It can be very tempting to misrepresent your background and skillset in a job interview just to make yourself seem like the perfect candidate for the opening. However, lying on an interview and intentionally exaggerating your awesomeness will lead to your offer being rescinded and everyone being back to square one! The fact is, whether what you’re saying is a small fib or a full blown lie, you’re still being dishonest. Being insincere at the onset of a working relationship will make it very difficult for a future employer to ever fully trust you. Here are the top 7 things that you should never mislead a hiring manager about:
- A misdemeanor or felony on your record
Almost all employers conduct background checks prior to hiring a candidate and things such as misdemeanor or a felony will easily be exposed.
- Education credentials
BA or MA? It is only a one-letter difference on your resume but certainly not a good idea to mix them up! Also, do not misrepresent your GPA. Instead, calculate the Major GPA and if it is higher, it can give your resume a boost (we once saw a resume with “post-freshman-year GPA!”)
- Being overqualified for the job
Candidates often remove experiences earlier in their careers and/or dates of graduation from school to make their resume appeal to a variety of position levels. The truth is, though, getting a job for which you are overqualified for could lead to extreme boredom and career stagnation!
- Reasons for leaving your current (or most recent) position
Did you get fired? Has your role plateaued? Have your responsibilities shifted? Discuss the true reasons behind your reasons for leaving while, of course, remaining positive on your past or current employers.
It’s not uncommon for employers to ask for a current paystub or last year’s W-2. If you exaggerate these figures in an attempt to get yourself a better offer, you could risk getting an offer—period. Be open about what you are looking to make in order to manage the employer’s expectations and ensure that it is in line with what you are seeking.
- Immigration status (if applicable)
The last thing you want to do is go through multiple rounds of interviews just to find out that the company will not sponsor your visa! By being upfront with your immigration status, you can save time by interviewing for firms you’re sure can sponsor you instead of going to multiple interviews at a firm that ultimately can’t help.
- Software or language skills
An interviewer would only need to ask a couple of follow-up questions to determine whether your software or language skills are really as advanced as you claim. It is a better idea to enroll in a class or attend a workshop to gain the skills needed to succeed in the job. Represent the level of fluency of a foreign language truthfully as that may be a useful skill at certain firms.