Why this start-up has job candidates play ping pong during the interview

Taxfyle has two ping pong tables in their Miami office.
Courtesy of Taxfyle

If you're interviewing at Taxfyle, a start-up that connects people in need of tax assistance with CPAs on-demand, be prepared to roll up your sleeves. Your prospective boss wants to see how you handle a paddle — as well the competition.

Since the small Miami-based business was founded in August 2015, co-founders Richard Lavina, Michael Mouriz, and William Sahatdjian have integrated ping pong into the company culture.

"When we first started the company and it was just the co-founders, we had all this space in the office," Lavina tells CNBC. "So we set up a ping pong table. All of a sudden, the founders got really into ping pong."

Richard Lavina, co-founder and CEO of Taxfyle.
Courtesy of Taxfyle

There are now two tables in the office and ping pong even has a starring role in the hiring process. Prospective job candidates are required to play a game during their interview.

"It's the first thing we do when we show them around the office," Lavina explains. The co-founders don't expect great talent, but they feel that being open to participating is important.

"It's a humbling process," the CEO says. "They come in and they're highly recruited talent. Obviously, we want them as part of the team, but we also want to humble them and bring them down to earth. And we do that with ping pong."

Table tennis is also a good way to blow off steam during the work day and can sometimes serve as a great place to brainstorm, Lavina notes: "I've had plenty of product conversations over the ping pong table."

The co-founders created an "employee ping pong chart" that tracks everyone's wins and losses. New hires don't get on the chart until they've "dethroned" someone.

"Getting onto that board — it's like you're getting indoctrinated into the Taxfyle culture," Lavina says.

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