10 lies recruiters tell in the first interview

Landing that first interview in the job hunt process is always an exhilarating feeling. Hoping to change your career trajectory or even land your first job after college, you have done your due diligence, and you’re ready to crush your interview.

You have checked all the boxes in preparation, printed out your resume, put on your finest interview outfit, and you think you’re all ready to go.

You’re prepared for everything except one thing: 

A recruiter who tells you a lie.

Recruiters are well-versed in using people skills to be able to communicate their message. Unfortunately, these top-notch communication skills may not always come across directly. In some cases, when you sit for an interview with a recruiter, things may be misunderstood in the heat of the moment, or they may even be telling small white lies.

Some recruiters (who are paid commission to recruit) have been using this tactic of bending the truth for ages. And despite a recruiters’ extensive knowledge on how to spin verbal communication, you don’t have to feel powerless in deciphering their coded language! 

Today, we will be talking about some common lies and phrases that recruiters use and what they actually mean so you can add that last item to your interview preparation list – knowing the truth about the position!

1. You should definitely take this offer now; before it gets taken, there is nothing better out there

A common pressure tactic to fill a position fast, telling you there are no other offers, is 100% a lie.

Remember, there is always a better position, a better salary, and a better offer elsewhere.

That isn’t to say the job your interviewing for isn’t the right fit, but pressuring candidates to commit is an all too common recruiter technique! 

2. Ignore the negative reviews about these employers; there is no truth behind them

Ever been a bit reserved about companies’ negative online reviews, only to hear from a recruiter that it’s just rubbish?

Be cautious when you hear a defensive statement about reviews, and be sure to do your due diligence in researching the employer to get an accurate description of their reputation. In most cases, there could be some truth behind the complaints. 

  • Don’t be afraid to dig deeper and ask the recruiter more questions about negative reviews.
  • Visit websites that give more detailed reviews of the company
  • Even try to talk to current employees when applicable 

3. We’ll be in touch

Ever heard this in an interview?

We will be in touch is a good sign that it could be working out for you; however, with no set timetable in the follow-up process, this means you may have to take the initiative to reach back out. 

On the other hand, it could also mean you’re not the person they’re looking for – they didn’t want to tell you that! 

4. You definitely look great on paper

This classic comment could be the truth or a lie. 

In some cases, the recruiter is trying to put in professional terms that you are not the best candidate who could fulfill the job’s responsibilities or weren’t a connection during the interview.

Be sure to read body language to understand the context. 

5. We received your name via a mutual contact that has chosen to remain anonymous

Sometimes a recruiter might reach out to you on a popular platform such as LinkedIn or shoot you an email. When you ask how they found you, they might make a mention to an “Anonymous source.” 

This is obviously coded language to express that they themselves have been doing research on you on the open-source and therefore marked you as a potential candidate. 

6.We are interviewing other candidates at the same time, but we are interested

This is an indirect way of telling you that the recruiter has his hands full with tons of applicants that he must go through, and therefore, wants to know if you are the right fit or not without having to bend over backward. 

Sometimes used as a pressuring technique to make sure you’re serious, recruiters will use this to create less work for themselves. 

7. Your salary will be based on experience

Salary is often based on different variables, but right off the bat, employers have a general range of what they are willing to pay, and that number SHOULD be communicated.

Unfortunately, this is a club in the bag for recruiters, and they often do this to gauge your expectations and/or requirements of what you think you should be paid to see if you’d be the right fit. 

On another note, this could be an indirect way of letting you may be a little too expensive, but like always, body language will reveal more than words!

8. What other companies are you interviewing with at this time?

Don’t fall for this pressure tactic; you are not obligated in any way, shape, or form to share any current information about with whom you are interviewing other than the one you currently are doing.

A lot of times, companies like to know if you have been interviewing with competitors, but your privacy is beholden to you and you alone! If you want to gain the upper hand and share, it may work for you in some cases, but don’t feel like you have to! 

9. This opportunity may be below you experience-wise, but I’m sure down the road, it will promote and pay you more later

Thus, the recruiter uses a reverse psychology tactic to encourage you to accept the offer with general optimism in its return down the road. Put another way; they’re using the foot-in-the-door approach to hopefully land you, even if it might not be a great fit for you. 

Always run a cost-benefit analysis on what you may have to do to start; it could be completely different than what was expressed on the front end! Keep in mind; a recruiter will often tell you what you want to hear; there is no guarantee of a better position or promotion down the road! 

10. Send my resume; I’ll be sure to get back to you

The recruiters generally have the motive to inform people on whether or not they are the right fit for the position, but just like #3, you may have to reach back out as sometimes follow-ups may slip through the cracks due to the high volume of applicants they need to get through. 

The verdict 

Interviews are not always fun as it is. Having to decipher coded language and small white lies thrown your way by recruiters to fulfill particular motives can make the process more challenging. 

Make sure you stand guard for such phrases mentioned above that may mean something completely different than you interpret.

Deciphering the code of recruiters will only come through your ability to listen to verbal and non-verbal cues actively, and when you do that, there will be no white lie you can’t detect that’ll separate you from the success you deserve.