The majority of people have some career baggage, from not fitting in culturally with a previous employer and receiving a poor reference to doing something impetuous in our youth and getting fired. The temptation is to bend the truth significantly or to bluff your way through a question which is uncomfortable for you as it bring up bad memories.
Keep as positive as possible, answer the question positively and directly without making a big deal out of your answer. The main benefits of adopting this approach are outlined below.
1. You can be trusted
If you lie in an interview, most professional interviewers will notice your eye movements and body language when you are lying. In many cases it is fairly obvious as you suddenly look shifty and uncomfortable.
Even if you manage to “pull the wool over the eyes” of the interviewer, you risk being caught out during a reference check or during your first week at work, where your employer suddenly realises that you have greatly exaggerated your skillset.
The big problem with bluffing or lying is that in the majority of cases, you will eventually get caught out. When this happens, your employer will begin to question everything you said and try to figure what is exaggerated or plain untrue. This brings your whole credibility into question and does not augur well in regards a fruitful, positive relationship between employer and employee.
2. You Increase your chances of Success
If you are a salesperson and hate cold calling but claimed cold calling as one of your main strengths in your interview, your employer will expect you to be successful at cold calling without any additional coaching or tutelage. This could potentially lead to your downfall.
However, if you were honest and upfront in your interview saying that you need a bit if further coaching in regards cold calling, you will more than likely receive the coaching you require and find out after a few weeks that you have now become adept at cold-calling.
3. You keep your employers expectations real
To exaggerate or lie in an interview sets higher expectations for your potential employer, thus making it harder to keep them satisfied if you are fortunate enough to land the job.
Being honest in interviews helps to keep employer expectations more realistic and attainable, which will ultimately benefit you in the long run.
Honesty is the best policy in an interview, without overemphasising the perceived negatives in your career. It adds to your credibility, believability and makes you more likeable and trusted. Honesty can set you apart from the competition as it can be seen as a key differentiator in an employers mind.