The last blog addressed popular interview lies relating to gaps in your CV, previous salary levels and exaggerating educational achievements. This blog will look at redundancy, exaggerating skills attained and lying about the relationship you had with your previous boss.
Lie 1: I wasn’t made redundant-I left
For some people the word redundancy is a bad word and they avoid saying it at all costs by sometimes inventing convoluted stories about deciding to travel around the world or leaving your secure job to pursue further education. There is no shame in your job being made redundant. In 2007, Ireland had an unemployment rate of 6.4%. In 2009 unemployment rose by a staggering 87% to a rate of 12%. By February 2012, unemployment had risen to 15.2% and would be higher if everyone on state employment schemes were to be included in these statistics. Between 2009 and 2012 137,000 people emigrated (80,000 males and 57,000 Females-Source UCC) as opportunities dried up at home.
Hence, in this abysmal economic context, redundancies were rife and your interviewer could have had their job made redundant during this period. Even if he/she were one of the lucky ones to remain in employment you can rest assured that they will have had friends/family/colleagues who suffered the same fate. Hence they fully understand the economic climate of that time.
In inventing, convoluted stories to avoid saying the word “redundancy”, this will only serve to annoy them. Also, if your body language doesn’t give this lie away a quick phone call to your previous employer certainly will.
Lie 2: Exaggerating Skills
There is no harm in embellishing skills to ensure you land your dream job, or is there?
If a certain level of skills attainment is required for the position, chances are there will be some sort of test to ascertain your proficiency. A probing interviewer will also ask behavioural type questions to evaluate your skill level. Also, a quick chat with a previous employer will quickly ascertain if what you say is true. Finally, even if you land the job based on this lie, the probation period in a new job involves a level of observation and the chances are that you will get found out very quickly.
Lie 3: I got on great with my previous boss
I got on great with my previous boss, you say with a grimace. There are bad bosses out there. On the extreme end of the scale there are bosses who will denigrate, humiliate, intimidate and even threaten you. There are bosses who will willingly renege on all their promises to you and micro-manage your every move. Anyway, one day you had enough and you decided to let him/her know a piece of your mind and you left under a tumultuous cloud. There is no point in an interview claiming that you got on swimmingly with this type of boss as a quick phone call will quickly ascertain the nature of your relationship. There is no point in saying “We got on so well that I wouldn’t bother ringing him”. What do you think an interviewer will do once these words are uttered?
If asked how you got on with a previous “bad” boss, try to deflect this question by focussing on how you loved your last job and the achievements you attained. If the probing continues you can say that the management style was quite “old school” and that you kept a close relationship to ensure projects were delivered ahead of schedule and within budget. Then try and quantify some achievement to deflect some attention away from the original question.
Your interviewer will understand “bad bosses” and that horror stories exist. However, they do not need to hear this in an interview as you may run the risk of being viewed as a pessimist or as a potential problematic employee.
The temptation to lie in an interview is huge. However, the best policy is to be as honest as possible, in as nice of a way as possible. If your body language doesn’t indicate to an interviewer that you are lying, a quick phone call or an astute observation during your Induction period certainly will.
To read about 3 tempting lies to tell in job interviews, please click here>>>