When you’re searching for a job and finally score an interview, it can feel like the finish line is in sight, but you still have a long way to go before getting hired. To increase the chances of landing the job, lots of people lie a little during their interviews, nearly 80% of job seekers admit they’ve done it, according to a recent survey.
And we get it - everyone wants to give themselves an advantage. But the thing is, some lies are riskier than others. So when is it okay to fudge the facts or be evasive during an interview? Lies you can probably get away with include:
- Lying - within reason - about your skills - If they ask about your image editing experience and you lie that you’re a Photoshop whiz, you may get away with it if you’re only expected to do a few social media graphics or images touch-ups. But if your entire job is graphic design, the embarrassing truth will come out on your first day.
- Lying about how much money you make - According to HRU Tech’s Tim Sackett, “it’s rare” that someone will want to validate your existing salary, so you’re probably safe with this lie.
- Lying about career plans - Sackett also says it’s okay to get creative when answering the standard “where do you see yourself in five years?” interview question. “Who the h*ll knows,” he says. “Make it up.”
- Being cagey about your employment history - This is especially true about the job you may be leaving for the one you’re interviewing for. You never want to badmouth an employer in an interview, even if that’s why you’re leaving, so instead it’s okay to fib that you’re looking to expand your experiences or challenge yourself in a different role.
But there are a few things you should never lie about during a job interview:
- Critical job skills - We’re talking skills that are vitally important to the job and if you don’t have them you won’t be able to do the job.
- Don’t make up a past position - This includes pretending you worked at a company you never worked for, not sharing that you were a freelancer and inflating your title.
- Don’t lie about being fired - Chances are, the new company will find out and then you won’t get the job anyway.