Why ARE Manhole Covers Round?

December 12, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Whichever side of the job interview you find yourself on, chances are you've been asked some odd questions - but have you ever had to opine on the shape of manhole covers?

“Asking a truly unexpected question will likely elicit a candid, unrehearsed response,” according to Liz Hughes, vice president of staffing service firm OfficeTeam. “As a bonus, the hiring manager will get a better sense of the person’s sense of humor and ability to think quickly.”

While you may think you’re ready for whatever might come your way, a national survey by OfficeTeam of the nation’s 1,000 largest companies has come up with some “doozies,” including:

  • “Why are manhole covers round?”
  • “What would I find in your refrigerator?”
  • “Do you have air conditioning at home?”
  • “How will taking this job change your life?”
  • “What made you move to a backward city like this one?”

The survey also presented some sample “icebreaker” questions often used to warm things up, including:

  • “What’s your favorite color?”
  • “If you could be any animal, what would you be?”
  • “If you were having a dinner party and could invite three famous people, who would they be?”
  • “What’s the last book you read?”

What’s the strangest interview question YOU were ever asked? E-mail me at nevin.adams@plansponsor.com