Employers Reveal The One Thing Someone Did During An Interview That Got Them Hired On The Spot.

Employers of Reddit were asked: "What is one thing someone has said or done in an interview that made you want to hire them on the spot?" These are some of the best answers.

But one guy said "Well.....I like enchiladas a lot.....and I have IBS....so I may rack up your toilet paper expenses"

Hired him on the spot, honesty and hilarity in one package. I figured in the very least he would be entertaining to work with.


2. On the way to the conference room for the interview, interviewee instinctively picked up a gum wrapper off the floor and threw it in the nearest trash can. I just caught this peripherally, and he made no effort to show off his "insignificant good act."

Honestly, I have never hired a single person on an impulse or based on something clever they said/did in an interview. It's about qualifications and overall leaving a good impression. Trash-boy did get hired, and his simple act was really representative of him being pleasant and thoughtful. He also had several years experience in field.

I've been hiring for years, I do pick up on little things... sometimes a gum wrapper can distinguish one candidate from the others.


3. I never "hire on the spot", as I always give some thought to the decision even when I'm very positive about someone.

However, I usually give screening tests to candidates. I had one young, inexperienced candidate that did not even pass the first screening question. Afterwards asked me to show him the correct answer and said something along the lines of "Thanks for showing me that I have a lot to learn." I asked if he wanted some pointers & ended up lending him a book on the subject. A few days later I decided that that's the attitude I'd like to hire and gave him the green light. Did not regret.


4. One of my hiring questions is, "Tell me about a time you made a mistake doing a job. Tell me what happened and what you learned from it." One girl said, "Well, this story is kind of gross and might not be what you want, but it's what comes to mind right away."

Then she told me about a time during her medical internship at a local hospital where she tried to prove herself to a skeptical doctor by taking a large dead body down to the morgue by herself, even though she had never gone down before and was supposed to take someone else with her. She was a tiny girl, but in good shape and apparently when she got down there she was supposed to move the body from the gurney to a slab (which is why she was supposed to go down with another person). She tried to move it on her own, but failed to lock the wheels on the gurney first and ended up on the floor, pinned under a large dead body for over fifteen minutes before anyone found her.

She said that from that she learned to follow procedures and to not be too cocky to ask for help when she needed it. I didn't see how I could not hire her after that story. Because it was so genuine and atypical from the usual answers I heard for that question.


5. On a technical interview for computer stuff...

Me: if you come across a problem you've never seen before, how to approach it?
Soon to be new employee: I'd Google it.

This is the best answer. Most people go crying to vendors or support contracts before doing a simple Google search, and I find that offensive.


6. We were hiring for a specific position and had arranged a number of interviews for it from pre-screened applicants. As we had to play with real people's real schedules, we ended up with the strongest candidate (UC Berkeley PhD) going first. He did very well in the interview and it was kind of a given that we'd hire him.

This left us in an awkward spot with one very interesting interview of someone completely without a degree. However, there were budget restrictions so this was a long shot.

Meanwhile inside the company we had a fairly complex technical problem going on. Instead of just having a "hi... bye" interview with this other guy, we threw our complex problem at him about 24h before the interview. The [guy] solved it before the interview, and did it really quite brilliantly.

At that point I was willing to go to the ropes to get him.


7. I was hiring for a graphic design position, and had a number of resumes on my desk. One guy had actually reached out to me personally through our website, and I just told him to email his resume to our job inbox.

We had just moved to a new office, and I posted a photo one morning to our Facebook page showing the new view off to our fans. That afternoon, he showed up at our office in a suit and tie, asked for the job, killed the interview and got it. He figured out the general area we were in from the photo, called the various office buildings to ask ahead, found us, and just showed up. 2 years later, he's still there and doing an absolutely fantastic job.


8. I hired someone for giving me a dirty look in an interview.

Allow me to preface this by saying I really despise the interview process; I find that a person's resume generally tells me everything I need to know and for me the interview is merely a formality to insure the applicant doesn't have any personality or hygiene issues.

That said, I was hiring a desktop tech. I had a really stupid question that went something like "If I give you this, this and this piece of information would you be able to connect a PC to our domain?" The correct answer was yes.

Three applicants stammered and stuttered and said they figured they could but might need a little practice. The fourth applicant looked at me like I was insane but answered in the affirmative with no hesitation.

I hired her on the spot.


9. Post most of the interview, when we've turned to "Do you have any questions for us?", the guy said, really matter-of-fact and not at all obsequiously, "Well, I'd like to know if there's anything that we've talked about that has left you with doubts about me, so I can be sure you've got the information you need when you're considering my fit."

It was so simple, but so honest and effective because it was phrased as, 'i want to help you be thorough', but also quite self-serving because it got out in front of those doubts -- we were immediately amazed that no one asks this. I'm never going to not ask it again (not that I'm looking, in case my boss has a line to the NSA).


10. Hiring for a programmer position and I decide to just Google his name. Turns out he also owns a Darth Vader outfit and puts it on to go visit sick kids in the hospital.

I hired him so fast it would make your head spin.


11. He stalked me and found out my birthday was that week. Came to the interview with a cupcake from Georgetown Cupcakes and awkwardly sang me Happy Birthday in front of all the other interviewees.

I ended up firing him a month later for being terrible at everything.


