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Employment: Job Interview: Do You Swear to Tell the Truth and Nothing but the Truth?

The Employment section did not involve the reporting or the editorial staff of The Moscow Times.

Galina Dmitrieva
Head of Marketing Department
Ventra Employment

According to statistics, every second candidate thinks about adding new titles to their CV or new details during a job interview. Lying on a resume or during an interview is nothing new. However, it's still relevant for those who are just entering the first stage of their career.

Imagine the following situation: you have an appointment for a job interview tomorrow and you have nothing to tell the recruiter. You had no necessary experience; moreover the break-up with the previous employer was tough. But due to personal qualities, job description and the company's image you are absolutely sure that the job is promising and interesting to you.

What is the easiest way to definitively and irrevocably spoil the given situation? Lying about your degree, qualifications or experience, during the job interview or during the phone conversation, no matter where and when. The lie will certainly be found, during the face-to-face interview or later during the trial period. As a result, you'll get the following unpleasant consequences of your lie:

• Wasting both your own time and the company's time. Especially when the company offered you the position and the lie was uncovered during the trial period. It may take some time for the employer to understand the lie, but it will eventually come back to haunt you.

• Getting caught out on a lie at a job interview will damage your reputation with that company. You can be sure you'll never get any position at this company.

• Even if you get the job and work successfully at the company for one-two years or more, you need to be conscious of the negative consequences of being caught out on a lie. Recently a huge scandal broke out in one well-known company. The top manager, who mentioned incorrect information about his education on a resume, was fired.

You need to clarify that the employment agreement is a frank agreement of the parties, who are interested in each other. The company is looking for a professional who suits the company in terms of education, experience, salary expectations and personal characteristics. Distorted information misleads a potential employer. Thus, the cooperation will be uncomfortable for both parties.

So what to do in a situation with a faulty background? You need to think over possible questions and plan competent answers. There could be different situations in your life and it is important for recruiter to understand how you deal with them. Professional recruiter is very often excellent psychologist. Recruiter is responsible for recommendation you as a specialist to manager or customer. Therefore recruiter tries to collect all meaningful and comprehensive information.

For this purpose recruiter has some instructions and guidelines:

• Screening questions. During the conversation the recruiter asks questions relating to the same information about the candidate. After that he or she collects and analyzes the received information.

• Recommendations and information from open sources. Even if the candidate has not mentioned in CV contact details of previous employers for excellent recruiter is not a problem to find candidate's former colleagues and get necessary information. Social networks is another good assistant for recruiter to complete information about candidate's background.

• Body language, posture and gestures. Nonverbal signals give the recruiter a lot of information about candidate. Of course within reasonable limits: recruiter understands if the applicant feels nervous not necessarily he lies. However, for good specialist is not difficult to understand whether the candidate is open-minded or an introvert, assertive or not, the recruiter feels when applicant is trying to avoid any topics.

There are also several common principles of business etiquette, which applicants forget again and again:

• Politeness and respect towards previous employers. Even if you had a conflict with your previous employer, it's forbidden to badmouth the company and former colleagues and show a negative attitude.

• Compliance with proper dress code rules. An interview is a business meeting, so you need to pay attention to your appearance. If you aren't applying for a job related to art and creativity, choose a classic style. The negligence of attire says a lot about the candidate's character and lifestyle habits.

• Punctuality. The obvious requirement of business etiquette is violated by candidates extremely often. Even 10-15 minutes is a delay.

Besides the principles mentioned, a candidate's attitude plays an important role. It is critically needed for the candidate to understand the company's corporate culture and explain why he or she has chosen the particular company and position. While preparing for an interview, one needs to answer the question: "Why am I going exactly to this company? What am I going to bring to the business?" The employer, of course, wants to see only motivated and active employees. And a recruiter is responsible for the selection of such.

Sometimes it happens that a recruiter or HR specialist seems to the candidate to be incompetent, unable to appreciate the level of the applicant's knowledge and professional experience. It seems to the candidate that the recruiter asks too many questions or is impolite. In such situations, the candidate should always remember that his or her future career may depend on one particular interview. Therefore, your diplomatic skills will greatly increase the chances of getting your dream job.

For obvious reasons, applicants often embellish their personal data on a resume in a bid to win the vacancy. The line between extravagancy and distortion of information is very thin and there is only one recommendation: telling the truth. Honesty is the best policy for a job interview; it guarantees a transparent relationship with the employer, which means you build your career on a solid foundation.


The Employment section did not involve the reporting or the editorial staff of The Moscow Times.

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