Tell the Truth and Nothing But the Truth

We all know the game: If you’ve even heard of a technical term, put it on your resume, right?  It will make you seem broad, and get your foot in the door.  You can always hit the books and master it if you actually get the job…

Please don’t do it.  Hiring managers don’t like it, and won’t like you once you’ve been revealed to be loose with the facts.

I know I’ve said this before, but in all honesty, hiring sucks most of the time.  I know, I know.  Boo hoo right?  Hiring managers already have a job and aren’t under the pressures of trying to secure employment and keep life afloat in between jobs. But hiring is a time-consuming task, and it’s a hugely important task that you can’t just breeze through and hope for the best.  Since the hiring manager also has to do their real job in addition to candidate selection, time becomes an important factor.  That’s why this blog has been hammering the importance of having a clear and relevant resume and general interview preparedness.  We hiring managers need to be able to find you, our perfect candidate, as efficiently as possible.  Anything that gets in the way of that efficiency is anathema, kryptonite, and loathsome.

If you’re misleading on your resume, that’s strike one.  If your resume says that you can do something, it really needs to be so because once we get to the phone screen, we’re going to ask you to talk about your skills and experience, and most times, you won’t be able to snow us, and then you’ve lost us.  You get a scarlet letter and your chances of ever getting a foot in the door for a different position at our company later will be lost.

But let’s say that you are smooth and get past the phone interview.  Maybe it was someone in HR doing the phone screen, and it was merely a litmus test to make sure you’re not an axe murderer.  You’re still not out of the woods.  In the in-person interview, you’re going to run up against a skilled interviewer that has experience doing the job you’re interviewing for, and any falsehoods are going to come out, and then you’re sunk, and both sides have wasted a lot of time.  Scarlet letter.

Another thing to consider, and I’ve seen a couple of crash and burns here, is that often there is a test drive process baked into the interview.  I once had to diagram and troubleshoot a complex authentication issue on a whiteboard for an interview team, and more recently had to develop software specs on the fly as mock stakeholders told me what they needed.  My current team has an OOP programming test built in to the developer candidate selection process.  These days, if you don’t really know your stuff, you’ll go down in a spectacular flaming swan song.

It’s just not worth it folks.  Your resume needs to be real, and you shouldn’t try to snow your way into a position.  It’s a lose-lose situation.

Comments

  1. BY Kevin says:

    Hiring Managers Should Tell the Truth!

    Over the years, I have seen many, many articles advising job applicants to always tell the truth.
    How come nobody ever seems to question the honesty and integrity of the company, HR and hiring managers? I can’t say how many times, during the interviewing process, that I have been mislead and outright lied to. Do career advisers hold employment candidates to higher standers than the companies and their representatives?

    • BY Chad Broadus says:

      Excellent point Kevin. Perhaps we’ll take them to task in a forthcoming article. It sounds like I’ve been much luckier than you in my dealings with scumbag hiring managers, but now that you mention it, I do remember a few times that I got the run around.

      One sleazy move that I encountered was the moving date dance. They say they’ll have a decision by X date, but then that date keeps moving. Likely, they’ve had another interesting candidate pop up, and want to keep you both on the line.

      How do you detect BS from the hiring manager? And, is it a point in the interview process where you can either call them on it, or tell them to knaff off?

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