12. I was interviewing people for a seasonal outside job, and I was doing the interviewing inside the marketing dept in an available office. This young kid with long hair, a spiked dog collar, upside-down crosses for earrings and a trench coat was my next interview and as we were walking to the office I was using, I noticed several marketing staff whispering and staring with shocked expressions at this kid. He walked with confidence and waited for me to sit down before he did, he was very polite and made excellent eye contact and gave me the best interview of the day.

When I explained that since this was a position dealing with the public and children and told him the earrings and dog collar would have to go, should he be hired, without hesitation he removed them and gave me this charming grin and I hired him on the spot and told him he was the most genuine person I had interviewed so far. He turned out to be one of my best employees and was hired full-time and stayed with me for 5 years.


13. I asked her how she would go about a specific task. She said "I don't know how, but I'm confident I could Google it and learn quickly."

Amazing how many people don't do that.


14. I was interviewing a lady and asked, "What's your proudest achievement?" She teared up a bit and responded "When my daughter told me that even though I'm still overweight, she was just happy that I wasn't on crack anymore." Honesty is the best policy folks.


15. When I worked at KFC, I interviewed a guy that had just been fired from McDonald's. He told me how he [messed] up, said he had just had a kid, and was kicked out of his house. The fact that he was completely honest with me was impressive. He promised he would not make the same mistake working for me. I took a chance on him, and he wound up being one of the best employees I ever had.


16. While doing a group interview (letting my team of 10 or so interview 3 or 4 candidates at the same time) we got on the subject of zombie survival.

Our key zombie survival guy talked about getting upstairs, so you were higher than the zombies. I asked one candidate "What is the first thing you'd do if zombies were attacking?"

Her answer - the first thing I'd do is get high. What she meant was, she'd go upstairs in a building. What she said was "I'd get high".

The room was silent for about 2 seconds before everyone erupted in laughter. It took her a minute to realize what she'd said. She also had a cat named Batman (and was smart, capable, and had the necessary skills.)

Instant hire.


17. When I was hiring for a new store opening for a Best Buy in Trumbull, CT, there was this 19ish year old guy from Puerto Rico dressed in jeans and a tucked in polo shirt. Everyone else was in suits, etc. I knew this was Best Buy and not the FBI, so I wasn't so judgmental with the clothing as the other "managers" were.

He was so nervous; he was shaking, and he was completely silent nearly the whole time. At one point, I even asked him if he spoke English and if he understood my questions. He said, "Yes sir." I then asked, "Are you nervous?" He responded, "Yes sir, I am very nervous. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm sorry. . . " When I asked why he was so nervous about a job in retail, he replied, "I just got into the US this week. I came here because my girlfriend from here got pregnant when she came to visit me, so I moved here. Now, I just need a job to support her and be a good father and husband." I told him to come back tomorrow and started paying him the next day.

That was 2004. He was the best, most punctual, diligent, polite and loyal employee I ever had. And through my pre-law school years there, I went through about 1,200 employees. Last I heard, he was a GM of his own store. I am not positive, but I estimate that salary is about $90k plus bonus.


18. I always enjoy the Strength/Weakness question because the weakness portion makes everyone so uncomfortable. I was interviewing two people for a hotel front desk position. The girl, who I interviewed first, said that her weakness was that she would get upset if a customer was mean to her (not gunna fly in the hotel industry). The next guy came in and when I asked him he said: "I dunno, I smoke cigarettes."

Best answer I ever received. Hired him on the spot. He was one of my best employees for three months until he got taken away by state police during one of his shifts for being an accomplice to a heroin ring that was run by his brother who he lived with.


19. I was looking to hire for a position that wasn't necessarily entry-level, but it wasn't exactly a middle management job. I needed someone with expertise in the given field, but also willing to start from the bottom - so to speak. I met with tons of people, some overqualified and some entirely unaware of what to do. However, I met one guy and the first thing he said on the interview landed him the job on the spot: "I'm going to admit that I don't know as much as the job requires. But you know what sets me apart from those who do? I'm willing to learn. I won't have an ego. I'm willing to take direction and admit when I'm wrong. I'm a sponge, ready to absorb anything you've got."

He was the best employee I've ever had.


20. When I asked him about overcoming challenges he told me that when he began studying in the US he couldn't swim. So he signed up for lessons and over the coming weeks, surrounded by little kids, he learned. He told me that he was still afraid so every week he forced himself to swim a length until he wasn't afraid. He's turned out to be a fantastic employee.


21. Asked me what he could focus on to improve his experience, and where we were trying to improve, so he could improve outside of the organization, in case we didn't hire him. Because he wanted to work for us, if not now, then in the future.


22. Occasionally, when interviewing, I'll quote from a random show (something that makes sense in context). 99.9% of the time, people won't notice. But once, I quoted Arrested Development and later during the interview she quoted another line as a response and casually winked. She knew, and I hired her on the spot.

However, she was also the most qualified candidate...so...


23. I was hiring a busboy for a restaurant I managed. I always liked to ask if it was possible to steal something other than a physical object. The answer I would look for was yes. Especially time. One kid answered yes. So I asked him to give an example. He said someone's heart. And then he got all teary eyed. Turned out his gf had just broken up with him right before the interview. I hired him on the spot. He is now the assistant manager and one of the best employees I've ever had.


24. Interviewing a girl for her first job out of university as a software developer. I asked her if she had anything else she wanted to say at the end: "I know I didn't have the answers to all your questions, but what I don't know, I will learn". Hired.



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