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I’m interviewing people for a data entry position, and this person was doing okay in the interview. She had her cell phone on, and it rang a few times, and she got a text message or two. Not ideal, and not so professional, but I can forgive that, though. (My recommendation is that unless your wife is about to give birth, your parent is in the hospital, etc, you should probably keep your phone off during a job interview.)

So, I asked her a question that I’ve asked many, many people in the past, “Why are manhole covers (i.e. in the street) round? Instead of square, or another shape?”

I’ve used this question, and while it’s wonderful if someone gives the right answer, I’m looking for more of how they might approach the problem. There are lots of great answers, including the fact that a round man hole won’t fall back into the hole.

She didn’t know. And that was fine with me. I was looking for how she could think on her feet.

I had a browser window open on the computer in our conference room, so I asked her next, “If I give you the mouse and keyboard, could you find the answer to this question?”

She said she could… which was the correct answer.

Instead of going to Google, or another search engine, she just typed, www.manholes.com into the browser. Up came a gay porn site! (You probably do not want to visit the site)

Not quite the problem solving answer I was looking for….

Summary: Don’t pull up a porn site during a job interview.

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