Crying Over Spilled Water

Several years ago I came across an article online describing some things that interviewers could use to test job candidates for things that couldn’t be measured simply by asking questions. One of the suggestions was a toppled glass of water to test the candidate’s willingness to help out in an unpredictable situation.

Crying Over Spilled Water

Nov 07, 2014

Several years ago I came across an article online describing some things that interviewers could use to test job candidates for things that couldn’t be measured simply by asking questions. One of the suggestions was a toppled glass of water to test the candidate’s willingness to help out in an unpredictable situation.

I have personally wanted to try this in some instances just to see how it would work and what kind of reactions I would get. I think it can go one of two ways in that some people would get totally flustered and the rest of the interview would be shot while others would know it was a ruse and either play along knowingly or refuse to do anything.

What Would Your Reaction Be?

If you ever run into this kind of test during an interview, don’t let your interviewer know that it’s a test or that they are trying to get a reaction out of you. Your best course of action is to be completely truthful to your own character and react however you would if you bumped into a stranger on the street and spilled their coffee. Don’t go out of your way to be anything but authentic in your reactions.

Now, it you are the type of person that would normally spill someone’s coffee and continue walking without helping, then you may not do well with this kind of test in an interview and may want to re-think your outlook on helping people in general.

But I digress.

What Does This Mean?

This all boils down to one question, are you a good fit for the company? The insight that interviewers gain from any interaction with you, whether it’s asking you questions or “accidentally” spilling water, help them determine if you will work well in their culture and if you are able to do the job at hand. Fortunately, you can also use them to figure out if the company is a place you want to work. If questions and obstacles are coming at you faster than you can handle them, maybe the environment is too fast-paced for you. On the other hand, if you like that sort of chaos, you are probably in the right place.

I’m interested to hear your stories. What sort of odd interview experiences have you had during your career, either as an interviewer or candidate?


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