When you go into a job interview, you want to present the best version of yourself. That is why it is very easy for anyone to “fluff” qualifications or stretch the facts. However, the best policy always is honesty.

Three Reasons to Tell the Truth

Employers Will Know
Most people have a limited number of job interviews in their lifetime, but, depending on the size of the company, hiring managers may conduct interviews every day. These professionals are trained in evaluating candidates and executing questioning strategies. Unless you are quite good at acting, it is easier than you think to get caught in a lie. Not only will you lose the job, but also this is an incredibly awkward situation. (Society for Human Resource Management, 2005)

Mistruths Can Haunt You
Let’s say you sneak through the interview on exaggerations. Did you consider background checks, references, past employers and social media? The chances of getting caught are numerous and far-reaching. Or, maybe you dodge all those bullets and land the position, only to discover you are completely under-qualified for your first major project. And worse yet, your industry is more connected than you imagined. A bad experience at one organization can quickly make your future job searches even more difficult.

The Right Job Starts with the Real You
Of course, it is possible to pretend to be someone else to land a great job. But, eventually, this charade becomes exhausting. To follow a great career path, you need to be true to yourself. It may sound appealing to work for a high-profile company that offers a large paycheck. However, if you do not fit in with the organization’s culture, you are bound to be miserable. Remember, interviews are a two-way exchange. Are you a good choice for the company, and is the company a good choice for you?

How to Avoid the White Lie Trap

Very few people plan to lie in an interview, but anyone can panic under pressure. Use the following tips to keep your answers truthful.

  • Focus on Your Strengths – It is unlikely that you will be completely qualified for any job, so emphasize what you CAN offer the organization. Willingness to learn is a great skill!
  • Be Honest with Hard Questions – “What is your greatest weakness?” is a common inquiry. Everyone has shortcomings. Answer truthfully and give examples of how you are working to improve. This will make you look both transparent and insightful.
  • Rehearse the Interview – Ask friends or family to help you practice questions. If you have thought out possible responses ahead of time, you are far less likely to accidentally say the wrong thing under pressure.

Could you use help preparing for an upcoming interview? Or, do you have interviews that never turn into job offers? You don’t have to search for a job alone. The employment advocates at United Talent can connect you to the right opportunity. Contact any of our West Virginia offices today to learn more!