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Tougher Law Firm Interviews Lead to Happier Associates

By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on January 27, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Here's a fact that's sure to leave some partners smiling: tougher interviews lead to overall happier employees, according to job site Glassdoor.

Although this may not be the most welcome news for grads, studies seem to support this tough approach.

Interview Harshness = Employee Happiness

The thrust of the equation is true if the findings of Economists Andrew Chamberlain and Ayal Chen-Zion are correct. They analyzed 3,000 companies and 3,000 employees in 6 countries and consistently found a common theme: overall employee satisfaction was higher in those jobs where harsher interviews were conducted to get the job. Inversely, the less-harsh the interview, the overall job satisfaction was lower.

Are You a Fit?

In the opinion of Vivia Chen at the Careerist, the results are not surprising because it is simply the natural process of finding a proper fit. Companies don't necessarily enjoy putting candidates through the ringer: they just want a good fit. It stands to reason that if a company doesn't crack the whip a little at the interview process, more unqualified candidates might slip through, eventually leading to problems down the road.

So, the results should be understood this way: Harshness in interviews doesn't make people happier. It just happens to root out people who couldn't cut the mustard, leading to a group of people more inclined to be satisfied with their lot later on. Makes sense.

Hiring -- Is It Like Dating?

This finding should not be all that surprising. It's no different than a date. If two people grill each other about common interests, preferences, etc., the bubbles will be addressed and hopefully ironed out. At the very least, the mere act of the other person staying is indicative of the relationship ever having a hope of lasting. So maybe this tough-love approach has something going for it.

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