recruiter speaking (l) top down angle people businessperson shaking hand with other business person over white table (c) recruiter speaking finger pointed up (r)

Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock @rulewithruna/TikTok (Licensed)

Recruiter shares why companies don’t usually hire the best candidate—and what job interviews are really about

‘I’ve been a hiring manager before and this is 100% true.’


Kathleen Wong

Internet Culture

A recruiter on TikTok says that companies would rather hire “people with the least amount of risk” over the most qualified candidate, and that job interviews are “all about psychology.”

Runa Jiang (@rulewithruna) posted the clip on May 30 with the caption, “What interviews are really about: Part 1 .”

In the clip, she says, “Did you really think that big companies are trying to hire the best most qualified candidates? Well they don’t and I can let you know why.”

@rulewithruna What interviews are really about: Part 1 📌🥂 #careertips #interviewtip #careertiktok #careeradvice #careercoach #jobtips #interviewquestions #careertok #interview #jobtok #interviewtok ♬ original sound – Runa | Career & Smallbiz Tips

She elaborates, “As a hiring manager, they don’t get paid more because you perform outstandingly, like you’re the first on your team. But they do get penalized if their candidates keep on quitting early or disobey authority. And what kind of candidates quit early and disobey authority? Usually, the ones that are the smartest and most qualified in terms of experience and intelligence.”

Jiang continues: “So if they don’t want to hire the best candidates out there, who do they want to hire? People with the least amount of risk.”

“And that’s what interview questions are,” she says, “To measure your risk. ‘Why did you leave your company’ measures your risk of leaving again. ‘What is your biggest weakness’ is to see how bad you screw up. It’s really all about psychology.”

In the comments, Jiang wrote a disclaimer. “There are definitely hiring managers who are fair and only choose the most qualified candidates, if you are one of them – kudos.”

“This is just pointing out that big company’s reward and performance systems do not motivate this kind of human behavior,” she wrote.

As of Thursday, the TikTok has over 457,700 views.

In the comments, many other hiring managers agreed: “As a hiring manager I can confirm – personality is a big part too.”

“I’ve been a hiring manager before and this is 100% true. You’re not competing for a scholarship ur convincing a capitalist you’re a safe investment,” commented another user.

Even those in the employee position agreed: “I’ve been told by hiring managers that I’m a ‘flight risk’ because of my qualifications.”

On June 5, Jiang posted “Part 2,” saying that the places that do hire the most qualified candidates are startups, later clarifying that she means early-stage startups still far from IPO: “Usually everyone in startups have early equity which yes motivates them to hire the best candidates,” she says. “In a fast work environment they need high performers to solve problems.”

She continues, “Also another reason why you rarely hear questions like, ‘What’s your biggest weakness’ going into a startup interview. Startup interview questions often sound something like, ‘Here’s a problem, how would you solve it?’”

“So are they not scared their candidates are not going to leave?” she continues. “Of course they are. That’s why they provide such good benefits and pay you based on the problems you can solve rather than the years you have. The biggest difference is startups would rather you stay for three months and solve a big problem than…have you stay for three years and do absolutely nothing.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Jiang via email for comment.

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