Tuesday, October 12, 2010


If you knew you would never be caught, would you ever lie on a job application or exaggerate your accomplishments or responsibilities on your resume? Why or why not?

If I answer “no” then I would be lying and they would probably disqualify me automatically. But if I answer “yes” then they will probably think I’m a liar and unworthy to be hired. But if I answer “no” then even if I would never lie or exaggerate they will think that everybody lies and exaggerates so they will conclude I’m lying. But if I answer “yes” they will think I must be a fool to disqualify myself by admitting to lying. But if I answer “no” then I answer “yes” but if I answer the question but if I don’t know what to do and I answer something but …

If your answer to that question would have you spending time with that kind of circular reasoning, you probably won’t be called back for the job.

It is a trick question, actually having nothing at all to do with the application or a resume. It is a question about self-awareness, character, and integrity.

Most employers believe that 99% of job applicants lie and/or exaggerate during the application and interviewing process. They expect it. But the answer to that question reveals a lot about a person’s value system. And where your answer falls on the spectrum of lies/exaggerations will mean different things to different employers.

But it’s the question they ask right after you answer the first question, that really reveals individual principles and honor. With maybe a dash of quick thinking.

The next question is: Have you lied or exaggerated during this application/interview process? Why or why not?

1 comment:

  1. See, but the question could not be answered in an interview.

    To have the question posed in and of itself forces someone to consider their own values.

    And I would have to agree that most if not all people would exaggerate or lie... *IF* they needed to in order to land a job (or felt that they did), and *IF* they would never be discovered.

    Which is why the question could never be answered (at least, not honestly) in an interview. The question being asked with an expectation of a verbal answer presupposes a situation that the question itself quashes -- that no one would ever find out. To be more clear: to answer the question out loud to anyone, particularly an interviewer, already means that SOMEONE *has* found out.

    Thus. The answer to the question, if being answered *TO* someone, is NO. NO, you would never lie or exaggerate on a resume to get a job.

    However, that does not mean that the answer to the question, if answered inwardly and privately, might not be yes.....