8 lies interviewers tell job candidates

As a job seeker, you might occasionally think about padding your experience or exaggerating your role on a key project. (Don’t do this.) But has it occurred to you that your interviewers may be misleading you right back? Interviewers regularly deliver statements to job candidates that aren’t entirely accurate and sometimes are outright false – and here are eight of the most common.

To be clear, these statements aren’t lies every time an employer says them. But they’re inaccurate enough of the time that you shouldn’t take them at face value when you hear them.

1. “We’ll keep your resume on file.” This statement is often found in rejection letters, but what does it really mean? Job seekers usually assume that it means that they’ll be kept in a database of candidates and contacted again if a promising opportunity opens up. In reality, it usually just means that their application materials will be filed away, not that they’ll be looked at again in the future. In fact, every law-abiding employer keeps all the applications they receive on file, because the law requires them to store application for a period of years before disposing of them. So this statement means little more than “we’ll comply with the law.” Related to that…

2. “We’ll let you know about future opportunities.” If you’re a very strong candidate and/or you had an unusual rapport with your interviewer, this might happen. More often, though, employers say this to candidates and then don’t follow through. They might say it with the best of intentions and truly mean to follow through – but when employers talk to hundreds, if not thousands of candidates a year, even the good ones can get quickly forgotten. What this means for job seekers is that you should never assume a company will reach back out to you when they have new openings; if you want to work for them, you should proactively check their listings and apply.

3. “We’ll get back to you in two weeks.” As most job seekers know from hard experience, interviewers’ promises about timelines often end up being wildly wrong. What this statement really means is, “Off the top of my head, I’d think we should probably be able to move forward in a couple of weeks, if nothing else gets in the way. We’ll get back to you if we want to talk further, but otherwise you might not hear anything.”

4. “We’ll let you know our decision either way.” Interviewers often promise this but then don’t follow through – leaving legions of job candidates frustrated and anxious, wondering if they should move on or whether they’ll ever get any post-interview closure.

5. “We were really impressed with you, but we had many qualified candidates.” This might be true – but it’s also routinely said even when it’s not true. In fact, many companies include a statement like this in the form rejection letter that they send to everyone who applied and wasn’t hired, and it’s unlikely that they found every one of those people impressive. This is a nice way of cushioning rejection, nothing more, and job seekers shouldn’t read anything into it.

6. “We have an amazing culture here.” Employers love to talk up their cultures, but the truth is in the details: Do they allow flexible hours? Can you telecommute? What kind of professional development do they offer? How competitive are their salaries? Why do people leave? What are the internal politics like? Even companies that score badly on all these fronts like to talk up their culture in interviews – so do your own research.

7. “We offer excellent benefits.” For some reason, companies claim this – and maybe even believe it – even when their benefits aren’t competitive with other companies in your field. Moreover, some companies offer generous vacation time on paper, but not in practice. If you can never get your time off approved and your manager frowns on taking vacations, it won’t matter how much paid time off you’re supposedly earning.

8. “The went with a candidate with more experience.” Maybe they did and maybe they didn’t, but this line is often a standard response given to candidates who ask why they didn’t get the job. While it can certainly be true, it can also mean “we hated your personality” or “you talked too much in the interview.”

I originally published this at U.S. News & World Report.

{ 113 comments… read them below }

  1. Adam*

    #1: I’m ignorant of the law so can some explain why it’s required that employers hold on to applications for a number of years. I could see it being necessary should the Fed look into whether or not an individual might be abusing unemployment, but is there an other reason?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      If your company is sued for some type of discrimination, they want the applications to be available to them so they can look at your candidate pool, as well as any notes about applications.

      1. Stephanie*

        Is this also why HR asks you to fill out those voluntary self-identification forms?

        1. Payroll Lady*

          The voluntary self-identification form is for EEOC reporting. Even if an employee chooses not to report, the employer has to make a “good faith” guess at race/ethnicity.

