ADP Interview Question: If you could be #1 employee b... | Glassdoor

Interview Question

Inside Sales Associate Interview Buena Park, CA

If you could be #1 employee but have all your coworkers

  dislike you or you could be #15 employee and have all your coworkers like you, which would you choose?

Interview Answer

46 Answers


#1 employee, because I am here to work and be the best employee that I can be. People may dislike me for other reasons, but as long as my managers like me...all that matters.

Interview Candidate on May 6, 2011

I'd definitely go for being the #15 employee. Being hated at work is going to destroy your productivity, both by making you loathe your job and making it nearly impossible for you to motivate a team of co-workers to get bigger projects done.

GBAD on Jan 6, 2012

There are 53,000 employees at ADP. To have 14 people ranked higher than you within that organisation is still a sign that you are one of the most valuable employees.

Better to have 14 people ranked higher than you and have a productive and courteous relationship with your coworkers than to be #1 and have a dysfunctional relationship with your coworkers.

value exchange on Jan 8, 2012

I guess my question back to the interviewer would be, what do you mean by "#1 employee"? On what scale?

That said, I would probably choose to be well-respected over being the top dog.

Jeff Olson on Jan 10, 2012

I can hardly envision a company or a scenario where a person disliked by his or her co-workers would be the Number 1 employee. Organizations require relationships to achieve results. It would have to be a place where everyone worked independently of each other for this scenario to happen.

DJ on Jan 10, 2012

#1 v. #14 matters based on the size of the company. In really large companies, #14 is still impressive.

More important though, I am ok with people disliking me if they respect me.

Yianni on Jan 10, 2012

I'd definitely be #15 with people who like you... there's room for growth - you can always strive for and move to the #1 position. However, being #1 with people who don't like you makes for a stressful work environment - and once someone doesn't like you (especially a group) it's very hard to change their minds.

LD on Jan 10, 2012

You cannot be the #1 employee if everyone dislikes you. I've been at this company, and that high productivity employee that everyone hates destroys 10x more morale from their co-workers than they produce in raw output. Morale is correlated strongly with productivity, thus they are actually a burden on the company. They should be let go so the rest of the people can scale up their work without that egotistical "#1 employee" around.

BK on Jan 10, 2012

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#15, people like you and you have room for growth and a clear path to greater success.

Don't ask the interviewer what they mean on this question, this one has an obvious answer.

DY on Jan 10, 2012

Employee #7 - In a situation where your company apparently instigates employee conflict, I would rather be in a position to dislike at least half of my colleagues.

kmfk on Jan 10, 2012

The way to answer this would be state it can't exist either way. There is now way to ensure that everyone likes or dislikes you. They would be to achieve the highest possible rank through dedication, persistence, hard work, and teamwork. Your respect from others at work is more important than having someone like you. But to become a leader... some people have to like you, for them to follow.

mwd on Jan 10, 2012

The way to answer this would be state the following:

"It can't exist either way. There is no way to ensure that everyone likes or dislikes you. The best way to achieve the highest possible rank in a company is with dedication, persistence, hard work, and teamwork. Your respect from others at work is more important than having someone like you. But to become a leader... some people have to like you, for them to follow."

mwd on Jan 10, 2012

Be number 15. People who like you will support you and you can then be #uno!!!
Being a disliked #1 is an oxymoron, no pun intended.

Watch and learn on Jan 10, 2012

Obviously neither b/c both things can't both be true. In an interview if some one gives you an either or question generally I don't give either of the options.

Nimzo on Jan 10, 2012

I'd rather be #2. I try harder and probably have at least one or two people in the Dept. who like me, other than my manager.

Anonymous on Jan 10, 2012

If being #1 means making $100 million a year, I'll take that. But if being #1 and being #15 is not much different, then it depends on the size of the company. In a 15 person company, I'd rather be #1 than #15. In a 15,000 person company, I'd choose #15.

toadaly on Jan 10, 2012

Me: I'd be number 15, because I probably helped 1-14 that's why they like me so much.
Me: I'd rather be Paul, its a bit longer than 15 but it saves you a syllable when pronouncing it.

