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Lying To Get Ahead

February 27, 2014

Before we start the interview I’d like to mention something first.

Okay, go ahead.

You’ve seen my resume. It says I have a bachelors degree. I don’t. I only put that down so that my resume would make it past the automated screeners.

What would you do?

I head this story several years ago when I was in a protracted job search. The IT world can be a fickle mistress. It had been several months since my previous contract had ended. I’ve written before about how IT work, especially consulting can be like Feasting On Brownies. . .Every Three Weeks. This work break had been quite a bit longer than three weeks.

I was visiting with a friend who worked in finance. He’s the one who told me about a mutual acquaintance, Donald, who also worked in IT and had been out of work for months.

Donald found out it was the lack of a degree that kept him from even getting an interview on several jobs. He decided to add a degree to resume just so that he could get to the job interview.

So, what happened?

He managed to convince them he was the best fit and he got the job.

I’ve both interviewed for jobs and interviewed others for jobs. When interviewing I don’t think I’ve ever lied. I’ve certainly tried to emphasize my best points and downplay my worst, but a flat out lie? I don’t think so.

As an interviewer, obviously any hint of dishonesty immediately disqualified the candidate. I didn’t care how talented they were. I couldn’t see starting a employee/employer relationship on a lie.

But, did Donald really lie? He lied to a computer. As soon as he had the chance he told the truth to a real person. And according to my friend it appeared to have worked.

Despicable? Or Brilliant?

Would you lie to get an interview knowing you were going to confess at the beginning of the interview?

Would you hire someone who had lied to get an interview, if they made a clean breast of it at the beginning of the interview?

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife and thirteen children.

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