Realistic Job Preview: Giving Candidates Insight into the Role

What is meant by realistic job preview?

A realistic job preview presents a realistic look into the job role and the organization, so the prospective applicants know what a typical day at work would look like and what skills and qualifications are needed to perform the tasks.

Experienced hiring managers know that an effective recruitment process is a two-way street. And with a RJP, one can ensure that both the recruiters and candidates are on the same page by helping applicants decide if they are a good match.

Benefits of a Realistic Job Preview

Realistic job preview has a number of significant advantages. A quantitative meta-analysis of 21 realistic job preview (RJP) experiments revealed that RJPs tend to lower initial job expectations while increasing self-selection, organizational commitment, job satisfaction, performance, and job survival.

Let’s look at some of the benefits.

Increased Job Satisfaction

With a realistic job preview, potential hires are likely to be more satisfied with their jobs as they already know what to expect.

Enhanced Candidate Experience

Realistic job preview tends to significantly improve the candidate experience as it allows applicants to gain a thorough understanding of the job while also preventing recruiters from investing time on individuals that don’t consider the job a right match.

Better Self-Selection

Candidates who are exposed to RJP have lower expectations as they are informed about the job role beforehand. This ultimately means that people who proceed with hiring would be intrinsically motivated as well as would be a better fit.

Increased Productivity

Similarly, because of higher satisfaction, commitment to the organization, and alignment with the responsibilities of the job, employees are more likely to perform better.

So, although the realistic job preview is likely to reduce the number of applicants, their quality will be higher and once they join the company their value to the organization (productivity & intention to stay) will also be higher. Also, on the human side: providing a realistic preview of the job is also likely to improve the candidate experience.

Examples of Realistic Job Preview


Netflix uses its company blog and podcast to provide a window into life at the company. Employees are honest in their discussion about the company, acknowledging the challenges and growth areas in addition to the benefits and victories.


Shell, a British-Dutch oil and gas company headquartered in the Netherlands, utilized online gamified talent assessments to discover the top college students while also using the games as a job preview tool to help future hires take a glimpse of what a typical work day would look like.


Deloitte New Zealand created “Will You Fit Into Deloitte,” a point of view, interactive recruiting video that takes viewers inside the Deloitte culture while also educating viewers on Deloitte’s various service lines. By clicking on choice points within the video, viewers get to walk in the shoes of a new Deloitte employee and decide his courses of action (be they right or wrong).

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