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This secret 'reception test' by employers decides if a candidate is a 'good fit' or not

Interviews need not necessarily start in the conference room. It might begin right from the office reception as well.

This secret 'reception test' by employers decides if a candidate is a 'good fit' or not
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | PhotoMIX Company, Reddit | u/sawta2112

A lot of decisions go behind hiring a new candidate for an important job role. After all, recruiters face as many challenges as job seekers. Therefore, hiring managers sometimes devise a smart shortcut to identify a candidate's potential. These shortcuts might be so simple that the interviewee will never even guess that they were being assessed. Four years ago, a worker u/sawta2112 warned job seekers of a trivial yet ingenious way in which the recruiters in their office screened candidates. Turns out, the interview had begun right from the reception desk but one of the candidates had no idea.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pavel Danilyuk
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pavel Danilyuk

The worker mentioned, "Today, a candidate blew his interview in the first 5 minutes after he entered the building." Shockingly, the candidate hadn't even stepped into the conference room yet but he was already rejected for the role. "He was dismissive to the receptionist. She greeted him and he barely made eye contact. She tried to engage him in conversation. Again, no eye contact and no interest in speaking with her," they wrote. While one might wonder how his behavior with the receptionist made him unfit for the role, they revealed the secret. It was the hiring manager pretending to be the "receptionist," all along.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Fauxels
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Fauxels

Little did the candidate know that he was already facing his recruiter. He never expected that his "dismissive," behavior would be an important criterion based on which he would be judged. "She called him back to the conference room and explained how every single person on our team is valuable and worthy of respect," the worker wrote in their post. Eventually, the candidate was informed that his poor interaction with the "receptionist," made the hiring manager feel that he was not a "good fit," for the role. "The position is a client-facing position where being warm, approachable, outgoing is critical," they added. 

With this incident, the worker shared an important message - "Be nice to everyone in the building." While it's a basic human quality that is expected, it may also be a crucial aspect on which our future may depend. For those wondering if it was just the lack of eye contact with the receptionist that made the candidate unfit, the worker clarified. "It wasn't just lack of eye contact. He was openly rude and treated her like she was beneath him. When he thought he was talking to the decision-maker, his personality totally changed. Suddenly he was friendly, open, relaxed. So I don't think this was a case of social anxiety," they pointed out. This post garnered huge attention with over 46,000 upvotes and 2000+ comments.

Image Source: Reddit | u/Trust_No_1
Image Source: Reddit | u/Trust_No_1

 

Image Source: Reddit | u/ChannelingWhiteLight
Image Source: Reddit | u/ChannelingWhiteLight

Apparently, this "reception test," is not a totally new concept. Recruiters and many others in the comments emphasize that this was indeed a common way of assessing a candidate. "A few jobs ago, I caught the elevator on my way to the interview. The chatty guy in with me was the company's CEO. I got the job, luckily, I am all high-energy and friendly when nervous. So he liked me even before I saw him a few hours later. Be nice to everyone," wrote a Reddit User. "Back when dropping off a paper resume was a thing, we had a system where whoever took the resume could leave a small horizontal line in the corner to indicate that the person had been rude or there had been some other kind of red flag," added u/ravenhearst. " Be a kind, mannerly person all the time. Then you'll never have to worry about faking it for an interview," remarked u/mdegroat.

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