Paul on Jan 10, 2012

Is it possible to be #1 and be hated by all my co-workers at your company? If so I strongly disagree with the way your company is being run and I now withdraw my application for the position.

Anonymous2 on Jan 10, 2012

Define "#1 Employee? Most sales?" Also, how many employees are there altogether?

vuvuzela on Jan 10, 2012

Define "coworkers"?
If that includes my boss and people above me, then #15.
If not... #1. F'...'em

JC on Jan 10, 2012

#15. There's no downside.

Since the question doesn't say that how good you are at your job changes between the two scenarios, it can be said that the only differences between the two are (A) whether or not your coworkers like you, and (B) whether or not you get to work with people better than you. Working with a higher caliber of people is best both for your personal growth and for the growth of the company, so the second option is superior.

Chris on Jan 10, 2012

I think it is # 1 employee in one particular department. I would be happy with #1, as people may be unhappy because of many reasons, one being Jealous. Not only that would't number 1 make you happy, proud? Do what makes you happy, everything else will fall in place.

GBAD: how can being #1 destroy your productivity? The very fact that you are #1 speaks for your self.

Mitesh S on Jan 10, 2012

If you are #1, you are the best corporate citizen and all others can follow /learn from you. if you are #15, you have fallen behind as a corporate citizen and you made others who like you fall behind you and other 14 people took advantage of you

HV on Jan 10, 2012

I would like to be #15, still if it be the last position. I'm sure to get #1 position with my dedication, performance, hard work, in such a way, everyone will be happy with me. No. 1 does not mean just a rank, it is to be one so that other employees idealize you, and this way we will increase our organization productivity.

FAS on Jan 10, 2012

For me it depends upon the work culture in the company and how my peers are.
If my peers want to be in top position regardless of others dislike, I would do the same.

amar on Jan 10, 2012

I would prefer #15. It has an obvious answer to my way of thinking. These have been helpful to read a bunch of questions that appear nonsensical on the surface. Before I read a few of them, I would have attacked the question like many here have done. I can see how the interviewer would like for you to consider the question, which is keeping in the spirit of what is being asked, not pick apart the question itself. It reminds me of a group brainstorming ideas to a complex question.

JimA on Jan 11, 2012

Obviously #15. Cause if you're #1 and nobody likes you, you must be a dick.

Steveo on Jan 11, 2012

I agree on some level with the people who say it is important to get along with your coworkers to get things done. But on the other hand, I wonder WHY is a low ranked employee more liked? If he is more liked because he tells the funniest jokes and parties constantly, then I don't really want that for myself. I want a job that I can excel at. That doesn't mean I'm going to be rude, but if I have to not care about my work to be liked then it's not worth it.

Lisa on Jan 11, 2012

# 1, If i'm at #1 then its because people like me and my way of work else I would not have reached here.

Neethu on Jan 19, 2012

Would you rather be intelligent or happy?

Vlad on Jan 29, 2012

The company whose top employee is disliked by everyone for whatever reason(s) is definitely not a company I'd like to work for.

Vlad on Jan 29, 2012

In order to be #1 one of my requirements would be that I was well-liked. In other words, being well liked and #1 go hand in hand-ie its not possible to be #1 the way I define it, if you are disliked by all.

However, I'll choose being the disliked Chief over being the well-liked Indian every time. , if my choices are limited to the way you phrased the question.

Steve on Feb 7, 2012

#15, because there's going to be room at the top soon enough.

Bee Kay on Mar 6, 2012

I would actually respond with, "I would rather be #8. I envision being hated by some and liked by many so therefore I would come in to do what is requested of me, contribute as best as possible, and also try to excel at all I am doing. I know that some will feel that I am going after their jobs and in turn will hate me, but some will see the great job I will be doing and will love me. So in turn #8 is where I would place myself and I wouldn't limit myself to such extremes."