          1. AdjunctForNow*

            I got a bunch of EEOC forms *after* getting rejected from academic positions. I have zero motivation to fill them out at that point, but interesting that they still have to guess. I wonder if they google for a pic, or just guess based on my name.

            (and FTR, I fill them out if they are easy…I have gotten everything from “click on this link and fill in two bubbles” to “fill out this form, sign, and mail it to us.” The latter just is NOT going to happen.)

  2. Simonthegrey*

    My husband finally found a job last July after being unemployed for 2 years (and going back to finish his associate’s degree). He spent the year between graduating and finding that job sending out resumes and having the occasional interview. He took the “we will get back to you in two weeks” line very seriously, and it bothered him to no end that companies wouldn’t contact him. It didn’t matter how many times I reminded him that two weeks might be two weeks or it might not, or how many times I told him that of course a company should get back to him with a rejection, but that it would probably not happen and he should move on to the next application, he took every one personally. I’m sure that’s part of why it took him so long to find something; he would apply to several, wait to see if he was contacted, go to the interview, wait the two or three weeks they promised, get frustrated, and then finally apply somewhere else. It was hard on him, and I understood, but it was definitely made worse by companies feeding these kinds of lines.

    As an aside, I have taught workplace writing at a community college, and I love using this blog to help support a lot of the things I try to get across to students. Hopefully some of them even find their way here to read it!

  3. Stephanie*

    Re #6, where does everyone go to find honest assessments about company culture? I find Glassdoor (and similar websites) tend to deal in extremes and every company chats up how amazing it is in an interview.

    Best workaround I’ve found is to look for patterns in Glassdoor reviews, but are there better methods?

    1. Samantha*

      I wonder this as well. Unless you know someone or know someone who knows someone who works there, how can you really know? Sure, there are certain questions you can ask to try and gain some insight into the culture, but I don’t think the interviewer is going to be as forthcoming.

      1. Tina*

        That’s where networking comes in handy. Preferably with people who work or have worked in the same unit/organization, but sometimes peers at other related jobs and organizations have insight based on industry knowledge and connections.

    2. Ash*

      Part of what I’ve learned from this site is to ask, either in the final rounds or upon receiving an offer, to talk to someone in a similar role to what you would be doing. Remember, they want it to be a fit for you, too, so you don’t leave too soon. I really wish I did that with my current job.

      1. Another English Major*

        second this. ask to meet your team you’ll be working with. some questions I like to ask the interviewers and/or potential coworkers:
        What’s the best part about working here/for this supervisor?

        If you could change anything about the culture what would it be?

        What is supervisor’s mgmt style? What is the most challenging aspect of supervisor’s mgmt style?

        What types of work styles thrive at this company/dept? What yours struggle?

    3. Mike C.*

      Glassdoor also deletes a lot of reviews with no reason given. I suspect they’re trying to appeal to a “truth is in the middle” mentality, but that’s obviously flawed.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        Oooh, that’s interesting. Are they deleting heavily negative ones? Or just ones they somehow deem to be fake (similar to what I believe Yelp does)?

        1. Stephanie*

          Yelp just “filters” (i.e., hides) the fake ones. Main trigger I’ve noticed is if the review is overly positive with no real details.

          1. Ann O'Nemity*

            Yelp also filters reviews from new accounts, especially if the user doesn’t have a lot of friends. This happened to me, and it strongly discouraged me from continuing to submit reviews. (Why take the time to submit a review if Yelp is just going to filter it?!)

          2. Windchime*

            Yelp filtered out a negative review that I submitted (for a restaurant). One of the owners was bringing their toddler in, who would run around screaming or would stand at your table and stare at you while you ate. It happened several times, so I put that in the review. Yelp filtered it out, but I would find that to be interesting information if I were looking for a review!

            1. fposte*

              Did they tell you that was why they filtered it? I thought they just blocked stuff with no comment, but then I’ve never written a Yelp review.

