You’ve probably heard of some of these legendary interview questions asked at many high-tech companies -- questions that baffle an interviewee as to how manhole covers possibly relate to a job as a developer, marketing manager, or a financial controller. On the surface, these seem like highly peculiar and illogical questions for an interviewer to be asking. It’s not necessarily the answer that the interviewer is looking for, but the thought process the interviewee uses to come up with the answer.
In one interview I conducted, the interviewee had a good resume and did great with answering technical questions. I was feeling pretty good about the interviewee and was leaning toward hiring him. Then I asked him how he would build a 150-story building. This is where things fell apart. He simply wasn’t able to show critical thinking or creativity in his thought process and stammered through an answer. I ended up declining the candidate because, while I thought he had the technical skills to do the job, he didn’t demonstrate some of the core attributes that my company looked for in its employees.
When you’re being interviewed, here are some techniques to keep in mind when faced with “manhole cover” questions:
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