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30th Apr 2024

Boss uses coffee test in every interview and won’t employ those who fail


Success at the company boils down to the hot drink test

Job interviews can be a real game of chess, and it isn’t always obvious where you’ve gone wrong.

But one boss has revealed he has a very unique way of testing potential candidates’ suitability, and it has nothing to do with a five-or-ten-year plan.

It is about coffee.

Trent Innes, managing director of Xero Australia, using the hot beverage test to determine who to welcome onboard, and who to blacklist.

Speaking to business podcast The Ventures, Trent said he begins the interview process by walking the candidate to the kitchen for a drink.

Innes says the test tells him a lot about an applicant (Twitter)

“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,” he explained.

“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’.”

According to Trent, it’s all about the “culture” of a workplace.

Whether the beverage test leads to hiring the best staff or not, it is impossible to say, but it has had one obvious outcome, Trent went on: “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,” he told the podcast.

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