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Recruitment Policy Studio

Federal Section
Marketing and Outreach - Realistic Job Preview (RJP)
Silhouette of a recruiters meeting with job applicants displaying text “Is this the Career for you?” and “Visit Us to Learn More”
Realistic Job Previews (RJPs) are an integral part of an effective marketing and outreach strategy. A RJP is a tool organizations use to communicate important aspects of the job and of the organization. Job seekers may know little about your advertised job(s) or even your organization and/or may have inaccurate expectations or perceptions. A RJP fills the gap by providing a clearer picture of the job duties, work environment, and organizational culture. This information helps prospective applicants make informed decisions about whether to proceed with the application process.

For example, a fast-paced job with frequently changing conditions is seen by some applicants as desirable, while other applicants consider this an unattractive job feature. Such insight is important to know, especially early in the job search process, and particularly for occupations where people may have limited information about the specific tasks and responsibilities.

You easily can incorporate RJPs into all aspects of your ongoing recruiting efforts (e.g., career website, job opportunity announcements, career workshops, social media, hiring official's interview). The best way to gather information for the RJP is through hiring manager and HR collaboration.

Consider using the following questions as a starting point for gathering information to create a RJP. These types of questions help focus on aspects of the job that you then can use to attract the right talent and help ensure a good job-person fit (i.e., job compatibility).

Job Characteristics (e.g. rewarding and/or fulfilling aspects of the work):
  • What makes the job unique or exciting?
    Provide a few examples of work experiences or situations that stand out in your mind as being "positive."
  • What are challenges of your work?
    Please provide a few examples of work experiences or situations that stand out in your mind as being "negative."
  • Overall, what comes to mind when you think about the work you perform for your organization?
  • What type of organizational culture do you work in (e.g., collaborative, creative, flexible, structured, high autonomy)?

Questions About Work Environment and Conditions (e.g., cubicles/individual offices, access to windows, dress codes, proximity to restaurants and amenities,, flexibility of work hours, telework, access to a kitchen, noise levels, availability of resources, aesthetics of building):
  • What do you enjoy about your work environment and conditions?
  • What are some challenges about your work environment and conditions?

Questions About Co-workers:
  • What do you enjoy about your co-workers?
  • Which qualities make your co-workers successful at their jobs?

Question — General:
  • Overall, why should someone want to work in this organization?

Other Resources

Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey
The Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey measures employees' perceptions of whether, and to what extent, conditions that characterize successful organizations are present in their agencies. The results are a valuable resource for creating a RJP. For more information click here: