Now I've Seen Everything
Now I've Seen Everything

7 Undercover Techniques Used in Job Interviews to Test Applicants

On the surface, job interviews are a crucial step for employers to get to know you and your professional profile. Hiring managers can glean an immense amount of information about applicants with simple questions. While it may seem easy on the surface, this can include hidden tests to reveal whether what you say is the truth or not.

At Now I’ve Seen Everything we are one step ahead, so we want to share with you what some of these “tricks” are so that you can prepare your interviews like a pro.

1. You are offered a cup of coffee for a reason.

Lately, the “coffee cup” test has become increasingly popular among employers: at the beginning of the interview, the boss takes the applicant to the kitchen and offers him or her a drink. At the end of the interview, the employer will carefully observe what the candidate will do with the cup: ask where to put it, leave it on the table or wash it up in the kitchen himself.

Trent Innes, previously the Managing Director of Xero Australia and Asia, who developed this method, said: “This trick reveals more about a person’s character and manners than their answers to questions. It can also show how quickly the candidate will fit into a team. In this case, the right decision is to stop by the kitchen after the interview and scrub the mug yourself.”

2. The boss makes you wait a long time on purpose.

Actually, the coffee cup test is kind of a harmless technique compared to this one. When the candidate is scheduled for an interview at 9 a.m. and, after getting up early, arrives at the office on time all for the the employer to be “busy.” The poor applicant must then wait 10 minutes. And then 10 more... and then 15 more.

This technique can show how much emotional stability the candidate has when dealing with stressful situations and, in general, how eager he or she is to get the job.

3. The interviewer suddenly starts shouting

Raising their voice, starting to shout, and even swearing is another simulation of a stressful situation, and also an opportunity to test the candidate’s nerves to the limit. Experts advise keeping calm and answering questions as calmly as possible.

4. Your future boss assigns rather strange tasks (e.g. jumping out of the window)

Another unpleasant surprise for the candidate may come hidden in the form of an eccentric request, for example, jumping out the window. In this case, the employer wants to check the applicant’s ability to think outside the box.

You can get out of this situation in the following way: climb up to the window and jump to the floor of the office where the interview is taking place. After all, no one said where to land. Or come back to the interviewer with a counter-question based on a win-win: “What benefit will my jump bring to the company?”

5. The employer behaves inappropriately.

Another technique used in interviews is for the interviewer to have a strange behavior. The interviewer may ignore the candidate, staring intently at the computer screen, or, in the middle of the interview, take a call and leave, leaving the applicant alone in the office.

This trick can reveal how the candidate will draw attention to him or herself and what solutions will be found to this unforeseen situation. One effective response is to agree with the secretary to postpone the interview for another day.

6. The candidate is introduced to the entire team.

It is very likely that, after concluding the interview, the employer will propose to the applicant to meet potential co-workers in the office, in a non-work environment or in a specific situation. This is not just a nice gesture: in this way, the employer wants to get the evaluation of other employees in relation to the candidate.

7. The interviewer purposely drops their pen on the floor.

This is another test that can help the employer identify candidates who are likely to be helpful and cooperative. The boss purposefully drops his pen to watch the applicant’s reaction. If the applicant instinctively bends down and picks it up, chances are the job is for him. If he allows the employer to do it on his own, unfortunately, it won’t be.

Did you know any of these techniques? Do you have others to share? Have you experienced any of these situations in an interview?

Now I've Seen Everything/Facts/7 Undercover Techniques Used in Job Interviews to Test Applicants
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