Dropped wrappers and dirty cups: The tricks bosses play at interviews

The problem with such tricks, apart from them being controversial, is that companies end up employing the same types of people

For some employers, doing extensive prep for an interview and arriving on time isn’t enough. They may also subject you to some serious mind games and some have been giving insights into the tricks they use to supposedly highlight the best candidates. Trent Innes, managing director of Australian accounting company Xero, bases his hiring decisions on what people do with their glass or coffee cup. “You can develop skills, you can gain knowledge and experience, but it really comes down to attitude,” he recently told The Venture Podcast. “And the attitude that we’ve talked a lot about is the concept of ‘wash your own coffee cup’.” Similar is the Wrapper Test, where a sweet wrapper is dropped by the door of the interview room and the candidate is judged on if they pick it up. This is supposed to provide insights into a person’s selflessness and attention to detail.

Another manager recently shared her way of weeding out those undeserving of a job: they don’t send a thank-you email after the interview. Doing so indicates the person is “eager, organized, and well-mannered”, wrote Jessica Liebman, executive managing editor at Insider Inc, in a post for Business Insider that went viral: “It shows resourcefulness, too, because the candidate often has to hunt down an email address”. Another CEO revealed to the New York Times that she texts prospective employees at 9pm or 11am on a Sunday, “just to see how fast you’ll respond”.

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