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9 Annoying Lies Job Interviewers Tell

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Business woman shaking hands in meeting

Job interviews are frustrating enough. Trying to pick out the perfect look, getting there on time (but not too early), doing research on the position…you have plenty to worry about. Then there’s the actual interview: answering the questions thoroughly (but not rambling), seeming interested but not desperate and showcasing yourself without bragging.

Yet job seekers need to remember you’re conducting an interview, too; you need to decide if this is the best place for you, the boss for you, the job for you.

So while you’re making your decision, watch out for these lies job interviewers like to tell:

1. “You’re in the lead for this position.”

Are you really? Have they already interviewed everyone? This might be the truth, or it might just be flattery to keep you hanging on.

Don’t take these words to mean too much. You may very well be in the lead, but you also may be the first candidate they’ve interviewed, and you never who will come through that door next.

2. “We think your outside life is just as important as your work life.”

This one may make you believe you’ll never be working late hours or weekends, but unfortunately, that’s rarely the case anymore. To really find out, dig a little deeper.

Can you work from home if you have a sick child? Do they have strict office hours, or can you be flexible? Will you travel? Answers to these questions will help you suss out a company’s priorities more than a blanket statement about work-life balance.

3. “We offer excellent benefits.”

The company might offer great benefits, but do a little investigating before you believe it. It’s a tough time out there for health care, after all. And if the employer offers a lot of vacation days, will you really be able to take them all? Sometimes it’s hard to take time off even if you have vacation days because of job demands, finances or company policies.

4. “We’re working on hiring someone who would help you.”

This might be a red flag that they know the position is overly demanding. Find out why. Will that new person be an assistant or hold a parallel position? What happens if they don’t hire someone; will you be responsible for more than you initially thought?

5. “Our company doesn’t have any drama or politics.”

Is that possible? Whether it’s office politics or office drama, it’s there. Maybe not quite as much as in an eighth-grade classroom, but life has drama and politics; there’s no hiding from it.

6. “We’re still not sure of the salary.”

Why not? What are they waiting for? The salary should already be in place if they’re ready to hire someone. There is usually room for negotiation, but the company probably has a base line to start with. Make sure you’re aware of the salary before you accept any position!

7. “We offer lots of help/training to get you started.”

What kind of help and training? Will you have to read a big fat manual in your off hours? Will you have a mentor for the first few weeks?

Some companies offer in-house training before you get started, while others only offer a couple of online tutorials. Find out so you know what you’re getting into.

8. “We’ll make a quick decision and move fast.”

Even in the most ideal situations, the time from interview to start date is usually a few weeks. Between protocol in human resources and all necessary sign-offs, “quick” is a relative term.

Stay positive, but know that things take time.

9. “If this doesn’t work, we’ll keep you in mind for other opportunities.”

The truth is, they probably won’t. Even if they do have something else for you, it may not be what you want.

So keep looking. If it happens to work out, that’s great, but don’t sit around waiting for another position to open up for you.

Job seekers often get a bad rap for embellishing resumes and past experience. But those little lies can come from the other side, too. Remember, job interviewers are trying to win you over. Keep an eye out for these fibs, so you really know what you’re getting into.

Heather Legg is a blogger who enjoys writing on career advice, healthy lifestyles and parenting.

Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=271703022904314 Careerleaf

    Heather, I really enjoyed this article. So many job seekers are too busy worrying about winning their potential employers over that they forget that hiring managers are just as likely to tell a few lies. If anything does seem off about the interviewer’s statements, candidates should directly address their worries by asking more about certain statements and situations.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1440164162 Heather Dechar Legg

      Good advice – thank you!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=28400952 Michelle Renee Garcia

    YEAH — Question #1 did me in a couple of months ago, so I let my guard down. BIG mistake. womp-womp!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=187000822 Desiree Frieson

    I have experienced # 1, 6,8 and 9! Very good stuff here.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1440164162 Heather Dechar Legg

      Thanks, Desiree!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=168758486496768 Technology Management Program UC Santa Barbara

    Interviewing advice…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=576598357 Barbara Renino James

    As an HR professional, I actually have kept folks in mind for other opportunities and hired them. They still work here. However, I never throw words around haphazardly. Our company’s culture and reputation stand on their integrity and that is how we conduct all our dealings.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1440164162 Heather Dechar Legg

      Thank you, Barbara – it’s always important to hear from the other side as well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1475445549 Heidi Cardenas

    Yes! Good to know! My experience as been that employees don’t like when candidates ask too many questions, exorcist specific questions like you suggest. They want to control the while process.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=788784670 Philippe Mesritz

      Interesting. I actually throw up a red flag up when candidates DON’T ask enough questions. To me, it indicates a lack of interest and knowledge about what you’re getting into. Most people ask 1-3 questions and, generally, they’re very soft. The best candidates I’ve hired (both currently and in the past) are the ones that tend to come up with thoughtful questions and ones tied into the goals of the position or organization, as best as they can tell.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1475445549 Heidi Cardenas

    Employers not employees…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1520502642 Sumam Jurczak

    I agree with Barbara. Some of the above are not accurate. 3,6,7,8 and 9 are NOT lies. Not all companies are allowed to say you are in the lead either. Some companies have Q&A packets that interviewer stick to. In fact I have kept people in mind for different positions and they have been hired. The salary thing is also not fixed there is a range so experience and sometimes other things determine the exact pay depending on the role. The need is the companies. Depending on the integral nature of the job speed of hiring is the Company’s intent. I don’t think you can slot everyone under 9 lies.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1440164162 Heather Dechar Legg

      Suman, thank you for sharing your experience. I love hearing from both points of view. You’re right, these lies certainly don’t pertain to everyone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1347751681 Lisa J. Matthew

    #s 8 and 9 I’ve heard most recently.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472708304 Terry Givens

    Those are great and I am sure we have all heard #9. That is just a nice way to let prospective employees know to forget it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=537258251 Steven Cerri

    Those of you who think that these are just lies… haven’t conducted an interview. There are decent people and there are jerks in every job position and the decent people are sincere about what they tell you. Your job as the person being interviewed is to “conduct your interview” as well. Everyone’s perception is different and interviewers can say things they absolutely believe to be true, only to have events overtake their statements. To write this article and title it “9 Annoying Lies Job Interviewers Tell” either is intended to grab readers or indicates a lack of experience.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id= Anonymous

    I agree. Usually the hiring personnel are just a junior or in middle management and they need to accomplish the hiring as quickly as possible. In nearly all of the company that I have worked at, these personnel were not penalized if they hired people without thorough check resulting in introducing dangerous criminals into the organization. The reverse can also be true. Their withholding of the truth or allowing practices that run counter to the labor law will also damage the company’s reputation later. One time, the HR person actually was sympathetic to me for being affected when the company broke labor laws, but wasn’t able to do anything about it, except eventually leaving or being fired after I left.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501698673 Darren Runyon

    I don’t feel any of these are “lies you’re being told”, sure the truth is circumstantial but saying that if you hear any of these things means you’re being lied to is irresponsible at best and downright damaging otherwise, every interview is going to contain one of these statements and it’s not because the employer is trying to lie to you, but because they are engaged with you and want you to be encouraged about their process. Don’t go into interviews with the mindset of the author here, you’re going to find reasons to not trust the employer and that will damage your chances of finding a job more than anything else. Do your homework and keep these questions in the back of your mind, but certainly don’t assume like the author does that these are smokescreens designed to hide the truth from you. Shame.

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  • http://www.minecraftjugar.com/ Minecraft Jugar

    thanks so much! because these is interesting information.

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