Employer reveals secret interview test to judge job applicants

Employer reveals secret interview test to judge job applicants
How to land that job interview

A former managing director opened up about a secret interview test that allowed him to understand whether the applicant was suitable for the job.

In a resurfaced appearance on The Ventures podcast, Trent Innes, a former MD for Xero Australia Trent, said he would take the interviewee to a kitchen and offer them a drink. They would then take their drinks back to the meeting room where he would conduct the interview.

He explained: "One of the things I’m always looking for at the end of the interview is, does the person doing the interview want to take that empty cup back to the kitchen?"

The reason behind the subtle test comes down to attitude, according to Trent.

"You can develop skills, you can gain knowledge and experience but it really does come down to attitude, and the attitude that we talk a lot about is the concept of 'wash your own coffee cup.'"

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He believes there's more to the test than meets the eye, as it demonstrates that the candidate "would actually really drive a culture of ownership," for completing one of the "lowest level" tasks.

"If you come into the office one day inside Xero, you’ll see the kitchens are almost always clean and sparkling and it’s very much off that concept of wash your coffee cup, but that sort of led into the interview space," he continued.

Trent aimed to hire people who had "a real, strong ownership and a growth mindset."

"It’s really just making sure they’re actually going to fit into the culture inside Xero, and really take on everything that they should be doing," he added.

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