Have you been asked about manhole covers in a job interview for a high-tech company recently?
It may be.
Yes, it is interesting that in recent years manhole covers have become a common topic in job interviews, especially when looking for jobs in high-tech companies. You can assume that the relevant work is to some extent related to manhole cover production, or may be related to road construction equipment. Chapter

In almost all types of job interviews in high-tech companies, the topic of manhole covers suddenly appeared. Do you want to be a programmer in a high-tech company? You better prepare for those problems in the gutter. You want to work in finance or marketing in a high-tech company. The manhole cover will definitely stand up. Chapter

In one of those frenzied recruiting trends, the alternative topic of manhole covers has become a popular new method of candidate selection in a way. It is said that it can separate the creative wheat from the boring chaff. Manhole cover interview questions are likely meant to elicit someone’s original ideas or degree of thought on the site, no matter which of these two attributes (or both) the company is looking to find among the right applicants).
Let’s start with one of the first puzzling questions, which has attracted a lot of attention among interviewers.
Are you ready?
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lineup. Interviewer takes a serious look at it and lets you estimate how many manhole covers there are in New York City. Give him a minute or two to reflect on this well thought-out topic. The interviewer is watching you closely to see how you handle this painful and strange problem.
If you haven’t heard of this question before, keep thinking about it. Try not to show outward signs of cold sweats or other ways to remind you that you are working hard to resolve sensitive inquiries. It’s best to make it look like a fancy computing machine, and you’re crafting the best answer to this fascinating question.
Of course, you may actually think that this is an esoteric or weird question that has nothing to do with the job you are applying for. However, in the weird nature of job interviews, you shouldn’t dare to question such a question, but rather act like it’s the best question since making sliced ​​bread.
Since I don’t want you to lose a potentially juicy job at a high-tech company due to the sewer problem, I’m happy to reveal the answer to you.
You must estimate the number of manhole covers by first imagining in your mind a scene that dreamily indicates the layout of the roads in New York City. Essentially, the avenue is a direction (usually north-south), and the street is a roughly vertical direction (usually east-west). This is a grid layout, similar to a matrix. Imagine a spreadsheet with multiple rows and columns.
Next, you will see in your mind that each intersection of the matrix may have a manhole cover. Therefore, if you multiply the number of streets by the number of streets, that is, the number of rows and columns in this imaginary matrix, then you can multiply the calculated number by the estimated value of the manhole cover and get your total estimate.
Assuming that there is less than one manhole cover at each intersection can be misleading, so multiple rows per column will result in scores. Or you can reverse it, assuming there are multiple manhole covers at each intersection. In this case, you will multiply the number of result rows and columns by a number greater than 1.
Look, you have a way to answer this question. Type
.
A big problem with this particular variant of the so-called “smart” problem is that not everyone knows that New York City is organized in a grid (interviewers who know this mysterious trivia often assume that everyone must knowledge). Without these key knowledge, you will fall into this strange problem. Even if you know it is a grid shape, you may not know how many avenues and streets there are.
It can also be said that this is a good generalization, because not all New York City conforms to this well-formed grid concept. But it is best not to go to the windmill, especially during job interviews.
The usual reasonable explanation for this manhole cover question is that the interviewer does not expect an arithmetic answer, but is indirectly trying to measure how you think. If you can outline how you will solve this crafty problem, this is considered sufficient evidence that you are a thinker and problem solver. The
counter to this reason is that, unfortunately, many interviewers did not perform well in the interview, thus completely distorting the manhole cover problem. Some interviewers will eagerly await a number and if you do not provide a number, it will be marked as incorrect. For those interviewees who have actually calculated the numbers, if the numbers don’t exactly match the actual number of manhole covers in New York City, some interviewers will nervously mark this as “wrong.”
Things have gotten worse since then.

By Peter

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