Raise your hand if you’ve ever exaggerated your proficiency level in a software program on your resume. Or if you have listed that you are fluent in Spanish since you once took a course in college or high school. Or worse, raise your hand if you have ever overstated your volunteer activities to appear more community-driven.
If I had to guess, most of our readers would be raising their hands high. At the very least, they would be looking at their feet and shifting uncomfortably.
How about during the interview?
I can hear you now…
“I am self-motivated, always on time, first to volunteer, a people person…” and the list of embellished qualities continues on. We all do it. Our main priority in the interview is to sell ourselves. But when does it cross the line from embellishment to just a flat out lie?
Truth be told, if you are in the mix of job hunters, you understand how competitive the game is. It’s almost as if the job seekers are now the predators and the interviewers have unfortunately evolved into the prey.
On the contrary, one of the best pieces of advice I have been given is to just “be yourself” in the interview. I should stipulate here that you should be yourself on your best day: great outfit and pleasant persona in tow vs. rolling in a wrinkled attempt at business casual and attitude from the wrong side of the bed. But the reality of an interview is that you are interviewing the company just as much as they are you.
So who was raising their hand at the beginning? Do you consider yourself completely honest, or just an embellisher? If you are an out-of-the-closet embellisher, when do you think it crosses the line to straight up lying?
EMBELLISH: to highten attractiveness by adding fanciful details.
LIE: to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive.