It can seem like a daunting event. You’ve spent months looking for the perfect job, then probably days or weeks perfecting your resume and your application, and you’ve been nervous about the response for a long time too.
Then, you get the call, or email, or text, saying that the company would like you to come in for an interview. On the day of the interview, you put on your best shirt, think about all the questions you may be asked, and you’re concerned whether you’ll be deemed good enough. Your pulse starts racing, your palms are sweaty. Adrenaline pumps through your veins.
It’s not comfortable.
I’ve got to tell you, though… It’s a lot easier than you think, but there’s one thing you need to know and do, or you’ll be in for a world of hurt.
The good news is that this one thing is very easy to do. The bad news is that if you haven’t done this one thing already, it’s too late.
I’m talking about honesty.
It’s Such a Lonely Word
Here’s the gist of it. You have the easiest task in the room. Put yourself in the shoes of those that interview you for a moment.
You meet a person whom you’ve never met before and have read, at best, a couple of pages of descriptive text. Your responsibility is to determine whether your company should invest money, time, and reputation in, and risk liability for this person.
It’s not just about the salary either. In fact, that’s the least concerning topic. The cost to the company of hiring a person is often three times or more what the salary will be. The cost to the company of the person failing is far higher.
Now, you get 30 minutes with this person, and you need to learn enough about this person to put tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line. Ask the wrong question and you make your decision on faulty information and *poof* goes $200K down the drain.
You think you have it tough while being interviewed? Think again. All you have to do is answer the questions with honesty.
Everyone is So Untrue
I’ve read a fair share of resumes for SharePoint people in my time. More often than you’d think, the resumes are dishonest, probably in attempts to impress those who would not know better.
A few times, though, those hiring are smart enough to contact someone with more knowledge than them in the area. The purpose of such exercises is to determine which candidates would be good, but also to spot any dishonest applicants that would make claims that are difficult for non-skilled people to verify.
If the resumes are pitched for technical positions, I can usually pick up on any dishonesty pretty quickly. And if I can’t clearly see that someone is lying in their resumes, in an interview situation, I can put most technical skill claims to the wall to figure out whether it is true.
You may think you can get a lie through, but you never know who will interview you.
Here’s an example. Once I read a resume in which the applicant claimed experience with a certain version of a certain product at a certain date. Sadly for the applicant, who may otherwise have passed even without these claims, I knew the vendor of said product very well, and I inquired about whether the claims would be possible at that date.
Turns out, there’s no chance those claims could be true. A deep and difficult to check lie exposed, a possible new career in ruins, all because of a lie and because the person interviewing could call someone to verify the claims.
But why should I? Do you really think that getting a job under false pretenses means you’re now able to do that job? You will be exposed and you will be fired. If you were working for me, I would probably mock you as well.
And no, I don’t think mockery is too harsh. You lie to me to get a few dollars for a job you can’t do? You try to put my reputation on the line, possibly making me financially liable to my customers? You deserve all the mockery you can get.
You are dishonest, unskilled, and you take money for something you cannot deliver. That’s theft on the best of days, and that’s your legacy to the world. That’s what your children, parents, friends, and family will know about you, or you have to hide from them. You suck.
Mostly What I Need from You
Let’s say you have a job, and let’s say you have a person who consistently makes your job more difficult for their own gain and at your expense. Would you like to be nice to that person in return? Would your respect for that person increase?
Of course it wouldn’t! So, why would you like to make the job of the interviewer more difficult?
Remember that the interviewer’s job is very difficult already, and the consequences for them making the wrong decision are far worse than you having to stick with your current job or being unemployed for a little while longer.
What you need to do, and this is really the only thing you need to do, is to be honest. When the interviewer asks you a question, do not for a second stop to consider what they want to hear to give you the job. They want the truth, nothing more, nothing less. If that lands you the job, good for you, if not, you are better off without the job than getting it under false pretenses.
It’s fine to consider your answer. Unless you’re hired for a rapid-verbal-response team, an employer would much rather hire someone who is mindful and takes the time required to come up with the right answer than they would hire someone who just tells them what they want to hear or attempts to do so.
It may seem difficult when you’re in the chair, but really, being hired under false pretenses or for the wrong reasons is going to cost everyone, yourself included, much more than enduring your current situation for a while longer. You’ll be miserable when you can’t do your job, your employer will hate and eventually fire you, and you’ll have to live the rest of your life knowing you are a liar.
And who knows, if you answer honestly but not what will land you the job, maybe the interviewer has other positions for which you would be better qualified and be happier?
So, just relax, be honest, and you’ll live a happier and more productive life, with a career where you can grow, and with a boss that knows they can trust you.
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