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Honesty in the Job Search Process


Robby

A friend recently had an interview at an up-and-coming company here in Indianapolis. I asked her how it went. “They asked insightful questions,” she explained. “And I’ve probably never been so honest in a job interview.”

That might be brilliant. Or, it might be a terrible mistake. Honesty isn’t always the best policy. Or is it?

Lie Detector (Polygraph)
© Flickr User Lwp Kommunikáció

First of all, let’s remember that everybody lies in the job search process. Yup, everybody. Click the link if you don’t believe me. Then come back here.

Second, there’s a difference between being truthful and volunteering information. You don’t have to tell an interviewer that you are desperate for a job. In fact, that’s one of the many dumb things jobseekers say.

But more importantly, we have to draw a distinction between answering the question and answering the question completely.

Interviewer: “Why do you want this job?”

Candidate: “I believe I can make a real difference at your firm and have a positive impact on the industry.”

Candidate: “Also, my mortgage is past due. Additionally, the person who I saw in the hall just now is pretty cute, I wouldn’t mind seeing them again.”

You don’t need to say the second bit, even if it’s true. So is it dishonest to keep that out of the conversation?

Professional Environments Imply Professional Communication

If you’re talking to someone and you get a question that makes you a little nervous, add the words “professionally speaking” in your head before whatever they said.

Professionally speaking, what is your greatest weakness?

Professionally speaking, how have you handled difficult problems in the past?

Professionally speaking, where do you see yourself in five years?

That way, you don’t have to say “your temper” or “hired a divorce attorney” or “working at a better job than this one.” You can be honest within the context of professionalism.

Good luck!

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Wed, September 20 2017 » Career Planning and Goal Setting, Corporate Culture, Ethics and Fraud

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