        2. K Too*

          GD has a criteria of what is allowed and not. One example is that you can’t just list the pros in your review. If the review is non-coherent, that can be another cause for removal. They will sometimes remove comments that may be considered facetious.

          When I left a review about a toxic former employer, 3 people commented on my post. Two former employees agreed with my statements and the bully boss commented as well, but under the guise of a “former employee” who disagreed with my assessment. One of the employees mentioned that management got word of the negative review and called them out on it. GD removed all 3 comments.

          1. K Too*

            I’ll also add that when searching for reviews on GD, you can usually tell when the 4-star/5-star reviews are written by HR or upper management, especially when there are at least 10 or more negative reviews posted by lower-level employees.

            1. Stephanie*

              HA. Or if the suggestions to upper management are “Nothing! Keep up the awesome job!”

              1. De Minimis*

                I reviewed a potential employer’s interview process [gave a pretty negative review] and they left most of the info, but left out a sentence or two that I guess they determined wasn’t relevant. If I remember right I said something like, “I actually do have a job now so don’t think I’m just a bitter person who can’t get a job anywhere taking it out on this employer.”

    4. Joey*

      Current employees. At every serious potential job I’ve asked to talk to a few current employees during the process. Granted they’re likely to give you the happiest best employees, but you can get a very good feel if you ask some pointed questions about the boss, how feedback is given, how problems are handled, what they like best, and what they’d like to see changed.

    5. CAA*

      Part of the problem is that culture and environment are things where what’s right for one person is not right for another. So if your interviewer tells you how great it is to work there, that doesn’t mean she’s lying. It may very well mean she finds it a great place to work.

      Here are some things you can do to get more information:

      You can ask what your interviewer likes about the company, the office, etc. (Not “do you like it here?” which is probably the most common question candidates ask.) Dig a little for specifics and examples.

      Pay attention when you walk through the work areas. If you have to cross the office space to reach the conference room, look around you on the way. If you haven’t seen any place where people actually do work, you can ask if you could take a quick look at a typical work area for this position on the way out. During that time, look around and see if people are talking to each other, what color the walls are, how clean or cluttered the space is, how close the desks are, or anything else you can think of that might matter to you.

      Learn how to search for former employees of a company on Linked In. You might need to ask a first level connection to introduce you to a friend of hers. Ask that person if she’d be willing to do a 20 minute chat over coffee (you’re buying) and tell you a bit about her experiences at the company. Have a list of things you want to know about.

    6. Jubilance*

      I’ve actually started using my LinkedIn network. In January I had a phone interview with a company I knew nothing about and all the Glassdoor/Indeed reviews were for roles that were very different from what I was interviewing for. I typed the company name into the LinkedIn search & one of my contacts had worked there previously. I reached out to her to get info on company culture & other things & she was a great resource for information.

    7. Trixie*

      I was looking at updated reviews on Glassdoor today and for the first time, really looked at the interviews tab. A lot of that depends on the person submitting and some folks went into a lot more detail than others. For the companies I was looking at I was able to find some helpful insights, as well as consistency in the overall application process.

  4. DeAnna*

    #1 AND #2 — I do actually keep a “Talent Pool” file with resumes and applications of applicants we liked but did not select the first time around, and it is the first place I look when we open a new job requisition. So, as Alison says, these are not ALWAYS lies.

    1. Ash*

      Yes, it does happen. I just got a call from the job I really wanted that another position has opened they want to consider me for. That’s definitely a first though, so it is a rarity.

    2. Clever Name*

      I got a call for an interview, that ended up being my first job out of school, where they got my info from a different job I had applied to months earlier. It was for a job with a major US city, so they must keep every applicant’s info in a database that they then match up to the quals when they post a new job.

      1. Laura*

        I actually had an interview for a job last week, and they had my info on file from a job I had applied to a year before and was rejected for. They really liked me and emailed me out of the blue when this similar position came up.

