Thursday, February 05, 2009

Great Interview Question

If I asked you how many eggs McDonalds Corporation goes through around the world in a year, how would you go about figuring that out? I'm looking not just for an overall number, but for how you go about arriving at that answer.

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14 Comments:

Blogger Riggstad said...

World population (6.7 billion) x percentage of civilized population (est. 50%)x 32% of those acutally having the ability to eat at Mcdonalds, x 2 (average amount of eggs per order).

so

(6.7mm x .50)x .32 x 2= 2,144,000

*numbers are probably wrong. All guestimates except for population. But that's how I would go about.

Actually, I would probably just call the company if I really needed to know :)

10:09 PM  
Blogger cmitch said...

Which came 1st, the chicken nuggets or the Egg McMuffin?

10:09 PM  
Blogger The Poker Grind said...

hmm...is this a trick question...bec the actual mcd's corp only owns 2 stores and the rest are owned by franchisees which are not mcd corp... but an even more shocking stat is that ( and u may not believe me) I've never , ever , eaten at a mcd's in my life , swear to g-d

10:19 PM  
Blogger Astin said...

What Riggs said - I'd call and ask. Or look it up.

Just because it's asked in an interview doesn't mean I should be denied access to the information. In the real world, a phone call or visit to the corporate website would be made. Same argument I made throughout Engineering - If I needed this formula in a job, I'd pull out the book.

Especially since there are too many factors to make a reasonable estimation. Sure, there's eggs in the McMuffins, but what about the other foods? Are there eggs in the patties? The special sauce? The McGriddles? Buns? Any of the salads have eggs in them? Dressings?

10:41 PM  
Blogger l.e.s.ter said...

The interwebs has the answer, if the corporation doesn't. In 2000, McDonalds bought 2.5% of the 75 billion eggs produced in the U.S. for its 13,000 domestic restaurants. With a little patience I'm sure I could track down the rest.

11:25 PM  
Blogger VinNay said...

Somehow think the point of this was missed. Its about problem solving skills, estimations, guesswork, and ability to think problems through.

Calling the company might yield a correct answer, but thats not the point of the exercise. Same goes for looking up the answer on the web. If I'm trying to hire someone who can think, these are not answers I want.

Riggs - your hired, though I disagree with your analysis.

11:58 PM  
Blogger AC said...

I'd try to assess what the needs of McDonalds might possibly be - IE, how many egg options on the menu, how many eggs per option, then you'd probably want to know what % of their menu options are egg options - presumably the majority (if not all) would be on the breakfast menu, so you'd have to factor that in as well. So you'd have to assume some % of orders are egg options (i think it's relatively safe to correlate the two if you assume that McDonalds has their inventory management under control). Then you say ok, well how many McDonalds restaurants exist, assume a # of customers per restaurant using some of their overall sales figures and then go from there. Obviously each assumption you make (and you're making a lot in this example) has the potential to throw off the whole process, but that's where I'd start right off the top of my head. It would be easy to poke holes in the methodology (such as this won't account for the fact that many McDonalds are not going to contain the same menus - especially internationally). But I guess it's a thought process that counts - hopefully this one doesn't suck eggs.

12:16 AM  
Blogger BadBlood said...

Duh. Ask the chickens.

1:13 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

Classic McKinsey question. Although they use styrofoam cups ...

2:01 AM  
Blogger Julius_Goat said...

It's right on their sign, the answer is "billions and billions."

Duh.

2:18 AM  
Blogger Chad C said...

I would say zero.... Those can't be real eggs.......

2:51 AM  
Blogger StB said...

Blood.....what chicken?

3:04 AM  
Blogger BadBlood said...

StB - I didn't say chicken. I said ask the hot chicks in the front row.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Instant Tragedy said...

I'd ask OOSSUU, because he buys meat for them. He probably could find out for you. :-)

Is it a trick question?

IT

12:58 AM  

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