Do or Die Interview Question: Can You Prove You Know How to Use X?
Ask any resume expert and they will tell you that embellishing is okay, but lying is unacceptable. The best explanation for why lying in your resume is dangerous occurs during your job interview. Most likely you listed off several programs or activities that you know how to use. At any point during your job interview, the employer may ask you to prove it. If you cannot prove it, you will not get the job.
How Often Do Employers Ask?
There is no way to predict whether or not the employer will ask you to prove what you placed in your resume. Not long ago Everyday Interview Tips interviewed Ellen, a young woman that was asked to do her entire job interview in Spanish, because she listed that she knew Spanish on her resume. The job she was applying for had little to do with the Spanish speaking population, and yet the interview requested she prove her knowledge. It is the reason that even embellishing can be dangerous – you never know when those skills will be called into question.
When you are asked to prove your knowledge, you either know it or you don’t. If you don’t, you are probably going to fail the interview. There are ways to salvage it, but the chances are slim.
“I… uh… don’t know how to do that. I did once. I am a fast learner though!”
“That program played a substantial role in my previous job, which is why I listed it on my resume. That said, I have not played around with it in a few years, so I will need to give myself a refresher course before I can adequately prove it to you to a level I would be satisfied with. Rest assured it will not take me long to re-learn it and I will be happy to do so before I start work.”
It’s not much, but it is possible to salvage your job interview with an answer like the one above, but you will need to wow the interviewer the rest of the way and you cannot be caught in any other lie or embellishment.
“Absolutely. Do you have the program here today so I can show you?”
Take Away Interview Tips
- It is dangerous to lie (or even embellish) on a resume.
- If caught in an embellishment, do your best not to sound like an idiot.
- If you can prove it, do so, and be confident.