Some interview questions can be very difficult to answer because they may touch on past work difficulties or personally delicate or embarrassing matters. Maybe you've been fired, have long gaps in your work history or been in prison. How should you address these negatives?
Some job candidates don’t tell the truth. And in Top Candidate Lies , Tim Sackett, HR expert, put together a list and broke it up into categories: the Education Lies, the Background Check Lies, the Experience Lies, the No-Show Interview Lies, and the Termination Lies.
Here are some examples with his comments:
--“I did all the classes; I just need to pay the fees to graduate.” (So you spent four-plus years going to school, got done, but that last couple hundred dollars stopped you from graduating …)
--“I graduated from ‘State U,’ but it was a long time ago. I’m not sure why they can’t verify my degree.”
--“No, I’m not on drugs.” (Then [the candidate] fails the drug screen. “Oh, you meant Marijuana as a drug …”)
--“No, I don’t have a felony.” (Oh, that felony! But that was in Indiana …)
--“I was a part of the ‘leadership’ team that was responsible for that implementation.” (So, basically you know of a project that happened while you were working there …)
--“I couldn’t find the location [of the interview].” (So your answer to this dilemma was to turn around and go home and not call and let us know you got lost?)
--“It was a mutual decision that I left.” (So, you ‘mutually’ decided that you would no longer have a job? That’s the question I always ask! This statement sounds as stupid as it reads.)
So, how should you answer questions that can reflect negatively on you? Be honest. Use the "sandwich model." Start with a positive statement followed by admitting the negative situation, and ending with another positive statement about what you've done to overcome the problem. Ending with a positive statement leaves a positive impression. Anticipate tough questions and practice interviewing beforehand.
Details about handling the toughest questions during a job interview are available here.
Job candidates aren’t the only ones who lie: Recruiters do as well. As a result of feedback he received from job seekers, Sackett wrote a follow-up post listing top recruiter lies and why they do it. Check it out here.