salt and pepper
Chantel Brink
Chantel Brink
February 22, 2024 ·  3 min read

Employer uses ‘salt and pepper test’ during job interview to judge character

Ever heard of the salt and pepper test? We’ve all encountered those seemingly offbeat interview questions where prospective employers believe they can unveil something significant about our character. While many individuals dedicate hours to fine-tuning their resumes or rehearsing anticipated interview queries in preparation for important interviews, one particular assessment caught everyone by surprise…

One individual took to Reddit to recount a peculiar practice employed by their former boss during interviews, humorously dubbed the “salt and pepper” test. It’s almost like we’re auditioning for Gordon Ramsay! So sit down and grab a snack because this is one interesting way to find that next best employee.

Talking about the salt and pepper test, they mentioned their own experience

“A company I used to work for does all-day interviews with multiple people, and one of them is always a lunch interview. I heard about a guy who would base his entire decision on one thing – whether or not the person he was interviewing tried their food before reaching for salt, pepper, hot sauce, etc. If you didn’t try your food first, you didn’t get a pass from him.” They said.

Indeed, it ranks among the most unexpectedly unusual anecdotes we’ve encountered. It makes you wonder just how much idle time that individual had on their hands. Although the former employee couldn’t ascertain the exact rationale behind their ex-boss’s fixation on the “salt and pepper” test, it seems to have revolved around assessing whether individuals were willing to take a leap of faith and try something without preconceived judgments.

Read: Job Seeker Pitches At Station, Gets Interview In 3 Hours And New Job In 3 Days

Ever heard of the salt and pepper test in interviews?
Image Credit: Dante Muñoz Pexels

“Glad I didn’t interview with him because I pretty much always add salt and pepper to stuff.” They continued

Certainly, unusual interview techniques seem to be quite the trend. In the case of Trent Innes, the former boss of Xero Australia, he believed that his unconventional interview method provided him with all the insights he required to evaluate potential employees. So the salt and pepper test doesn’t seem that unusual anymore.

“I will always take you for a walk down to one of our kitchens and somehow you always end up walking away with a drink. Then we take that back, have our interview, and one of the things I’m always looking for at the end of the interview is, does the person doing the interview want to take that empty cup back to the kitchen? You can develop skills, you can gain knowledge and experience but it really does come down to attitude,” he explained.

Interviews can be daunting, especially when the interviewer employs an add tactic
Image Credit: Alex Green Pexels

This is not the first time we’ve heard of bosses finding creative interview processes like the salt and pepper test

Sometimes, an employer might ask you a really random question. Things like “If you could redesign a clock, how would you do it?” or even “I’d like you to jump out of the window now”. They’re putting you on the spot to test how creatively you think. Don’t sweat if you’re sitting there thinking you aren’t creative; they’re not asking for anything crazy or looking for an answer with valid reasoning. If you can justify your reason well, they’ll be happy. If you’d like to read more, you can find the full article here.

Here are some key points to keep in mind before your next interview

  1. Avoid seasoning your lunch with salt or pepper until you’ve tasted it.
  2. Be sure to wash your coffee cup after using it.
  3. Don’t overlook the seemingly minor details, such as your years of experience and your transferable skills.

It is a well-known fact there are 5 interview questions candidates keep failing their interviews on, this might help!

Keep Reading: Woman has one question she asks at every interview, which always gets her the job

Attention: Aspects of this article are based on posts found on Reddit. Reddit is a user-generated social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website where registered members submit content to the site and can up- or down-vote the content. The accuracy and authenticity of each story cannot be confirmed by our staff.


  1. Boss uses ‘salt and pepper test’ in every interview – and won’t hire those who fail.” The Mirror. Paige Freshwater. September 11, 2023
  2. Boss Uses Coffee Test In Every Interview And Won’t Employ Those Who Fail.” Lad Bible. Mia Williams. September 11, 2023