Job interviews are frustrating enough. Trying to pick out the perfect look, getting there on time (but not too early), doing research on the position…you have plenty to worry about. Then there’s the actual interview: answering the questions thoroughly (but not rambling), seeming interested but not desperate and showcasing yourself without bragging.
Yet job seekers need to remember you’re conducting an interview, too; you need to decide if this is the best place for you, the boss for you, the job for you.
So while you’re making your decision, watch out for these lies job interviewers like to tell:
1. “You’re in the lead for this position.”
Are you really? Have they already interviewed everyone? This might be the truth, or it might just be flattery to keep you hanging on.
Don’t take these words to mean too much. You may very well be in the lead, but you also may be the first candidate they’ve interviewed, and you never who will come through that door next.
2. “We think your outside life is just as important as your work life.”
This one may make you believe you’ll never be working late hours or weekends, but unfortunately, that’s rarely the case anymore. To really find out, dig a little deeper.
Can you work from home if you have a sick child? Do they have strict office hours, or can you be flexible? Will you travel? Answers to these questions will help you suss out a company’s priorities more than a blanket statement about work-life balance.
3. “We offer excellent benefits.”
The company might offer great benefits, but do a little investigating before you believe it. It’s a tough time out there for health care, after all. And if the employer offers a lot of vacation days, will you really be able to take them all? Sometimes it’s hard to take time off even if you have vacation days because of job demands, finances or company policies.
4. “We’re working on hiring someone who would help you.”
This might be a red flag that they know the position is overly demanding. Find out why. Will that new person be an assistant or hold a parallel position? What happens if they don’t hire someone; will you be responsible for more than you initially thought?
5. “Our company doesn’t have any drama or politics.”
Is that possible? Whether it’s office politics or office drama, it’s there. Maybe not quite as much as in an eighth-grade classroom, but life has drama and politics; there’s no hiding from it.
6. “We’re still not sure of the salary.”
Why not? What are they waiting for? The salary should already be in place if they’re ready to hire someone. There is usually room for negotiation, but the company probably has a base line to start with. Make sure you’re aware of the salary before you accept any position!
7. “We offer lots of help/training to get you started.”
What kind of help and training? Will you have to read a big fat manual in your off hours? Will you have a mentor for the first few weeks?
Some companies offer in-house training before you get started, while others only offer a couple of online tutorials. Find out so you know what you’re getting into.
8. “We’ll make a quick decision and move fast.”
Even in the most ideal situations, the time from interview to start date is usually a few weeks. Between protocol in human resources and all necessary sign-offs, “quick” is a relative term.
Stay positive, but know that things take time.
9. “If this doesn’t work, we’ll keep you in mind for other opportunities.”
The truth is, they probably won’t. Even if they do have something else for you, it may not be what you want.
So keep looking. If it happens to work out, that’s great, but don’t sit around waiting for another position to open up for you.
Job seekers often get a bad rap for embellishing resumes and past experience. But those little lies can come from the other side, too. Remember, job interviewers are trying to win you over. Keep an eye out for these fibs, so you really know what you’re getting into.
Heather Legg is a blogger who enjoys writing on career advice, healthy lifestyles and parenting.