The Optimistic Interviewer

November 12, 2012

The 2012 SEP Blog Battle continues.

The Optimistic Interviewer is a fool.

Consider the likelihood of failure. If you’re interviewing, you’re looking for a job. If you’re hiring, you need more people. What are the chances that either of you are in an ideal frame of mind to be evaluating each other? On top of that, are you likely to share the best or worst things about yourself in the interview? Which of those things (best/worst attributes) is most likely to contribute to failure?

Now consider the impact of failure. Estimates on the actual cost to hire someone and get them up to speed are in the range of 150 to 300% of their annual salary. Replacing them incurs that cost again, and more importantly incurs a cost on your culture, customers, and productivity while they are employed. Companies rarely let someone go as soon as the problems start appearing.

Using standard risk math:

significant (if you an optimistic interviewer) chance of failure x high impact of failure = are you freaking kidding!?

Don’t be a fool.