Failed Interviews Do Not Mean Failed Employees

Brigette Hyacinth offered the following story that definitely expanded my thinking on the hiring process:

A Candidate FAILED the interview. I still HIRED her.
Here’s why.

Her answers weren’t always the HR manager’s cup of tea but it caused me to think. She brought a fresh perspective.

She had a good record.

The HR manager said didn’t like her but as the hiring manager I had the final say. I think it was because she challenged her in the interview.

To my delight when I resigned she ended up being the one who took over my position.

Interviewing numerous candidates over the years has taught me:

*Sometimes the best employees don’t make good first impressions.
*Acing an interview and performing on a job are two different things.
*Strong employees intimidate weak managers.

Do you agree?

Have you ever done this in your career? I think it takes a pretty brave leader to go against HRs recommendations. In fact, that seems to be a theme with the leadership posts we’ve written. Leaders have to be brave and do what’s right for their team and the organization regardless of if there are challenges to that decision.

The advice to look beyond the interview is great also. Some people just don’t interview well. So, when you evaluate a new hire, it’s important to consider all of the other factors beyond the formal interview. Checking their references is a perfect example. If you see that the feedback you got from the references doesn’t line up with how they acted in the interview, then you probably want to dig a little deeper to better understand that candidate.

Most of the time great interview skills don’t correspond to the skills you need to be a successful employee. So, be careful on judging someone too quickly based off just an interview.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.