    3. some1*

      It’s how I got my present job. And for a few different reasons, I am glad I got this position vs the one I initially interviewed for.

      1. AdminAnon*

        That’s actually how I got my current job as well (which is funny, because I did not remember that until I saw your comment). So I guess my organization does it a lot!

    4. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Yes, not always a lie — just usually when it’s said as part of a form letter. If it sounds like the letter they’re sending to everyone, you shouldn’t believe anything it says other than “we’re not hiring you.”

    5. AdminAnon*

      Yep! We are re-hiring for a position that was just posted 6 months ago (it’s a low level position and the person we hired is overqualified and was eventually hired away) and the first thing we did was go back to the old candidate pool and call our 2nd/3rd choices. Unfortunately, one of them has accepted another position, but the other is coming back in on Friday. So it does happen!

    6. Graciosa*

      Our team does circulate recommendations among managers. The last time one of my co-workers had an opening, he interviewed two candidates recommended from previous interviews for an opening on my team – and hired one of them.

      I wouldn’t believe it in a form letter, but it could be true when you hear about it in other ways.

      I should also add that this can work against candidates as well as for them – no one is ever going to interview the arrogant jerk again, nor the candidate who asked no questions about the work at the end of the first interview but asked several questions about the benefits.

  5. The Other Dawn*

    4. “We’ll let you know our decision either way.” I was recently on the interviewee side of this for the first time. So annoying. Escpecially after I drove an hour each way for the interview. Just send me a form rejection email, at the very least. Even “F*** off, we don’t want you” would have been better than nothing.

    1. Kelly O*

      I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard this, and how very, very few times I actually hear something back.

      It is such a simple follow up step, and I remind myself that perhaps it’s just a dodged bullet I should be grateful for, rather than a point of frustration.

    2. EE*

      This is one of the great things about going through recruiters. The recruiters will make sure they find out.

    3. nyxalinth*

      I used to want to hear back. Then it happened that I had a message that I should call my interviewer right away. I did, thinking I had the job, but he was out, so we ended up playing phone tag for a few hours. Finally, he got me and told me that I didn’t get the job. That. Sucked. To this day, I would rather b blown off entirely than get a “sorry, we hired someone else.” call.

      1. mango284*

        That WOULD suck… I would assume a phone call from an interviewer would almost always be a good sign. :( I think this is why I prefer email rejections– short and to the point “we decided to go with someone else.”

      2. The Other Dawn*

        Oh, that’s terrible. A phone call saying you should call back right away sound so much like a job offer. What a letdown. An email would have been so much better.

  6. Yup*

    #6 Amazing culture: I interviewed at a company well-known for its extreme formality — something that put me off personally. I was pleasantly surprised when I showed up for the interview and people were quite dressed up but less rigid than I’d anticipated (men in jackets but no tie, etc). Halfway through the interview I thought, “Well, they’re pretty strict but at least the dress code’s better than I expected.” And then the interviewer said, “And we have such a great culture here. We even have business casual Fridays like today in July and August!”

    #7 Excellent benefits: I interviewed with a company that emphasized the insurance + PTO package, but neglected to mention until the offer letter that you weren’t eligible for either until 90 days of employment. (Which is VERY unusual for their industry — the standard is that both start on day 1.)

    1. Stephanie*

      A friend works at a very formal job where “casual” day involved a light-colored suit.

        1. Sascha*

          Come to higher education IT, where “business” usually means the nice, dark wash jeans and a campus T shirt, and “casual” usually means sweat pants and a campus T shirt. :)

      1. Yup*

        But of course — that’s totally what I wear on the weekends! Sometimes I throw on a ball gown to go grocery shopping.

            1. The Other Dawn*

              I’m just saying that as someone who came from an office that allowed business casual/summer wear in the summer months. I’m just crabby about no capris. :)

            2. Clever Name*

              I agree, although women can wear skirts in the summer in most office environments.

