Boss Uses Coffee Test In Every Interview And Won’t Employ Those Who Fail

A boss uses a coffee test in every job interview and he won't employ those who fail.
Credit: Alamy

Let’s face it – preparing for a job interview is nerve-wracking. But if that wasn’t enough to stress you out, here’s something else to add to your worry list – the infamous coffee cup test.

Trent Innes, former managing director of Xero and current chief growth officer of SiteMinder, has probably interviewed countless candidates in his career.

And they’ve all faced his coffee cup test. It might sound bizarre, but this simple test could make or break your chances.

So, here’s how it goes: during the interview process, Trent casually invites you for a stroll down to one of the company’s kitchens.

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And, like magic, you end up with a coffee or tea in hand. No big deal, right?

Well, here’s the catch – at the end of the interview, he discreetly observes whether you take that empty cup back to the kitchen.

Now, you might be wondering why on earth this matters.

According to Trent, it all boils down to attitude and company culture.

He told business podcast The Ventures: “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’.

“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.

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

Trent Innes
The coffee cup test can help gauge a potential employee’s attitude. Credit: @trentinnes/X

Skills and experience are crucial, but a positive attitude and the ability to fit into the team’s culture are equally important.

And this seemingly innocent coffee cup test helps him gauge just that.

The key takeaway from this quirky test is to show that you care about your surroundings and the people you work with.

It’s not just about fulfilling your job duties but being a team player and contributing positively to the company’s environment.

But that’s not the only interview advice you need to keep in mind.

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One Reddit user shared an eye-opening experience that serves as a valuable lesson for all candidates.

The employee explained: “Today, a candidate blew his interview in the first 5 minutes after he entered the building.

“He was dismissive to the receptionist. She greeted him and he barely made eye contact. She tried to engage him in conversation. Again, no eye contact, no interest in speaking with her.

“What the candidate did not realise was that the ‘receptionist’ was actually the hiring manager.

Office job.
It’s important to make a good first impression! Credit: Alamy

“She called him back to the conference room and explained how every single person on our team is valuable and worthy of respect.

“Due to his interaction with the ‘receptionist’, the hiring manager did not feel he was a good fit. Thank you for your time but the interview is over.

“Be nice to everyone in the building.”

Your attitude can make all the difference, and it might just be the key to landing your dream job.

Job interviews can be daunting, but with the right attitude and a little bit of kindness, you can ace the test and stand out as the perfect candidate for the job.

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Written by Cal Gaunt

Cal is a former content editor at IGV who specialised in writing trending and entertainment news. He previously worked as a news reporter at the Lancashire Telegraph and earned an NCTJ in Sports Journalism.