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Being Honest in Job Interviews

zorexsalvo profile image Zorex Salvo ・2 min read

Is it much better to be honest that you don't know the answers to some of the questions? Is it worth it overselling yourself eg. have the "fake it til you make it" mentality? These were my questions to my colleagues last Friday and I'm gonna share some of their answers.

Personally the former is better than the latter and I have been doing that for the last 4 years that I am in the Tech Industry. But I have a friend that says bluffing works and for some, it really is in their strategy. To me, the only pro of bluffing slash fake-it-til-you-make-it strategy is you getting the job, consequences will follow. But if you are totally honest, there are far more pros than just getting the job.

Here are some of the pros that my friends I experienced going with the honesty path:

Peace of mind. If you were totally honest, you would not worry about the consequences. You're not setting unreasonable expectations for the company. If they accept you despite not knowing it all (but of course with the drive to learn things you don't know), that's one of the traits/cultures I look for the company I'm joining.

Comfortable discussion. Being honest drives longer conversation. It naturally becomes a two-way interview. You are allowed to ask about something you don't know and based on experience, companies are much willing to talk about themselves, how they do things.

Proves that you are good to work with. Alongside with good attitude, people that know what they don't know are good to work with.

You still get the job. If they hire you, it doesn't stop on what you only know at the moment. You have to do the work. Work on what you are lacking.

The con of it is, of course, you not getting the job. That means you are not the candidate they need at the moment. But on the bright side, you didn't leave bad impressions on the company.

What are your thoughts?

Discussion

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jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel Fayard πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡΄

I would love this to be true, unfortunately the hiring process is mostly not working very well. And while it sucks, you often have to find a "middle way" between lying and telling the truth.

Example: to the question "Why do you want to work here?"

Lying is a no go obviously.

But this honest answer will also get you nowhere:

"Well look, we don't know each other very well yet. For now the situation is that I have valuable skills that I want to monetize, I have seen that you need them, you are in my area and you don't have a reputation for being a terrible place to work for. That's why I'm here basically".

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Ben Halpern

You can be honest and confident at the same time. I think this is a big thing. You can acknowledge when you don't know something while also expressing a lot of confidence that you could figure it out or generally be fine solving the problem if given the real-world scenario.

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zorexsalvo profile image
Zorex Salvo Author

I would agree! The attitude that says you can still get things done even if you don't know how-to at the moment is important.

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Samuel Mwaura

Very good basis, for me It boils down to knowing who you truly are, which leads to being open to new experiences including not getting the job but having an honest interaction with the interviewer. Then overtime you can work on the limitations u may be having as a prep for the next interview.