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How honest should I be during an interview?

How honest should I be during an interview?

Sep 07 2016

When I was about 18, I went to an interview and the lady interviewing me asked about my strengths. I told her I was very sensible and she asked me for an example. I said that even when I was on a night out and I was drunk, I was still sensible enough to find my shoes and order a taxi to get home safely. Needless to say, I didn't get that job and thankfully I now have a better answer for that question.

Often I get asked how much should you tell the truth during tan interview. My answer is, it depends on what they're asking you but as you may know from reading my blogs, I am a huge fan of honesty. Not only is it just the best policy, but in this age of social media and instant information, you're much more likely to get caught out if you lie.

Having said this, there is such a thing as being too honest - which is where the lines blur. You want to make sure you don't say anything that's going to put them off you, but rather than lying, you can just put a nice 'shine' on the truth.

Below are the three potentially difficult questions and how to respond honestly, without scuppering your chances of success:

  1. You were only in your last role for six months. Why did you leave so soon?
    You want to say: "My boss was an evil troll and I couldn't stand it there a moment longer."
    You should say: "I love to stay in my roles as long as possible, but soon after joining I realised that the role didn't play to my strengths so I made the decision to look for something more suitable. I thought the longer I was there, the more I would be moving away from a role like this one which is what I am really looking for."
  2. Why didn't you finish your degree?
    You want to say: "I was too busy having a great time and forgot to study so basically I left before I was booted out."
    You should say: "I started university and really enjoyed it, but I realised the course wasn't for me and I felt I would be much more productive in a work environment. Plus I know that I can always study something part time in the future if I decide to."
  3. Why do you want to work part time?
    You want to say: "I have two kids and I can't work full time as I can't afford the ridiculous cost of part time childcare as it is, let alone full time."
    You should say: "Working part time works well as I have family commitments, and will enable me to be able to spend time at home will continuing to enhance and further my career. I am really looking forward to being at work and really committing myself to a role on a part time basis."

This is just the tip of the iceberg, so if you'd like some further advice on potentially difficult interview questions and how to sail through without a hitch, please get in touch and we can help!