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8 Absurd Interview Questions (that are asked by large corporations)

Posted By: on May 24, 2011


We’ve all heard the standard questions such as “where will you be in 5 years” and “how well do you work under pressure” but have you ever been asked, “Why are manhole covers round?”

If you haven’t, you probably haven’t applied for a job at Google.

This graphic by our friends at Mindflash shows 8 of the most absurd questions asked by some corporations. How you answer them could mean the difference between the job of your dreams and just another job.

Click to enlarge.

Odd Interview Questions

10 Responses to “8 Absurd Interview Questions (that are asked by large corporations)”

  1. Boris Svirsky says:

    some of these responses are cleaver, unfortunately unless your position requires you to completely think out side of the box, than half of these responses will not work. take for example the manhole question, several companies here in NYC ask this question. true response requires a person to think geometrically on why a circle is better than a box in the case of a thick metal piece? ANSWER: a circular manhole cover would not slip through no matter anyway you place on the hole, any other shape would slip through.

    although, I do like the response to the question on traffic lights all other responses would get a giggle, meanwhile 50 other candidates for the position would answers correctly.

  2. bob says:

    "Why are manhole covers round?":

    I got this one on an interview for a programmer position. The answer:

    So they don't fall into the sewer below. If they were square, then you could drop them in if you held them up vertically and oriented along the diagonal.

    On the same interview:

    give me 5 ways to find a needle in a haystack

  3. JT says:

    Manhole covers are round because it's impossible for them to fall through and hurt someone. Square covers can fall through the opening and kill a worker. There's a very concrete and practical answer to that one.

  4. looking closely says:

    Manhole covers are round so that they can't fall into the hole by mistake.

  5. Haiku Guy says:

    Manhole covers are round because it is impossible to drop a round manhole cover into a round hole. Any other shape will drop into the hole if you put it in crooked. Another advantage of the round shape is that there are no stress concentrations at corners, so they are easier to optomize. And, finally, you don't have to worry about putting a round manhole cover on straight.

  6. C says:

    Manhole covers are round because that is the only shape that can't be maneuvered to fall through the slightly smaller rim they rest on. A square would fit through diagonally and crush workers. Circles never can.

  7. Logan says:

    manhole covers are round so they do not fall through no matter how you drop them on the hole, whereas a square cover would fall through if you put it diagonally.

  8. Bob Saget says:

    LOL, you ask me any of those questions then the interview is over. Seriously, if a company has HR people who behave that way in an interview then you better run, as fast as you fucking can.

  9. Engy says:

    The reason manhole covers are round is simple. If they were square or a similar shape, people would be able to drop them through the hole they cover. Round covers are immune to this.

    Additionally, wood and alcohol used to have fermenting barrels in common.

  10. Barc777 says:

    Why do I keep seeing the phrases "are drank" and "have you drank"??? The correct verb in these cases is "drunk". It does NOT mean a state of intoxication when used as a verb….

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