Tag Archives: thinking

Interview Tip of the Week

How many manholes are there in NY (and other confusing questions)?

When Google asked, “How many cows are in Canada” one year, a lot of people were thrown in for a loop. One applicant to Google answered this question with, “Enough to make sure we plenty of milk and cheese”.

You don’t need to have advanced agriculture knowledge or start pumping out math equations to answer this question.  So if the interviewers are not testing your accuracy then what in the world are they looking for?

How about some creativity? Or, what about your ability to think, critically?

It sounds easy enough, but is it really? Maybe. The key is to think in both a creative and critical way to respond without crossing the line into a lack of professionalism.

You also have to realize that the point of such questions is to see if you can keep your thoughts together even under pressure. So, don’t be afraid to answer in fun way. Just be sure to stay grounded.

Remember, you want to make the interviewer think of you at the end of the day, and these oddball questions offer a great opportunity to do just that.

Employers are testing you to see if you know how to think on your feet and more so your problem solving abilities. If you feel thrown off, take a second to collect your thoughts before answering. Just remember though, if you’re stumped, the last thing you want to say is “I don’t know”. It’s much better to give a clever and creative response rather than to brush it off, stammer, or otherwise show that you are unwilling to think.

So how many manholes are there in New York?