Employers can lose in interview too

For employers, the stakes are high too. You think it is a disaster if you do not get the job. However, another interview is likely to come along. The employer who hires the wrong person may well have a world of trouble ahead of them, writes Stephanie MacKinnon, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers.

Realising that the employer has plenty to lose might settle you, the candidate, in interview. You are not the only one who has to get this right.

While you are wondering if you will say the right thing, or if the top button would ever pop while you are talking, the employer is looking at investing money in the successful candidate for the near future – and if they do not pick the right one, they are left with the consequences.

To develop this point, think about all that can accrue for the employer if they make a bum selection:

  1. They pay someone but that someone does not do the job, or they do not do it well enough.
  2. Then they’ve got to figure out what to do next? Let them go? Try to re-assign them? Work around them?
  3. Moreover, letting someone go is not always simple. Employees have rights too. In addition, employers have hearts. What if this person has moved lock, stock and barrel to the town of the new employer?
  4. Working around people means getting others to do the work the employee should be doing. It is a time-consuming, energy-sapping distraction – and it is costly. In short, it is a thorn in the side of the business.
  5. While this person is not doing their job, opportunities are lost. Things fall between the cracks. The business suffers. It might be the sale they fail to get, the relationship they fail to build, or the pop rivet they fail to tighten. The spiral is downward. No good can come from it.
  6. The wrong appointment can undermine the person who made it. Their confidence can take a battering and they may draw back from future decision-making in light of this one going poorly. This can cast a long shadow too.
  7. The wrong person can infect morale. Other team members are likely to grow to resent the employee who does not carry their weight. Morale is a fragile flower at the best of times without throwing in a dead weight when others are flat to the boards doing their bit.
  8. Outright hostility can occur. “Why are we all carrying the can for you?” It might not get to pistols at dawn – and it might, too – but it is damaging stuff. And all because the employer did poorly in interview…


So, next time you go to interview, remember you are not the only one who is a bit anxious. They get it wrong, and they have to live with the consequences. Use that insight to take the pressure off yourself and, more importantly, to assure them that you will not be the employee described in Points 1 to 8 above.

In interviews, we must strive to be as relaxed as possible. We cannot go in there looking and feeling like our lives depend on it.


Stephanie MacKinnon is a Career Coach with Sli Nua Careers.

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