Austin Clifford

Austin Clifford is one of the more seasoned recruiting and HR professionals at the New York City office KAS Placement office. By helping clients ranging from Fortune 1,000 to venture backed small business, Austin designs the methods used for best hiring practices. Austin is a graduate of New England College and currently resides in the Midtown East neighborhood in New York City.
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5 Common Lies Job Seekers Tell to Miss Interviews

5 of the Most Common Lies to Miss Interviews

It’s human nature to lie. The average job seeker is no exception. During the interviewing process, many are tempted to fudge the truth.

Consider these statistics:

  • 40 % percent of patients admit about lying about following a doctor’s treatment plan
  • 30 % percent of patients admit to lying about their diet and exercise regimens
  • 60 % percent of people admit to lying at least once during a 10-minute conversation

However, the most common interview lies do not have to do with salary. Nor do the half-truths have to do with past work experience. Instead, job seekers are most prone to telling a lie when they want to miss an interview. When compared to a resume or past history, it’s much more frequent.

After all, it seems like an innocent interviewing lie. However, lying to postpone an interview can carry negative consequences.  Below, our recruiters have included some of the most common lies that interviewees tend to make up during the job selection process.

Also, for job applicants who have legitimate reasons for postponing an interview, we’ve included brief insight on how you can miss an interview without appearing to lie.

Common Lies Told to Miss Interviews

Family Member is Ill – When a candidate needs to miss an interview, this lie is quite common. People tend to call upon this because it always works. Or does it?

While a hiring manager or recruiter will rarely confront a candidate on this, postponing an interview with this excuse can slow down the hiring process.

It will also hurt momentum.  Interviewers often speculate that an interviewee could be lying if the job seeker provides vague detail with little to no warning time.

“The Out of Nowhere Travel Lie” – Perhaps a bit less common, this stretch of the truth is harder to mask as sincere. Typically, it is combined with one of the other four interviewing lies listed.

Common sense tells us the more complex the lie, the harder it is to keep track of all the details.

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“I Am Sick” – Faking sick. This is the classic go to excuse. However, sudden illness tends not to happen to the common job seeker (especially the younger ones).

While it’s one of the more popular excuses and is rarely contested, it usually appears unprofessional. Unless the job seeker calls the night before, they can often appear to be misinforming the hiring manager or recruiter.

Having an Impromptu Meeting with a Client – Another last moment interviewing excuse that can be construed as a lie. When making this excuse, a candidate can look disorganized, sporadic and not prepared for the interview.

Also, clients don’t always need things right away unless with they have a problem with the solution that the person was selling.

Having to Move – One of the more ridiculous excuses. Not said often (at least in my experience) because it is pretty unbelievable. Last minute moving insinuates instability, inaccuracy in truth and insufficient truth telling.  Nevertheless, it has been used before and while I hope none of the recruiters have to see it again, I’m sure someone will somewhere.

How to Properly Cancel an Interview Without Appearing to Lie

What if you are not lying and have to miss an interview? How does a job seeker keep from appearing dishonest or disengaged?  Here are some simple tips to ensure that interviewers or recruiting professionals don’t perceive you to be lying to miss an interview.

  • Give as much warning as possible prior to cancellation.
  • Following the cancellation, be as responsive and flexible as possible when narrowing down a time for your make-up interview.
  • Apologize when you get on the phone with the interviewer. It’s only polite as you took their time.

General Rule of Thumb with Interviewing

White lies are more common than big lies, however any twisting of the truth during an interviewing process never helps.

While you may get away with it, often lying during the interviewing process is not the most effective way to start your career with a new employer.

5 Mistakes Job Seekers Can Make When Speaking With Recruiters

When speaking with a recruiter for the first time, a lot of candidates go into it having no idea what to expect. This, of course, is completely understandable. It may be beneficial to think of it as the first step of the interview process with a new, and exciting opportunity (often the initial screen leads to interviewing with their client).

Just as when interviewing directly with the hiring company, the first impression the candidate gives to the recruiter is of utmost importance.

Below are a some of the common mistakes candidates make during their conversations with recruiters. While not “end of the world” level, avoiding these can only lead to more productive candidate-recruiter relationships.

Talking About Leaving a Job on Bad Terms

Honesty is important, but so is perspective. While you may have left a position due to mismanagement, hostile work environment, or any number of reasons beyond your control, just as you wouldn’t badmouth a former employer in an interview with your prospective manager, don’t do it with your recruiter, either.

Instead, explain the circumstances for leaving, but frame it with positives you took away from the position, and specifically how those things may benefit your work for the recruiter’s client.

Immediately Asking About Compensation

When a candidate immediately asks about the salary range before any other information comes up, it can come off as pushy or presumptuous.

Compensation will almost certainly come up in your conversation, so there is no need to push the issue immediately. If for some reason it doesn’t, then it’s important to bring it up before you hop off the phone so you know what to expect going forward.

Consistently Rescheduling an Initial Phone Call with Your Recruiter

It’s not usually a good sign when a candidate reschedules their phone call more than 2 or 3 times in a row. This makes it hard to be sure they will show up / be available if they get to the interview stage with the client.

Recruiters want to know they’re doing right by you, as well as by their client. While schedules understandably get crazy sometimes, being able to keep appointments with the recruiter suggests you’ll do so with their client as well.

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Delivering a Non-negotiable Set of Conditions Right Before Accepting 

Occasionally, candidates reach the end of the interviews knowing all the specifics of the position (salary, benefits, responsibilities etc.).  However, upon receiving an offer, they throw in their own list of surprise conditions to accept the position; this is considered very unprofessional.

It is apt to discuss something like this with your recruiter, before saying anything to your possible future employer.

Being Rude, Condescending, Short, or Simply Unpleasant

This one may be obvious, but it absolutely hurts anyone’s chances of being submitted to a client if they treat the recruiter like an inferior. First impressions are important, and when meeting someone, being respectful, polite and easy to talk to will go a long, long way, in job search as in life.