Puzzle Interview Questions – so why are manhole covers round?

The history of procurement interviewing techniques -  a good topic for a future paper or article I suspect. But today we just wanted to cover one particular development.

There’s some evidence (see this piece on the British Psychological Society website for more details) that organisations and interviewers are making greater use of what is generally termed “puzzle questions” in interviews.  Whilst this is particularly prevalent in graduate recruitment situations, it’s happening more generally.

So you’re sitting there, answering questions on category management, when suddenly, your interviewer interrupts your explanation of your 7-step process, and says,

“So how many golf balls are in the air at this moment around the world”?


But why is this type of question becoming more popular? It is perhaps related to increasing familiarity of interviewees to other types of questioning techniques, and the inevitable response, which is candidates preparing responses that show them in the best light. We can’t really be too surprised given you can receive our invaluable e-guide “Great Procurement Interview Questions and how to answer them” simply by registering on our site!

But once you’ve recovered your composure, how do you answer this type of question?

(Continued here on Spend Matters search4 procurement website!)

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