Businesses Using Secret Test To Hire New Employees

Photo by LYCS Architecture on Unsplash

( – A unique job interview technique used by Trent Innes, formerly a managing director at Xero, an accounting software company in Melbourne, Australia, has sparked widespread online discussions. This method, which Innes shared during a May 2019 episode of “The Venture Podcast with Lambros Photios,” involves what he calls the “coffee cup test.”

In the podcast, titled “The Secret Job Interviewing Hack to Recruit the Right Staff,” Innes revealed that during interviews, he would offer candidates a beverage in the office kitchen. He observed whether the interviewees would take the initiative to return their empty cups to the kitchen at the interview’s conclusion. According to Innes, this small action is a reflection of their attitude, particularly the importance of tidiness and responsibility, traits he values in potential employees.

However, since this podcast episode resurfaced on social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, and Reddit, many users have questioned the fairness and effectiveness of this test. Some argue that it’s unusual for a guest, which the interviewee effectively is, to wash their cup in a company’s office. Others suggest that they might not know the protocol in an unfamiliar setting, or feel uncomfortable wandering around an office where they don’t yet work.

Several social media users have also expressed concerns about the underlying implications of such a test. Some view it as manipulative or indicative of poor communication of expectations, wondering if it reflects how Innes might be as a boss. Others believe the test could lead to awkward or stressful interactions between the candidate and interviewer, especially if one is waiting for the other to act.

On Reddit, the debate continued, with some users acknowledging that they might judge a candidate who leaves their cup behind, especially after observing others washing theirs. Meanwhile, others humorously commented on the impracticality of the test, with one user joking about not wanting their used cup to be hand-washed and reused for the next candidate.

The discussions also expanded to the broader topic of interview practices. Some Reddit users shared their experiences with similar arbitrary tests used in interviews, like being offered water and judged based on their response. They argue that interviewers should focus more on relevant job skills and team dynamics rather than these unconventional methods.

Overall, the “coffee cup test” has been a subject of intense debate among social media users, with opinions varying widely on its fairness and effectiveness as a tool for evaluating job candidates.

Copyright 2023,