The Coffee Cup Job Interview Trick That Now Doesn’t Work

There are indeed many cute tricks that can be used to interview potential workers – like this coffee cup one. Yet the moment the trick is revealed it stops working – as with so many tricks. Because anyone applying will know of the trick and already know the correct answer to the trick.

And can the employer set traps for the other party to navigate or fall through that will let them know if this interviewee is a great future recruit? This employer thinks he has the perfect trap – the ‘coffee cup trick’. Metro reports that Trent Innes of software firm Zero Australia uses the trick in every single interview. Whenever someone comes in for an interview, Trent will take them on a walk deliberately past the kitchen and make sure they come away with a hot drink. After the interview is all done, Trent watches to see if the person offers or attempts to take the empty coffee/tea cup back to the kitchen.

Well, OK. Interesting, even useful as a guide to personal attitudes:

“Then we take that back, have our interview, and 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? “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 coffee cup’.”

Great, except that Trent now has to find a new trick as he’s plastered this one over the newspapers of the world. That’s the thing about tricks, they only work if people don’t know they’re tricks. For example, no Chancellor can inflate the British Government out of the debt it owes because they did that once, ruined a generation of savers in Gilts. They’ve had to issue inflation linked gilts now because such tricks only work the one time, until people know about them.

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erikbloodaxe
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erikbloodaxe

Cuts both ways, whoever would want to work for a jerk employing such a puerile selection criterion?

literate3
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literate3

Bloody stupid – what it tells is not about the character but whether he/she has worked in an environment where the CEO has a PA who collects her boss’ coffee cup after his meetings

Agammamon
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Agammamon

Trent watches to see if the person offers or attempts to take the empty coffee/tea cup back to the kitchen.

99.99999% of people would assume they were guests in that situation and that the host would take care of that – as you would do for a guest in your home.

Frankly, that such a potential employer would choose to pass me by for not taking my cup back to the kitchen to clean it up for them is a plus – they don’t really sound like the sort of people it would be pleasant to work around.

Climan
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Climan

A good example of the dreadful “Cult of Management”, in which ghastly egos end up running companies and deploying stupid ideas, because they fail to realise that business does not succeed via clever management, but by implementing “systems” that don’t need management.

Q46
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Q46

I wonder how many absent minded geniuses have not been hired by those who indulge themselves in this nonsense.

In my case I would not take the cup back, I’m used to the servants doing that sort of thing.

thammond
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thammond

So an idiot only hires people who are as big an idiot as he is. Hmm. Sell those shares I think.