We’ve all heard the stories of interviewees dropping f-bombs to prospective bosses while on the subway, but here’s an example of an interviewer turning the tables – the breakfast table.
Walt Bettinger, CEO of Charles Schwab, tests potential employees by inviting them to breakfast. Unbeknownst to the interviewee, he’s arranged for the restaurant to deliberately get the applicant’s order wrong. Bettinger says he’s testing for character and reaction to even a small degree of adversity. As he tells the New York Times, “Are they upset, are they frustrated, or are they understanding?”
It’s a little litmus test. Is the interviewee’s response as acidic as their coffee? Or do they take things in stride? He’s screening for people whose view of the world doesn’t revolve around them. As Bettinger says “Life is like that, and business is like that”.
Have you come across or administered similar tests in your career? Is there a question you like to ask that reveals a person’s attitude or mindset?