Honesty is the Best Policy

do's and don'ts of interviewChances are if you have been on an interview, you’ve been asked a series of questions related to your job experience and previous work history. You may have had the urge to embellish your accomplishments and portray yourself as a better job candidate in order to ensure that you get the job. After all, the economy is tough, and you need to get back to work as soon as possible. However, this strategy can backfire, especially once your hiring manager has enough time to look into your back history. All they have to do is pick up the phone and talk to your former supervisors, and the jig is up. So, if you are ever in a situation where you think it’s a good idea to lie in an interview to get ahead, sure you may boost your stock in the short-term, but it can have long-term ramifications that will limit your growth within the company that you have chosen.

Be Forthcoming About Your Past

There’s a difference between embellishing and truly having an understanding of the job you are interviewing for, and human resources will be able to see right through it. You need to have a genuine understanding of the job you are applying for, because once you are thrown into your role on day one you want to excel. Lying about your accomplishments can set you up for failure from day one, and if the background check wasn’t intense to begin with, things will start to get a whole lot worse. You also don’t want to exaggerate about your educational background, because it’s such a simple task for human resources to pick up the phone and verify your transcript with the University you attended. About one third of the calls that the bursars office receives at a major collegiate institution are these types of inquiries. If you’ve been looking for a job for a long time and are starting to feel the effects of unemployment take hold, don’t opt for this strategy. Even if you are offered a job, if you lie about your educational experience or work history, someone will eventually find out. If you are fired from a job for this reason, it will be very hard to get back into a similar role with another company; because it’s likely that word will spread about you. People talk, and you want to keep good relationships with your former employers. Even if you’ve had a negative experience with a former employer, it’s better to be honest and truthful during the interview process, because it will actually help you in the end. Being forthcoming about your past mistakes can be a very strong tool to use during the interview process, because it will show the hiring managers that you are serious about improving yourself and moving on from your past mistakes.

Long Term Prospects

Next time you are at an interview and you get a chance to embellish, just take a step back and think about it from a long-term perspective. Sure it might help you land the job, but once word gets out that you are dishonest and deceitful, your career will take a turn for the worse. Be honest about your past, and good things will start to happen for you. If you’ve been unemployed for a while and are still desperately looking for work, consider taking a job that is below your skill level until you find something better. It’s always easier to find a job when you already have one. Be honest with your employers, but more importantly yourself. Doing so will guarantee career success. 

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Matthew Welch

Jobdiagnosis blog author Matthew Welch is an SEO strategist and content marketer from Boston, MA. Read blog content relating to job search by Matthew Welch.

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