The lies we tell in interviews (that are sometimes okay)

You have probably heard that honesty is the best policy for looking for a new job. Some people think it’s okay to embellish their resumes — nothing drastic, of course.

However, some people will make it seem like they have accomplished more than they actually have to ensure they got their foot in the door for an interview. But what about lies once you are actually in the interview? 

This may come as a surprise to you, but there are actually some lies that are okay to tell during a job interview

Now, this does not mean you should sit down and start fabricating an intricate backstory for yourself or come up with some serious accomplishments you have never done.

We’re talking about little white lies that will help you make the best impression on the interviewer. 

Your commute

Maybe you are interviewing for a job that is a little outside of your travel radius, but you are willing to make the commute. It’s okay to tell the interviewer that the commute doesn’t bother you (even if it does). If it pays well, furthers your career goals, and is a perfect fit for you… a few hours shaved off your sleep log shouldn’t be that big of a deal.

Use common sense. If your new job is an extra three hours for you, then do not even bother applying. 

Your salary

It’s okay to over inflate your current salary. If you’re currently making $45,000, but you’re hoping to get a little raise with your new job, you may find that the hiring manager is willing to match a $50,000 salary or even increase the offer to $55,000 if they think you are the perfect candidate and they don’t want to lose out on hiring you. 

Your greatest weakness

If your greatest weakness is organization, you should definitely never admit that to a hiring manager. Come up with a constructive weakness. Be aware of your limitations, but do not lead with those that might get you pulled from the hiring pool.

Maybe say that you have a hard time letting go of a project because you are too attached to the idea of ensuring perfection. Maybe you say “Yes,” too much. Knowing when to say “No” is an important skill to have, but it would never knock you out of consideration for a job like poor attention to detail. 

Your last job

If you left your last job due to personalities clashing, poor work ethics, you hated your boss; your job was morally bankrupt… leave it in the car. Never speak poorly of your previous company because the hiring manager will see you as a future liability. Be honest, but be smart.

The best lie to tell is that you were ready for a change and ready for new ways to challenge yourself. You want to look like a team player and not someone looking for water cooler gossip. Never let the hiring manager think that you put off a negative vibe. 

Your interests 

This one is bound to come up during an interview. Typically the hiring manager uses this question to gauge what kind of person you are outside of the office. If you happen to enjoy all-night ragers on the weekends, maybe it is a good idea to lie. Never present yourself as someone who is going to call out sick due to a hangover. Partying does not need to be mentioned.

Mention something you enjoy collecting or talk about a sport you enjoy playing. But don’t try to make yourself sound like the country club type if you are not the country club type. There’s a time and place for “the boys club,” and you can leave that until after being hired and lunching with the executives. 

The bottom line

Be smart about everything you say during an interview because it can and will be used against you. If there’s a chance that someone at the company will know your truths, do not over embellish or lie because you will instantly lose out on an opportunity.

The key is putting the best foot forward, even if that means telling a white lie or two. Be smart, be savvy, and say as little as possible until you’re sitting at your new desk.