Honesty During Interview – This is What You Need to Know

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It happens to almost every one of us:  we can’t keep calm during an interview, and in the heat of the moment, we sometimes burden our answers with dishonesty to prove ourselves.

Our mind lets it come so naturally that we don’t even realize how it can backfire on us and how we’ve broken integrity in a highly ethical and planned meeting.

When asked about this, employees have accepted the fact and shared how it affected their corporate hours. This happens due to the implicit pressure of competition in the market, but it should be noted that, regardless of the factors, honesty during interviews is still the most powerful than any lies quoted on the resume.

Let’s explore this topic further.

Why it is Important to be Honest During Your Interview

In the excitement and enthusiasm of “first impression is the last impression,” job aspirants often fall for dishonesty and might even get selected. However, while the first impression is important, it is not the last impression.

You
might face the following circumstances once you join the organization:

1. It Might Worsen Your Impression

Let’s understand this with an example: suppose you have stated that you are fluent in technical operations or IT on your resume to secure a job. This can be a major factor in your selection and creates a natural expectation in the minds of employers. But when you perform, the quality of your work might create a bad impression with your HR, causing you to lose the positive impression you initially created.

Hence, it is very important to stay honest in your interview and set a reasonable and achievable standard in the employer’s mind.

2. Might Impact Your Inter-Organization         Relations

Many employees have faced situations where overstating their resume has created problems for themselves, affecting inter-organizational relations. There is no particular principle behind this, but it happens naturally.

If you have lied on your resume, it might create a sense of insecurity or fear of comparison among your colleagues, leading to a bad impression where you might be labelled as dishonest, self-obsessed, unethical, a liar, impulsive, or an over-doer. It is said, “A key to a successful job is also the friends you make in it.”

Therefore, one must always go for honesty and authenticity to avoid such situations.


3. Delay in Appraisal

“Over-promising and under-performing is the biggest enemy to success.”

Once employers discover the reason behind the gap between your promises and performance, it can create an obstacle between you and your growth. It is important to chase opportunities, but not at the cost of honesty and future growth.

 

Therefore, one must opt for upskilling to fill the gap or honestly disclose weaknesses with a promise to overcome them.

4. Losing Opportunities

You might also lose opportunities that could have contributed to your growth due to the wrong impression you’ve created in your organization. Employers might tag
you as a less responsible person.

For example:

Imagine you lied about your English fluency for a content strategist
role. This bad impression might lead employers to think you are not good at
scripting content, resulting in lost opportunities.

5. Can Lower Your Morale

Dishonesty impacts not only those around you but also your morale, keeping you demotivated and under-confident. Hence, it is advisable to aid your interview with authenticity and honesty rather than pomp and show, which can harm your growth later.


6. How Not Being Honest During Interviews Can Impact Your Career

While we know that honesty is indeed the best policy during an interview, many people are confused about “how much honesty is too much honesty?” Although it might sound harsh, there are times when we worry about how to look qualified without lying.

Let’s explore this with some examples:

  1. If You Lie About Your Skills

Suppose a fresher with little experience in internships or skills applies for a job requiring great communication or marketing skills. To look relevant, they claim these skills on their resume. This creates unrealistic expectations from the start.

They might have learned scripts of perfect answers or watched numerous YouTube videos. However, they could instead prove their zeal to learn these skills and show the efforts they are making towards them.

Impact on Employers

  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Comparison with other employees
  • Terminating your contract when caught

What to Do Instead?

Build a portfolio with mock ads, copies, or case
studies. This reflects your potential to put effort into something and shows
employers the importance of the job to you.

2. If You Lie About Your Past Experience

Many aspirants mislead employers by faking their past experiences, extending the duration of their previous jobs, or changing their roles and responsibilities. This not only counts as dishonesty but also as illegal.

Impact on Employers

  • Damage to your reputation
  • Losing trust
  • Legal actions by employers

What to Do Instead?

If you find the opportunity important but feel less qualified, be transparent about your experience and your learning capability to acquire new skills. Integrity is better than getting placed unethically

 3.  If You Hide Your Weaknesses

We often feel perplexed when asked about our weaknesses and end up either being too negative or hiding them. For example, answering “My weakness is speaking English fluently; it’s tough” or “I have no weaknesses as I am a very positive person and can learn everything quickly” creates a bad impression and may impact future opportunities.

Impact on Employers

  • They might consider you overconfident or less enthusiastic about learning new things.
  • They may see you as a misfit for the organization.
  • Your answer may compel them to view you negatively.

What to Do Instead?

Frame your answer to showcase your weakness along with your efforts to improve. For example, “I struggle to speak English fluently, but I understand the importance of communication in an organization. I am working on it by listening to podcasts and relevant content. I am also pursuing a crash course. Hence, I assure you it will not be an obstacle

4.  If You Lie About Your Salary

It is common for job applicants to lie about their salary due to increased needs, but this damages the trust of your previous job and lays an impractical foundation for your new job. Employers now demand salary slips and bank history, but a significant number of applicants still practice dishonesty.

Impact on Employers

  • If the HR confirms the quoted salary with your previous HR, it can affect your recommendation letter.
  • They can terminate your contract and even pursue legal action.
  • It can bring a negative impression of you.

What to Do Instead?

If you believe you deserve a certain salary based on your needs and experience, explain the real reasons, such as market research and your prior experience. This brings credibility and navigates the interview in your favour.

How to Keep Yourself Calm Before and During an Interview ?

Many employees state that peer pressure or unexpected questions can lead to dishonest answers. The interview pressure or fear of scarcity creates such situations. It is crucial to stay calm during interviews to avoid unethical and false statements.

Here are some practices to stay calm before and during the interview:

  • Before leaving home, forget about scripted answers and take support from affirmations, whether from your parents, spiritual recognition, music, or giving yourself affirmations in front of the mirror.
  • Read your resume before leaving home.
  • Pay attention to your dress, body language, and smile, as they affect your mind.
  • Understand that your entire career is not dependent on this interview; see it as a normal conversation with a purpose.
  • Always remember, “To an employee’s salary, do not take the stress of a CEO.”

 

Wrapping Up…

So, I hope this will help you understand why honesty during interviews plays a huge role and how it can impact your career.

Remember:

  • Maintaining honesty, integrity, and transparency is still cool.
  • Convert your disqualifications into goals rather than accepting them as reality.
  • False claims can deprive someone else of an opportunity they truly deserve.
  • Opportunities come and go, but the impression you leave lasts.
  • Continuously upskill yourself with evolving trends.

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