.
  • Ask questions. Interact with interviewer. This is a chance to know interviewer at personal level where you might get an edge over other candidates.
    Our suggestion for readers:

    Develop a good hobby. It will not only help you during the interview process but it will help you in you career and at your personal level. For example reading is a good habit. It makes you knowledgeable and you can speak on any topic, which further help in group discussions.


    Bonus tip:

Be prepare to demonstrate you hobby during interview process.
For example:
Interviewer : So what is your hobby.
You: I like writing short stories.
Interviewer: Wow. That’s great. Ok, I am giving you 5 minutes. Come up with a really nice story.
<Now you starts. If you followed our instructions and didn’t lied, you should be good otherwise……>


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HR Interview – Almost there


If you have made so far than chances are that you will make it. In UPTU placement drives, HR interview or managerial rounds are just to sum up the placement process. If you do not make really stupid mistake than you are sure to get the job offer.

What is the purpose of this round:

– To sum up the interview process.
– background check on candidate.
– Negotiation on package offered.
– To know more about candidate on personal level.
– Inform candidate about the company and work culture.
– convey joining date and location.
– To know about candidate future plans and willingness to join the organization.

How to prepare for this round:

– Well! there is no guide which can be followed to pass this stage. You have to prepare yourself for any question they ask. We will discuss in details about the frequently asked questions in HR round.
– One thing you must have for this round is good communication skills and ability to put your thoughts clearly.
– Interviewer look for a candidate who will remain loyal to company. They try to figure out which participant can be an asset instead of liability for organization.
– Practice a mock interview with your friend, seniors or placement coordinators.
– Work on your body language. You should look positive.
– Be confident. Dress properly. Shave or trim beard. Refer the Dress code article.

Bonus Tips:

– Always show that you are interested and very excited to work with organization.
Never tell them that you are planning to go for higher education or you are taking this interview for backup purpose.
– During conversation use words like ‘we’ instead of ‘company’ and I. This gives a feeling like you consider yourself as part of company. E.g. ‘We will work hard’ instead of ‘I will work hard’.

What not to do:

– I repeat here that never tell them about your future plans.
– Do not criticize your past employer.
– Do not bad-mouth about your previous team mates.
– If you do not agree with something, do not argue. Discuss it very politely. Start with ‘With all due respect sir/madam, I would like to…..’
– Try to avoid use of word ‘but’ in sentence. Instead take a pause and start your sentence. E.g. ‘I can do that but this is difficult’ – avoid this. Use this – ‘I can do that <pause> This is difficult.


I strongly recommend these books to improve your English. These books are very cheap and Normal Lewis writes in very simple language –


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UPTU Placements : Introduction

Recently I was asked for guidance regarding the placements. This is the season of placements in UPTU colleges. This is time for which all of you has been preparing since last four years. I mean of-course some of you have other plans like M.Tech , MBA, MS, Civil Services and other jobs but still more than 65% of you will end up in IT sector. Here in this blog I will try to help you guys regarding the placements and will try to answer your queries.

I am well aware about the placement conditions at UPTU colleges. Most of the students are hired by mass recruiters like Infosys, TCS, Wipro, Accenture and others to name a few. For a fresher this is not a bad option at all. Some of my friends started from Infosys with a package of 3 LPA and with in 2.5 years they are working in Finland, England and other countries and are earning more than 10 LPA.

Placement cells in most of the colleges are not well functioning. In most of the colleges only 3-4 companies will visit. If you are placed in those companies then well and good otherwise you have to try off-campus which is even more competitive, tedious and frustrating process. All parents wants their child to get placed in one of these companies. Its their dream come true if you bag an offer. Getting placed from campus boost your moral and confidence, making it easier to prepare other exams, be it higher studies or better placement option.

Since most of the companies visiting UPTU campuses are mass recruiter, we will focus on such type of placement drives only. We suggest all job seeker and readers to follow the articles in sequence.

Follow these articles to prepare for placement:
Rounds overview:
Technical preparation:

For technical round, be it technical written exam or technical interview, we have written a series of articles. In this series we have discussed subject wise most frequently asked questions. We will keep updating this series.

Most frequently asked Technical Questions

C programming : Most frequently asked questions.
Java programming : Most frequently asked questions.
Data Structures : Most frequently asked questions.
Operating systems : most frequently asked questions.
Computer Networks : Most frequently asked questions.
Most frequently asked Project related questions.

Standard questions:

No matter which company is visiting your campus, no matter what interview round it is, there are few questions which are certainly asked. Most of the time students are not sure why these questions are asked? What is the intention of interviewer and what are they looking for in candidate? But answer to these questions reveals a lot about candidate.

To help you tackle these type of questions we have written detailed articles.


English preparation:

To crack any interview you must have good communication skills. Some companies look for students with good communication skill even if students are not technically very sound. So you must work on your English no matter if you are technically very good or not. This article focus on how to work on your communication skills and how to improve you English.

How to improve your English

Books Suggestion:

Good books are the key to success. In 8 semesters of B.Tech you have almost 30+ course. We can not purchase all the books. But there are few subjects which are evergreen. Questions from these subjects are asked in PSU jobs, GATE, IES and placement interviews. So it is always advisable to buy standard books for these subjects. In this article we have compiled such a list of books every B.Tech CSE student must have.

Must have books for every student

Feel free to comment.

Good Luck with your placements.





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