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GeneralRe: 17 Former Google interview questions so ridiculous the company banned them PinmemberKent Sharkey9-Jul-14 13:08 
GeneralRe: 17 Former Google interview questions so ridiculous the company banned them Pinmemberahmed zahmed9-Jul-14 16:18 
GeneralRe: 17 Former Google interview questions so ridiculous the company banned them PinprofessionalKaren Mitchelle9-Jul-14 16:50 
GeneralRe: 17 Former Google interview questions so ridiculous the company banned them PinprofessionalDuncan Edwards Jones9-Jul-14 23:43 
There are so many answers to this question and the one the "interviewer" was probably expecting is the only wrong one - actually a circle is the only shape that can fall into the hole no matter what orientation it is in and this would happen if the manhole didn't have a lip.
 
Real reasons:
1) Cast iron is really expensive so the less of it you use the better - a round cover uses less metal than any other shape.
2) Cast iron is really expensive - per above
3) Cast iron is really heavy - a shape you can roll is easier to transport
4) Manholes are round because cylinders are stronger than cubes under compression and humans are broadly speaking cylindrical when going up/down a ladder.
5) Tradition/change impedance - there are so many existing round manholes that any attempt to introduce a different shape faces impossible odds
GeneralRe: 17 Former Google interview questions so ridiculous the company banned them PinmemberDan Neely10-Jul-14 2:55 
GeneralRe: 17 Former Google interview questions so ridiculous the company banned them PinmemberKent Sharkey10-Jul-14 4:49 
NewsHello Windows PinmemberKent Sharkey9-Jul-14 7:50 
GeneralRe: Hello Windows [modified] PinmemberPIEBALDconsult9-Jul-14 8:15 
GeneralRe: Hello Windows PinmemberKent Sharkey9-Jul-14 8:23 
GeneralRe: Hello Windows PinmemberRob Grainger10-Jul-14 1:37 

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