              1. EE*

                Funnily enough, I remember a while back reading on the news that during the really hot summer England was having at the time, a 10-year-old boy spearheaded a mini-protest against his school uniform by wearing a skirt. Reasoning being that if girls a trousers vs. skirt option then boys should have a trousers vs. shorts option! I liked his thinking.

            3. Kelly L.*

              I’ve definitely seen a hot-weather men’s “uniform” develop at some workplaces. I once saw a group of businessmen out at lunch and every single one–no exaggeration–was wearing khaki shorts with one of those banded-bottom polos.

            4. CAA*

              “Men are expected to wear full-length pants year-round, after all.”

              Like most dress code things, that really depends on where you are and what you do. Cargo shorts or other long-ish board shorts are pretty common for men here. (So Cal technology companies.) I’ve never seen a woman wear shorts to work but capris are totally acceptable.

              There was great consternation at one of my previous employers when we got bought by an East Coast company and the phrase “business casual Fridays” was found on the web page of another of their recent acquisitions.

            5. Stephanie*

              Are capris even that cool anyway? I find the material’s what really makes the difference.

              1. AmyNYC*

                If it’s cool enough to wear capris, you can wear pants. If it’s warm enough to wear capris, wear shorts. If you want to air out your ankles, have fun with capris.

              2. The Other Dawn*

                For me it’s more about the fact that capris feel a little more casual and laid back in the summer. I hate the thought of fussing with business clothes when it’s hot and humid outside.

            6. Zahra*

              And women usually can wear skirts all year round too. So the difference is just that capris are pants, since skirts are often shorter than capris.

      2. Elysian*

        At my workplace “casual” is a cardigan instead of a blazer/jacket. :) The last place I worked it apparently meant “grimy jeans my mother would never have let me keep,” so that was a culture shift…

    2. smallbutmighty*

      I work at the global headquarters for a major sportswear brand, and the “dress code” here basically amounts to “wear as many items with our logo as possible.” I sometimes run-commute to work and wear my running gear all day at the office, and no one has any issues with that at all. We’re so casual that if you tuck in your shirt, people figure you must have an interview or something.

      That said, a lot of us do enjoy dressing fashionably when the mood strikes. Today I’m wearing a navy T-shirt dress with a striped buttondown underneath, white tights, and a pair of my company’s sneakers in a fun blue-and-yellow color scheme, and have gotten several compliments on my look!

      We don’t ding candidates for NOT wearing our logo, but most of them do wear it, and we usually say something about what they’re wearing. That often leads to a conversation about the fabric, technology, athlete associated with the product, etc. Footwear and apparel is so central to our mission that it would be weird not to have it come up in conversation.

    3. blu*

      This happened to me. I interviewed with my boss and her boss on a Friday. He wore a regular button up shirt, she wore a denim suit. I spent the weekend asking my friends if that counted as business casual because it was a suit or casual because it was denim lol.

    4. the gold digger*

      I was shocked that my new job had a waiting period. I had never had one before. I worked in the insurance industry just out of college and waiting periods were for high-turnover jobs, not professional jobs.

      In this case, I discovered that it was just my employer being cheap.

      1. Stephanie*

        Ugh, OldJob was super cheap. We had a three-month waiting period before our benefits kicked in.

        1. nyxalinth*

          Almost all call centers do this, due to turnover, I expect. I’ve yet to have a job ever that had benefits right away.

      2. Ann O'Nemity*

        I wonder how common this is, and how it’s affected by industry.

        My current employer offers health insurance and PTO accrual benefits that begin immediately, but there is a 90-day waiting period for the 401k.

          1. The gold digger*

            I waited a year for the 401K, but in the offer letter, they showed their 401K contribution as part of total compensation. I have direct deposit and so many weird deductions that I didn’t find out until I quit that they had never contributed anything to the 401K. You know – because it didn’t kick in until after a year after the waiting period.

