By Jim Davis
You are probably wondering what in the world a question like that would have to do with a job interview. Well, you may be asked any number of different types of questions, and there are lots of reasons.
The "why are manhole covers round?" question is one I have seen used in practice interviews, but to be honest, I've never had it asked in a real interview. If it were, though, it would be basically to find out several things. One could be just to see how you react to an "off-the-wall" kind of question. Do you get flustered, or do you keep your cool? Another reason is to see how well you can think. What your answer is may not be as important as how you come up with it and how you state your answer.
Other questions interviewers will ask you probably fall into five basic categories:
- Your qualifications for the job.
- They may ask something about your grades, courses you took, etc.
- Your experience.
- Your opinion of yourself.
This is no time to be bashful or to put yourself down. That does not mean you should claim to be able to do things you can't do, of course, but showing that you feel good about yourself and your abilities is a must.
- "Dumb questions."
This is probably the place where the "manhole cover" question would fit. Questions like this are to see what kind of answer you will come up with, and to explore why you answered the way you did. And, as you've probably guessed by now, these questions are NOT dumb. They are basically to see how you think.
- "What did you do?" or "How did you do that?" questions.
These questions are to see how you actually behaved in real situations. They may not have anything to do with any kind of work you have done, though. Something you have told about during the interview, or something you put on your resume will give them an idea for this type of question.
Regardless of what kinds of questions your interviewer asks, though, you should always remember this. They are hoping that you will do well in your interview. After all, their reason for interviewing you is to find the best person for the job. That person might as well be you.