Many people think a little fudging of the truth at a job interview could help seal the deal. Certain white lies, exaggerations or half-truths can be acceptable, but lies about work credentials and abilities can easily be revealed in a background check.
Here are nine common lies told at job interviews that are best avoided.
1. Previous salary
People lie about salaries to negotiate with potential employers. But this lie is easy to uncover by reaching out to the previous employer or doing some research online.
Regardless, this lie could cost one the job. If the figure offered is too low, the applicant should come up with a list of things they can bring to the table to prove their worth.
2. Proficiency in ‘X’ programme
If the candidate can learn the skills needed for a job in a short time, they can claim they are proficient in the skills the job demands. But one must be a quick learner, adaptable and passionate about the job to pull this one off successfully.
3. Hobbies and interests
These questions are often asked before the end of the interview. Never lie about interests or make untrue claims, such as being a good swimmer or writer. Share a reasonable interest that can relate to the job.
4. Reasons for leaving the last job
If one left a previous company for personal reasons that cannot be shared with the hiring manager, bad-mouthing is the last thing to do. Begin by sharing some of the best experiences in the previous job. If one is laid off, it is easier to tell the truth about it and explain the causes rather than to blame someone else.
5. Plans for the next five years
It is not necessary to explain in detail one’s goals for the next five years. Give a fairly general answer to this question, regardless of whether the plan is to remain in the company for the short or long term.
Provide details about the role and ideal position wanted. Never go overboard by telling an interviewer that this job is for the long haul unless there is a true commitment to work with the company.
6. Willingness to relocate for this job opportunity
Falsely claiming to be open to moving just to secure a job would be unwise. Many people would be unwilling to relocate due to financial constraints or for personal reasons. If the company is willing to provide financial relocation assistance, moving for a job may be a valid option.
7. A long commute – no problem
Would a new job that involves a one- to two-hour commute be acceptable? If not, think again, it might become a reason to leave sooner rather than later.
8. Being a people person
It is in the best interests of the candidate to tell a potential employer that they can easily mix in with other workers, even if they prefer to do things on their own.
Generally, minor white lies like this are acceptable, rather than acknowledging to the interviewer that one does not work well with others.
9. Fluency in multiple languages
Claiming to be fluent in local and foreign languages is probably one of the hardest fibs to get away with.
All the recruiter has to do is ask for a demonstration, which could make the interview very awkward if the sum of one’s knowledge of another language is “hello”, “goodbye” and “where is the restroom?”.
This article first appeared in jobstore.com.
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