“Tell me one of your weaknesses.” is a classic interview question. Of course, no candidate wants to answer with a weakness, so they often come up with a weakness that can also be considered a strength. Like “Oh, I work too much.” Or “I have perfectionist tendencies.”
The same holds true for companies. During the interview process, no organization wants to show off their weaknesses. Like “The CEO is a bit eccentric.” But today’s candidates want a realistic job preview in the organization they’re applying to. Maybe they’re okay with an eccentric CEO.
That goes double for the job they are interviewing for – they want the good, bad, and ugly. Just like companies want to learn the strengths and weaknesses of a candidate.
A realistic job preview is an opportunity in the recruiting process to give candidates a sense of what it’s like to work at the company. They are not only designed for the company to see how the candidate handles certain situations but for the candidate to understand what working conditions are like. An example of a realistic job preview activity is the inbox or in-tray exercise.
With technology, companies are doing some innovative things to provide a realistic job preview to candidates:
- Photos and video tours of the office environment
- Video of internal meetings (here’s an example from Google)
- Testimonials from current employees
- Social media sharing (via Facebook pages, Tweets, LinkedIn company pages and Instagram)
Consumers today are doing research prior to making a purchase. Obviously, there are many ways that finding a job is of much greater importance than a purchase. It makes no sense to spend 5 hours reading comparisons between the iPhone X and the rumored Samsung Galaxy S10 to then spend 30 minutes checking out your next future place of employment.
Smart companies are looking for ways to share the employment experience before a person ever decides to apply. And it doesn’t mean sugarcoating the work. Finding a candidate that embraces the company (warts and all) is key to creating engagement.
P.S. Speaking of hiring employees, I’d love to see you at one of the upcoming seminars I’m facilitating for the Society for Human Resource seminar on “Talent Acquisition: Creating Your Organization’s Strategy”. Seminars are available in person and virtually. And they’re approved for recertification credits. If investing in your talent acquisition process is part of the company’s goals this year, you might want to consider checking it out.7