Select Page

When it comes time to hire someone, a lot of employers will take an interviewee out to lunch or dinner. If you didn’t know, this isn’t just to have a delicious burger that someone else is paying for. It’s to see your table manners, to see how you treat the waiter or waitress, and to gauge your social and conversational skills.

Note to interviewees: If at all possible, never order anything you have to eat with your hands nor anything with ‘extra sauce’.

But in reality, when I’m hiring someone I want to see what they do with their shopping cart when they leave a store. It’s possible that it’s a true measure of a personality.

It’s said that character is what you do when no one is looking. I couldn’t agree more.

Leaving the cart in an empty spot near your car: Interview is over, thanks for applying, you have no redeeming qualities that I would want in my organization. If you don’t have the energy, decency or manners to do more than that then I don’t believe you add value to anyone at any time and I actually dislike you as a human being.

Putting two wheels of the cart up on a curb so it won’t roll into anyone else’s car: Interview is over, you have none of the qualities that I’m looking for when I’m hiring. It shows me that you clearly know right from wrong, but will do the absolute least amount of work possible and require constant supervision because you will rarely choose to do the right thing.

Pushing the cart to the cart corral to the edge of the other carts: I think you’ll get a second interview, even though you got it to the right place, you didn’t really finish the job. You’ve got potential even though the minor details of your work will most likely need some monitoring.

Pushing the cart to the cart corral and stacking them with the other carts: You’re already a top candidate for the position! You not only did the right thing, you helped someone else with their job, and you obviously chose your actions. I’m confident I can trust you with our customers. Especially if the position I’m hiring for is detail-oriented, I want what you’ve got!

Taking the cart back up to the store and placing it in order where you got it: I’m pretty sure I can trust you with the keys to the building. I like how you think, the job isn’t done until it’s all the way done. You were probably a Scout of some kind, or you learned by being a cart-fetcher early in life.

Riding the cart from the store to your car: Assuming you finish well based on the above guidelines, I’m hiring you for the creative team! Adding a “wheeeee” as you go will probably get you a bonus.

Once the job candidates are narrowed down to a second round of interviews, maybe we’ll do a driving test to see how you do with turn-signals.


Pete Herrick is a radio personality, speaker, blogger and podcaster. He works with groups on leadership, culture, transition, efficiency, storytelling and branding. Find him on social media @peteherrick or at Now booking engagements, contact us for availability.