C S on Apr 5, 2012

Personally, I don't care if no one likes me. If my boss loves me and thinks I'm doing an excellent job, why does it matter what people at my level or below me think? Of course, it would depend on where you worked. For example, if you're a teacher that does a good job but is hated by all of your students, that would be bad. This question makes me think of an analogy that someone gave me:

Picture two kids. One is on the floor, and one is on the top of a desk. Ask the one on the desk to pull the other one up with him, and they probably can't. But ask the one on the floor to pull the other down with him, he can do it easily.

Point: It would be much easier to go from number one down if your coworkers hated you than it would be to maintain or go up from number 15. Still, if I am in a position where my coworkers feelings have nothing to do with what my boss thinks of me, I would choose to be number one.

Stephanie on May 8, 2012

Do you like zuckerberg?

Prashanth on Jul 6, 2012

I would much prefer to be respected than liked.
If you are #1 you will have more information and therefore a clearer picture of the best direction for the company. People may hate your decisions now but in time by driving to the goal, the company, shareholders and all employees will be better off.
Once you succeed you'll have more "friends" than you know what do with.
Plus if everyone hates you now it's very easy to build significant improvements. Get one person to like you and that is a huge % jump in your "likeability".

bj on Aug 3, 2012

It all depends on the role you are recruited to play. If team work is of importance, then #15 is the option. if team work is not a requirement, then #1 would be an option because initially majority of people work for the money and later comes esteem needs. So the question back to the interviewer, "Is team work important for this position?".

Nick (the other one) on Jan 22, 2013

Say if Amazon has approx. 20,000 employees in its Seattle office then I would like to be
#15 employee and have all your coworkers like me. As only 14 employees be ahead me whereas I'll be above rest 19,985 employees and dear to all. This will increase my productivity and hard work that soon i'll reach #1....


Neha on Feb 28, 2013

So is the question a conundrum or a fallacy?

Himil on Oct 21, 2013

I know this is not an option here, but I would like none of those. Rather i would like to be respected for my actions and decision that I take. Being liked or disliked with co-worker might make one biased or hesitant about one's action and might put one self before the taking the right decision.

Big O on Jan 20, 2014

Seems like an easy game, but thinking about it really depends on the quality of question one asks themselves!

Consider this, being #1 is definitely what anyone wants (mainly because the sense of reward for being n.1 is attractive $$$), but deciding on being hated or loved hugely depends on the social needs of one, according to Maslow's theory these needs (the need for love and appreciation) must be achieved to gain real fulfillment in life.

Anonymous on Dec 2, 2014

I would take number 1, if all of you chose #14. There got to be the one

Anonymous on Dec 3, 2014

I've been in the position where I was top employee and was hated by everyone. While it does make the job near impossible, whether this is good or not depends on the job. I was hated in the position I was in by most because I followed the rules and reminded (quite regularly) the others in the group to do the same. If this was the scenario, I'd gladly do it again. However, as has been explained to me, in the actual work force, it's near impossible to get anywhere unless your co-workers like you to some degree. Therefore, I'd prefer to be liked than to be number one.

Anonymous on Jul 20, 2015

It depends. More information is needed in the question. If a person is working in a commission environment, most of the time a salesperson wants and needs to be number one, and is expected to be so. Ethics must be adhered to, common courtesy extended. Most employers do not generally get involved with piranha type tactics on the sales floor. They are generally more interested in sales results, period.

In a commissioned retail environment, the sales floor is akin to a battlefield.In order to be number one in sales one must be aggressive and persistent. Without corporate parameters sales people can and usually over step the boundaries if gone unchecked. Many top echelon sales people are often despised by other sales associates. One who is exposed to this environment will need to personally decide if they want to be liked by their peers or liked by their employers who are generally result driven. It boils down to one's personal credo and beliefs. To some a larger paycheck far outweighs the being liked factor. Usually, the corporate philosophy, although unwritten will set the tone and thus the behavior of the associates.

Brian on May 18, 2016

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