Intentionally or unintentionally, many hiring managers lie to applicants during the interview process. The lies may not always be for malicious reasons. In some cases, the lies may be related to simply not knowing what to say, or being biased in favour of the company they work for.
As you go through the interview process, it is important to be aware of these “lies” and prepare for them so that you can respond to each one accordingly.
What Employers Will Tell You:
1. “We Have a Great Culture and Community Here”
There are literally zero interviewers that will ever tell you that the company culture, or the environment, or the way that coworkers get along is anything other than “great.” First, no recruiter would want to tell people they do not like the company. But even beyond that, most of the time the culture is determined by the people in it, and so the interviewer’s experience may be that it is a good environment because they have nothing else to compare it to.
Respond hopefully, and ask them what they like about it, what the culture is like, how they see it play a role in the workplace, and more. Use their answers to determine if it’s a place you really want to work.
2. “We Offer Great Benefits, Work/Life Balance, etc.”
Like the example above, almost all companies will say this. Ask for examples and ranges. “What benefits do you have available?” “Are there any benefits that you think helps you stand out from competitors?” “How do you support the work/life balance of your staff?” Asking these questions can provide you with more concrete information to know if it’s something they say, or if it’s something they follow up with.
3. “We’ll Get Back to You in X Days”
This isn’t an intentional lie, but many companies give a date that they’ll contact you, only to not follow up. Most companies aren’t thinking about each and every one of their applicants, as they have many more responsibilities to worry about.
Ask them directly something like “I know how busy it can get in the work place. Would it make more sense to follow up with you in a week or so?” This way, if you don’t hear from them, you can call them and they’ll be expecting your call.
4. “We Will Keep You in the Loop About Future Opportunities”
When you don’t get the job, the interviewer may tell you that they are keeping your resume on hand. Most companies are required to keep your resume for consideration by law, but rarely do they actually take the time to contact people about open positions. If you really want to work for the company, you can say “Do you have a newsletter or a specific place you recommend monitoring for future positions? I would be happy to apply when a job opens that matches my skill set.”
Not only can you find out where to look for other opportunities, but the hiring manager will be impressed that you care enough to follow future job openings despite not getting the job.
5. Navigating the Interviewer Lies
Rarely will a company lie purposefully or maliciously. But the interviewer’s job is to make sure that you want to work there, and that you remain hopeful about their company. So they may make claims that are not necessarily true. The best way to tell the truth from lies is to ask additional questions, and use those answers to determine the truthfulness of the company.