Interviews can be stressful for all involved.  Candidates want to make a good impression and land the job.  Interviewers want to elicit key indicators of “fit” – fit in skills and fit in business culture.  Both candidates and companies recognize that interviews are high stakes, and they can have costly repercussions.

Studies have shown that a “bad hire” can cost a business dearly.  Similarly, accepting the “wrong offer” can cost a professional quite a bit.  A mismatch of candidate and role, can result in:

     1.    Decreased productivity
     2.   Decreased profitability
     3.   Decreased morale

"Bad Hires" Costs the Business
Discovering that a new employee is not the right fit can take time.  It may take several poor interactions with colleagues, clients, or management before the mismatch is uncovered.  Often, substantial energy and resources are expended managing performance issues before a new hire is replaced, and replacing a bad hire can cost a business 1.5 to 5 times the employee’s annual salary.  Additionally, a bad hire can negatively impact the job satisfaction of a company’s high performers. 

Accepting the "Wrong Offer" Costs the Professional
Being in the wrong job hurts!  Employees are typically the first to sense the mismatch - often enduring several disorienting blows to their ego.  Shortly after being pursued for their new role and warmly welcomed into the fold, they feel cast aside.  The inevitable bruises to their ego often permeate through their professional and personal lives.  Accepting the wrong offer can derail a professional for years in a misguided quest for professional redemption.  In addition, the employee may be left with unexpected gaps in employment and a negative impact on future job opportunities and earning potential.      

In order to avoid the high price of making a “bad hire” or accepting the “wrong offer,” employers and candidates should take an emotional intelligence journey before they engage in the interview process.   In other words – before the interview, everyone should GET REAL! 

     1.    Get real about what you need.
     2.   Get real about what you want.
     3.   And get real about who you are.

GET REAL with yourself.  Then, GET REAL about whether there is a real fit.  See the "Reality Checker" below.

REALITY CHECKER:  Before the interview, Get REAL!


Engaging in an honest self-assessment will save you time, money, and angst, and it will greatly improve your chances of finding the right “fit”.

Michelle Ricardo is a coach and consultant.  She works with businesses and professionals on issues of strategy, growth, sales, talent management, and career.  You can follow her on Twitter @ConversationsU.