Going into any job interview, you can anticipate questions like, “What’s your greatest weakness?” and “Why should we hire you?”
One you probably wouldn’t expect is: “Every résumé has at least one lie in it. What’s yours?”
According to James Reed, author of “Why You?: 101 Interview Questions You’ll Never Fear Again,” and chairman of Reed, a top job site in the UK and Europe, some hiring managers ask this as a way of finding out if any untruths are lurking in your résumé.
It may catch you off guard — but don’t let it make you nervous, and don’t get overly defensive (those reactions will send the wrong message).
Reed says there’s no doubt this question is a “stinger,” but there’s a good reason employers ask it. “One recent survey found that as many as 20% of job seekers admitted they’re prepared to lie on their résumés.”
Hopefully, he says, you’re not one of them. Not only would fibbing hurt your chances of getting the job if it’s discovered, but it’s also a “sure-fire way to end up with a job you’re poorly prepared to handle.”
If and when the interviewer asks you this question, try to pass it off with a joke. Should your wit fail you, he says, go with a flat denial. Reed suggests trying something like:
“Well, it says under hobbies there that I enjoy keeping fit. My wife would say that’s stretching the truth! Seriously, though, I don’t believe there are any lies on my résumé. I believe integrity on the job is very important and that starts with your résumé.”
If the hiring manager keeps pushing, accusing you of lying when you’re not, you may want to rethink whether this is the type of person you want to work for. If you feel there’s a lack of trust in the interview, this could be a sign of what’s to come should you land the job.
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