20 lies you absolutely must tell on job interviews
If you want to stand any chance of landing your dream job, you simply cannot afford to tell the truth about these things…Peter Iantorno October 13, 2014
Preparing for a job interview? Nearly every piece of advice you're likely to hear will tell you it's absolutely vital that you do not, under any circumstances tell a lie. But here at EDGAR, we don't necessarily think that's true.
Don't get us wrong, we're not suggesting that you claim to have a PhD in quantum physics when you're actually a high-school dropout, but a few little white lies and embellishments on the truth aren't going to hurt anyone. In fact, we reckon that in the following instances, lying is the only way to ensure you remain in with a chance of landing that dream job:
1. Why you want to work for the company
Even if the honest answer is that it's close to home and you heard it pays well, the right answer should always be some mumbo jumbo about the company's ethos.
2. How you left your previous job
You may have been treated terribly by your last company and burnt every bridge on your way out, but an interview is not the place to share these frustrations.
3. Your previous salary
Unfortunately, even if you are worth more than what you were getting in your previous job, if a hirer hears a figure, that's undoubtedly going to be a starting point when it comes to negotiation. Here you should try every trick in the book not to state the actual figure.
4. Salary you expect
Similarly, if you say the actual amount you think you're going to end up getting, obviously the company is going to try to bargain you down. They expect you to go in high, then meet them in the middle, so whatever you do, don't sell yourself short with the initial quote.
5. Where you see yourself in five years
Does anyone seriously know the answer to this question? Despite wanting to tell the interviewer it's a dumb thing to ask, a smarter response is to trot out some stock answer about growing the company and hope the interview moves on quickly.
6. How you work with others
Even if you're the kind of guy who likes to come into work in the morning, put his headphones on and not be bothered throughout the day, saying this during an interview isn't going to help your chances one jot.
7. You're not overqualified
Even if you are obviously overqualified and you only see this job as a stop-gap until you can find your dream position, if you let your interviewers know this you may as well get up and leave the interview now.
8. Relationships with former bosses
Commenting on former bosses is extremely dangerous ground. Whether you were the best of friends or sworn enemies, it's always wise to bat this question away with a token message of mutual respect and professionalism.
9. What that gap in your work history is
Irrespective of what happened in that period of you not working, always make it seem like it was a conscious decision on your part, rather than being let go by a company and simply not being able (or being too lazy) to find work.
10. You're an expert at weighing up risks and rewards
This is of course an answer to the classic, "are you a risk-taker" question so many interviewers seem to hang their hats on. Obviously you don't want to come across as reckless, but you also don't want to be seen as completely risk-averse.
11. If you won the lottery, you'd still work
While most people would drop work immediately and head out on a yacht somewhere with the cast of the Russian ballet, you'd carry on working, simply because you're so driven and you love your profession... Yeah, right.
12. How you got the time off for this interview
Unless you're lucky enough to either be in a job where people don't know your whereabouts all the time, or you can work flexible hours, the likelihood is that you pulled a sickie to get the time off for the interview. Whatever you do, do NOT tell your prospective new employers about this.
13. Your greatest weakness
While interviewers wised up to the old "I work too hard" answer a long time ago, this still doesn't mean you should reveal anything that might hinder your chances of getting the job. Instead, admit a small weakness and follow it up immediately with how you've already addressed the problem.
14. You're a computer whizz
Able to use the whole Microsoft Office suite to an advanced level and also an expert on Adobe Photoshop? You're just like every other applicant, then.
15. A time when you messed up in your previous job
A bit like the "greatest weakness" question, being asked about a time you messed up is not the time to dredge up a previous catastrophe you may have caused, but an opportunity to reveal a small negative, swiftly followed by a large positive in how you fixed the problem.
16. You're passionate about the industry
Actually you just kind of fell into it, and if the opportunity to leave it all behind and become a professional artist ever arose you'd do it in a heartbeat. But for the purposes of this interview, you eat, sleep and breathe the industry.
17. You have no family plans
This shouldn't be an issue for any decent employer, but the sad truth is that if some people find out that you're planning on having children, your chances of getting the job are harmed because they simply don't want the hassle of supporting you through the sleepiness nights a new baby brings.
18. You really want to grow the company
Although you may not actually care about the fortunes of this massive company and you're far more concerned with getting a slice of its generous personal benefits, you have to play the game and claim to have a vision for exactly how you can see the company prospering.
19. Salary isn't important to you
The biggest reason why most people go to work every day is to earn money, but for you, that's not the case. You work just for the love of the role and your compensation package really isn't an issue. But secretly you're thinking the money had better be good or you'll go elsewhere.
20. You're not annoyed by that ridiculous question that has absolutely nothing to do with the role you're applying for
You know the ones we're talking about: "Sell me this pencil", "Why does a tennis ball have fuzz on it?", "If you could be any animal, which one would you be?". They're clearly a weak attempt from the interviewer at being forward thinking and cool, so despite wanting to laugh in his face and refuse to answer, just play along and massage the interviewer's already inflated ego.