11 Lies People Tell in Interviews (But Really Shouldn't)
Lying on a resume isn't new — especially when it gets a person through the door. We get it, nowadays a good job is hard to find and there are those who are willing to do whatever it takes to get the gig. But there are those who take it a step further and lie during a job interview — never a good thing.
Gina Trimarco, founder and chief results officer for Pivot10 Results and host of popular podcasts "Women Your Mother Warned You About" and "The Pivotal Leader," weighed in on various lies people tell during interviews — and why it's almost always a bad idea.
"I have all the experience required."Who hasn't lied about their actual experience to get into the door of a company? Even Trimarco admits she has "done it before but only to the extent that I was sure I could quickly learn or develop certain skills before I started the job." She warns, "If you lie, get the job and then perform poorly, you'll either get fired or create stress for yourself and others on the job." And if anything's the opposite of a team player, it's that.
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"I'm available as soon as you need me.""Just like lying about your experience, lying about your ability to get the job done when required will cause grief and stress and people will lose trust in you," says Trimarco. "[Don't] say something just changed in their lives that makes it a challenge to work the required schedule."
"Nooo, I don't live in Sarnia — I live in Toronto."That's right, some applicants will put a local address on their resume because they want to move to that city — and actually try and fool a recruiter though Trimarco laughs, saying it's "pretty telling" if you list your address in one part of the country when you work in another.
"Hiring managers will see this and ask you where you live," Trimarco warns. "Don't hide it. Come out and say, 'I'm interested in relocating.' Some companies may be open to that possibility. But often times, companies don't want to waste their time with applicants who haven't made the move yet and are certain that will be happy living in that new city."
On the other hand, these are the red flags you, the interviewee, need to look out for during an interview.
"I made $250,000 a year."Many lie about their salaries in hopes of making a big jump in pay or to get to market value level but Trimarco suggests to "Just tell the truth. If you were paid under market value, say so. Be vulnerable. Say you didn't know any better when negotiated."
She adds: "This is a bigger problem for women. Most job positions are attached to a budget. The employer will see the value in your expertise and your ability to demand your worth."
SEE ALSO: 12 things often said to women in the workplace.
"I've never been convicted of a crime."Oy, this one's terrible to lie about, for obvious reasons and for those who avoid or missing checking the box on an application that admits to a criminal record — it's not good.
"In many cases the employer will run a background check and this will not end well," Trimarco points out. "You may not get hired purely because you lied and not because of your record. The employer will always wonder if he or she can trust you so be open about it."
Trimarco adds, "There are companies now that are purpose-driven and specifically employ people with criminal records, in addition to those while incarcerated. You want to work for a company that supports your growth as a person who has made mistakes in the past and will make other mistakes in the future."
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"Pfft, I'm an expert at that program."If you pretend your technical skills are next-level and your knowledge of Photoshop or Office is so high, you could teach a course — you will eventually get caught, says Trimarco. "You may be asked to show samples of your work and while you can 'borrow' someone else's portfolio, you'll struggle in the job if you get the job." And depending on the probationary period, you can be terminated for performance reasons if you can't deliver the work you swore you could.
"I will happily relocate."Many people think they want to relocate so do your due diligence, advises Trimarco. "Even if on your own dime, make sure in advance you like the area you could possibly be moving to. It's hard enough adapting to a new job, let alone a new location. And if you get a relocation package, an employer may make you pay it back if you decide you no longer want to live in that city."
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"Feel free to check all my references.""Recruiters know that candidates will list their best possible references and even references that aren't real," says Trimarco. "Know that they know this and will test those references. If you're going to lie about that, make sure your references are talented enough to win Academy Awards."
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"I can handle any commute.""Similar to relocating, make sure you're really willing to make the commute by trying it out a few times at different times of the day," suggests Trimarco. "Some employers will ask you if you have 'reliable transportation' but if you say yes and then all of sudden have indefinite car problems, this could lead to job loss."
Here's how to tell if an interview went well.
"I speak French — and a little Spanish, and some Cantonese ... "Lying about being fluent in French or another language that isn't English right to a recruiter's face will backfire so fast. Because during an interview, you could be asked just how proficient your second-language skills are and, well, it's going to be pretty awkward when you say "au revoir" as you make a run for the exit.
"There were dozens of people reporting to me."Highlighting particular experiences that are valuable to a job in question is one thing; but making up actual duties and details — such as the number of staff you had reporting to you when the furthest is the case — is another.
Hmm, instead of lying, why not better prepare yourself for the interview instead?