If you are an intelligent person (and if you are visiting this site, chances are you are brilliant), you probably could have succeeded anywhere. Yes, you decided to study business, or psychology, or communications, or chemistry, or whatever, but that was not because it was the only thing you could study. It was because that was what you were passionate about at the time. If you had wanted to go into business, or psychology, or communications, or chemistry, and so on, you could have. You simply didn’t want to.
Companies have begun to pick up on this. They have begun to understand that what is important for success in the workplace is not just education – because anyone can choose to study whatever they want – what is important is intelligence, logic, and your ability to make decisions. So companies often ask wild card questions whose sole purpose is to see that you have an intelligent, logical thought process. One example of such a question is “why are manhole covers round?”
How To Answer
Remember, the most important parts of answering this question are that you use sound logic and you answer confidently, as though the question does not faze you. The latter is very important. If you pause or stutter or roll your eyes or use a tone that suggests the question is weird, you are going to fail. If you answer as though the question is just like any other, you will gain bonus points in the interviewer’s eyes.
“They’re round because they’ve always been round. I don’t understand? I guess they could be round because it is easier to drill a hole, or something.”
“From a practicality standpoint, it makes far more sense for a manhole cover to be round. Manhole covers are heavy, and you need the cover to easily fit when placed in the ground. With a square cover you would have to rotate until the lines match up, but with a round cover it always fits, regardless of how much it has been rotated. In addition, the round shape has been grandfathered into society. Each hole would have to be re-drilled simply to start using square manholes or triangle manholes, and that would be both unfeasible and unnecessary.”
This answer may be a little long, but hopefully the point is demonstrated. There is very clear logic in the above paragraph, and you are not pausing or acting confused as though you don’t know how to handle the question. Use this method to answer any wild card question.
Take Away Interview Tip
- Answer the question confidently and with sound logic.