Should You Lie to the Interviewer?

John Krautzel
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Telling lies on your resume or during a job interview can lead to a messy situation later, especially if your employer finds out about your lies after the fact. Suddenly, your supervisor and your co-workers don't know whether they can trust you. You may face discipline over the lie, or your boss may choose to let you go. Don't get into these situations in the first place by never telling these four lies.

"Sure, I Live Close By."

Saying that you live within a few miles, or at least the same city, when you really don't, creates a host of problems. You may have to go through more than one job interview over the period of several weeks before landing the job. If you live out of town or even in another state, you might have to fly in for those interviews. Telling lies just to tailor your resume to the job's location might land you in an expensive mistake.

Instead, impress upon your future employer that you're willing to relocate. If you live far away, see if the firm can conduct video interviews rather than in-person face time to save money. Saving on hiring costs is a good thing, so your employer should recognize that you're trying to do the hiring manager a favor by having a job interview remotely.

"That's My GPA."

If you're fresh out of college and trying to land a professional job, your grade point average may be a factor in your hiring. A GPA can be a tiebreaker if all other factors between two candidates are equal. Don't lie about your GPA on your resume, because you never know when an employer might require a copy of your college transcript.

"This Was My Previous Salary."

Your potential employer may request a copy of your W-2 form as a way to check on your previous salary. While that isn't illegal in 49 states (except Massachusetts), your prospective employer doesn't need to know what you made before. If you voluntarily give a number, don't state a lower value than before. If you give your employer permission to run your credit or talk to human resources, someone may find out your previous salary and bring it up during a job interview.

Rather than talk about what you made before, do your research beforehand. Give an industry standard figure for a salary, tout your skills and credentials, and say how you add value to a company's bottom line through your employment.

"No, I Wasn't Fired at My Last Job."

A job interview is a chance to give more details about what's on your resume. When you say you left your previous job for a reason that your old supervisor can't corroborate, suddenly the hiring manager may confront your lie and disqualify you from the position. Lying wastes the company's time, money, energy and efforts to try to hire you. Instead of seeing you as an asset, you're a liability.

Instead, be honest about your previous employer without showing resentments. A positive attitude, even in the face of firing, goes a long way to building a good rapport with your interviewers.

Your job interview should be a positive experience from the first handshake to signing a contract. Don't ruin it by lying about your past.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at


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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Sherwin Start totally agree. It certainly will catch up with you. And once you start with the lie, you have to continue on with it. Just too hard to remember the lie. Easier to just tell it like it is. I remember hiring some folks who, at the interview came long so great - but, in the real world, not so much so. Sure their resume was great and their skills, on paper, were exactly what we needed. But, when they had to perform... dud! I worked with these two analysts for months trying to bring them up to where they needed to be. They seemed ready to go out and tackle a real world project so we sent them. The lies finally caught up and we had to remove both of them from a project and fire them. Boy, that was rough. But it sure did show that lying never pays!

  • Sherwin Start
    Sherwin Start

    NEVER LIE- Your lies WILL Catch up with you and cause u to get fired!!

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