Often times during an interview, you are asked a question in which the correct answer is an answer that will lose you the job. For example “why did you leave your last job?” may have an answer like “I told my boss to take a hot dog and shove it where the sun don’t shine when he didn’t give me a raise.” Obviously the truth is unpleasant.
Yet it is not a good idea to lie during your interview.
- You can get caught in which case you both lose credibility and won’t get the job.
- You can give off body language that makes you appear untrustworthy.
- You can forget your own lie, make new lies, and be lost in a web of deception.
Lying is a bad idea. Omitting is not.
Why Omitting is Not Lying
When discussing baseball, fans and sportscasters alike tend to omit important information simply because it does not prove their point. For example “If you ignore that start against Milwaukee, Tim Lincecum has struck out at least 10 in every start since May.”
It’s a convenient way to make a point, but its bias. Of course if you ignore the bad things you get good things. If you ignore every game the Seattle Mariners lost, they won 100% of their games. But you can’t ignore them just because you want to. They’re there. They are a part of history. Yet these fans and sportscasters are not lying. Everything they say is completely true, providing you ignore the parts that don’t meet that criteria.
In Job Interviews, You Can Pick Your Facts
In the job interview, that is how you take the “not lying” approach. For example, let’s say you are asked the question: “How did you get along with your last supervisor?” and let’s say you and your supervisor got along terribly.
When you are answering this question, look at it as a question that is asking you to omit important information. Rather than “how did you get along” the question becomes, to you, “if you ignore everything bad that happened, how did the two of you get along?” Well, you got along great! You are not lying ether. You are simply omitting the information that doesn’t show the point you are trying to make.
That is the approach you should take to all interview questions that ask you to say something negative. Don’t lie. Simply omit. By ignoring the bad parts of your history, you are left only with the good, and your answers are being honest about only those good parts.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Don’t lie.
- Do omit.
- The Seattle Mariners were the best team in history if you ignore all of the losses.