Job interview: “The coffee cup test” is a hard method to swallow

Job interview: "The coffee cup test" is a hard method to swallow

At a time when soft skills are valued in recruitment processes, some companies are resorting to some rather surprising tactics. And it is fashionable to know them, in order to put the odds on your side! This is for example the case of the “coffee cup test”.

If you are going to a job interview and the person who receives you offers you a coffee, beware… Because, rather than putting you at ease, this offer could on the contrary put you to the test. Yes, it could be that the recruiter is inspired by the “coffee cup test” or, in French, the “test of the cup of coffee”. This recruitment method was invented by Australian Trent Innes, a former business manager at Xero Australia. The principle ? Observe what the candidate will do after the interview is over. If the person shows their willingness to clear their cup, they will score points. If she leaves it on the desk, on the other hand… that could well be prohibitive in the eyes of the recruiter.

Don’t forget your cup of coffee

Although it may seem innocuous at first glance, this method would have helped the Australian boss on several occasions to make his choice to retain (or reject) the applications that presented themselves to him. And the reason is not hard to understand: from Trent Innes’ point of view, returning his cup shows a spirit of initiative and teamwork as well as a strong ability to adapt quickly to corporate culture. “You can develop skills, you can gain knowledge and experience, but it’s really a question of attitude”, points out the latter in an interview with the newspaper The Mirror.

A lesson to remember if you are offered a coffee or a glass of water at your next job interview. Because, if it will seem natural for some to ask where he can wash his cup (or throw away his paper cup), others will hesitate to do so, or even pay no attention to it. But it could backfire if the person conducting the interview decides to put the “coffee cup test” into practice…

The coffee cup trick is not unique: other tests centered around the socio-emotional qualities of the candidates are talking about them. For example, the “receptionist test” in which the person in charge of recruitment will take on the role of a receptionist in order to interact with the candidate before the official interview. If the latter is rude and contemptuous, then he will have a very bad start which could even prove fatal!