Why "I'm sorry, but I just don't think this is the right fit for you" is the worst question you can ask an interviewee

A short time ago an article called "The (Literally) Most Challenging Interview Question You Can Ask a Job Candidate" was published on Inc.com.  The article discusses how Tejune Kang, founder of 6D Global, interviews potential employees. Tejune starts every interview with a few basic foundational questions. He asks about a candidate’s competitiveness and what they like about winning, what they don’t like about losing and how losing makes them feel. The last thing he does in the interview after he has asked his questions and the candidate has had a chance to ask theirs is say "I'm sorry, but I just don't think this is the right fit for you." He then waits for their response. Tejune claims that the true gems don’t fold. He says “superstars don't give up--which is exactly what you want every employee to do.”

We don’t agree with this interview technique and below are three reasons why. 

Interviews are two sided

Candidates are interviewing the company just as much as the company is interviewing them. Tejune uses his technique to try and highlight the best candidates but does so by taking the risk of leaving a bad impression on the candidate. If a candidate finds out that being told that they are not a fit for the role is actually a mind game to see how interested they are, many would be wary of the type of work environment such an interview would preview.  If a candidate walked into an interview and pulled something along those lines; it would not fly with the interviewer. It would leave the interviewer with a bad impression of the candidate so by Tejune telling the candidate they didn’t get the position and the revoking it; it also leaves even the best candidates with a bad impression of him and the company. 

Are you weeding out the best candidates or the most desperate ones?

The best candidates will most likely have multiple interviews and/or offers lined up. A desperate candidate will do anything they can to get the job. Because of that, in our opinion, the more desperate candidates will fight for the job and the better candidates will move on. 

Honesty is the best policy

Playing mind games, such as what is being advised here, do not help create honest conversation. Instead, one should try asking questions that gauge reactions and see what strengths candidates bring to the table that you may not already have on your team. Starting a working relationship with telling the candidate they aren’t a right fit and hoping they fight back will lead to a lack of trust. 

 

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