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.