Don’t Take Drug Test If You Know You’ll Fail

A business owner recently vented his frustration to me around the number of job seekers who failed a work drug test at his company.

"As a fairly active employer when it comes to hiring, I need to share with you my recent frustration when it comes to new hires and drug testing. We have had a particularly bad run in the last quarter with over a dozen failed tests. With over half of the candidates being college grads, I was particularly surprised! It actually seems more like an IQ test, why take it if you are going to fail? People currently in a job hunt should really be more aware of how testing works, and be prepared to pass. It is both disappointing and expensive for us as employers."

Now, you might be thinking, "I bet this it was a bunch of punk kids," or "The job probably pays squat." Well, you are wrong. When I contacted him to get more details around the situation, here's what he told me:
  • In three months, he tested 39 prospective employees at $45/test. That's an estimated $7,000/year spent on drug testing.
  • Only 25% passed.
  • Their ages ranged between 21-52 years old.
  • The owner estimates the additional cost of the wasted time/expense went into interviewing these people prior to the test at $24,000+.
More importantly, these people missed out on jobs that paid between $50,000-$58,000/year!

​Why You Shouldn't Take A Drug Test If You Know You'll Fail

Urine drug test results

Here's the takeaway for job seekers...

Many companies are using drug tests these days as a way to weed out employees. Be sure to find out before you apply if the company is going to ask you to take a drug test to avoid any embarrassment.

What should you do if you find out about the drug test after the interview?

If the company fails to mention the drug test until after your interview. Simply say you'd be happy to take the test and leave. Then, call them back and say that upon reflection, you've decided the job isn't for you. That way, you won't be embarrassed when you fail and you'll save the company the cost of giving you the test.

Using drugs is your choice—you just need to acknowledge choosing to do so comes with consequences in the form of limiting your job options. It's a small world. Failing a drug test isn't good for your career. So, be smart and move on if you know you can't pass one.

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This article was originally published at an earlier date.