Here is the 2nd part in the series from Paul Mullan of Measurability.ie. Measurability offers career coaching to individuals looking to change careers as well as companies looking to train their staff for better things. If you have a question you can either leave it here or send Paul an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The first part can be read here “why most CVs fail“.
Interviews – Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies.
A recent survey of HR professionals in the UK highlighted that 86% believed jobseekers were economical with the truth at interview. Another survey seem to confirm these fears and found that 57% of jobseekers think it is acceptable to stretch the truth at interview, 33% exaggerate their key skills, 27% leave out negative information and 27% lie about salaries and benefits. As interestingly the same survey revealed that 1 in 10 of the HR Professionals admitted that they were economical with the truth at past interviews. There now seems to be a culture of deception in recruitment which is accepted as the norm by employees and employers alike.
Why tell lies.
Ultimately the key motivation for lying at interview is the prize of securing the dream job but also there seems to be a satisfaction gained in getting one over the interviewer and the system. Many jobseekers see recruitment as a game with the key purpose being trying to outwit the other party. Increased competition for the top jobs has resulted in many using outright lies to get their prize. This has a knock on effect that many applicants feel they must exaggerate to compete as they expect the competition to be doing it. We only have to look at the Tour De Farce where if you don’t do drugs you won’t challenge.
Telling lies – caught out or found out
The biggest problem with lies is that many applicants are caught out while spinning their web of deception. The problem with lies is that you have to tell other lies to cover up your initial lies and the difficulty is remembering them. If found out during the interview process its game over. Do you remember Tre Azam in The Apprentice 2007? During the final stages of the show interviewers believed he was lying on his CV and during his interview which ultimately lead to his downfall. Even worse than getting caught out though is if you are offered the job and are then found out. Lacking the skills and experience to do a job and departing through the emergency exit is not very nice.
It is up to you.
Ultimately it is your career and you make your choices so you must stand by the outcomes and results. When asked directly about the issue of lying I normally ask clients these questions. If you lied, got caught out and didn’t get this job as a result how would you feel? What are the possible consequences in lying and ultimately getting a job that does not suit you?
One final point.
Interviewers can be no different when it comes to bending the truth, so do not take everything at face value particularly in a competitive market with skills shortages. Companies can over exaggerate the responsibilities of the job, the culture of the organisation or leave out the fact that there has been 100% turnover in the department in the last 6 months. Companies trust and verify information with tools like reference checking and psychometric testing so I advise jobseekers not take all information at face value and do their own checking.
Tune in next week when Paul will discuss Job Hunting.
Article by Paul Mullan of Measurability.ie. Measurability offers Career Coaching to individuals (Career Direction, CV Design & Interview Coaching) and Assessment Solutions for businesses to improve their recruitment decisions.