            Cheap, cheap, cheap.

            1. LawBee*

              I know this is old, but a year waiting period isn’t always because of cheapness. If there’s high turnover, companies will often have a year employment requirement for the 401k – saves a lot of hassle when people quit and that money has to be redistributed.

      3. KC*

        My last job had a 6 MONTH waiting period for all of their benefits (health, dental, 401k, etc) — across the board. Meaning that whether you were an Engineer, Project Manager, Sales Exec, or Call Center Rep, you had to wait that long. It was my first job out of college and I found it shocking. I think it also had to do with them being cheap.

        At my present job, everything kicked in immediately.

  7. Anonymous*

    When I hear 2 weeks I think of any scientific break thru that will be ready for commercial/public in 5-7 years. We really really intend to do this but honestly it might be tomorrow and it will likely be never.

    1. Aunt Vixen*

      Himself always, any time someone quotes him a timeline for anything, thinks “2x+4” and then proceeds. Plus four what?, I once asked him. Whatever unit you’re working in, he said. So if an interviewer says “We’ll let you know within two weeks”, he doesn’t expect to hear from them until eight weeks later. (And even then, he rolls “We’ll let you know” back to “We’ll have made a decision”.)

    2. Jennifer*

      Yeah, it’s also like programming at my work, or anyone getting home remodeling. Expect it to take at LEAST twice the time they told you, or it will happen possibly to probably NEVER.

  8. hamster*

    But sometimes it is true!
    -About looking at the CV’s again. I applied for a Chocolate Teapot Support Possition at the company ABC. I had a screening/hr phone interview. Then silence. Three months after, they told me that the position was not available but they had other 2 , Caramel Teapot Support and Chocolate Teapots in Heaven Support. I interviewed with a hiring manager, and I was hired. It was the best first full-time job after I finished school ever.

    Two years ago a recruiter for company X e-mailed me with an opportunity. As I was freshly hired I declined with “but i’d love to keep in touch in the future” . Last year, they did contact me for a different opportunity. I interviewed, but they took to long to make up their mind ( i think something like 3 months. By that time, i had already moved on).

    True, there have also been people i never heard of again, but i never assume bad intentions. Some things work out , some don’t

  9. Ali*

    I have heard pretty much all of these before. I tend to believe the “more experience” one easily though because getting into sports has been hyper-competitive, and when I’ve read the bios of people who were chosen for jobs over me (if they are available), they’ve definitely done more than me. So I don’t necessarily feel that’s a lie in my case, but other times, I’m sure it could be.

    No. 5 I have heard in about 98% of rejection e-mails, so I have no doubt that’s a lie.

    1. Joey*

      More experience is usually inaccurate though otherwise junior people would never get hired

      1. fposte*

        I think it’s often accurate, actually, in that some junior people bring more relevant experience than others without necessarily becoming senior people.

        However, as I think we’ve discussed, it can also mean “we hoped that your interview would demonstrate that your lesser experience didn’t matter, and it turned out it mattered.”

        1. nyxalinth*

          That actually makes sense to me, because I’ve heard that so many times it was getting to where I wanted to come back with “I guess then that I don’t understand why I was called for an interview if my experience is lacking.”

          1. Laura*

            Yeah usually I think it means more that you don’t have the right kind of experience, rather than enough in general. Or, as is becoming increasingly common, people with more experience are taking junior positions because they can’t get anything else. So even if a job says one year experience required, people with 5 years experience will apply , and sometimes an employer prefers that.

        2. AtWill*

          “Junior” these days generally means “We want senior quality work for a junior’s salary”…

  10. Purr purr purr*

    In my interview for my first post-MSc job, I was lied to! I asked if I could be seconded to one of the offices abroad at some point and was told that the company encourages that and all I had to do was ask. I asked about the possibility of writing research papers based on our work to be published and was told that it wouldn’t be a problem and again they’d encourage it.

    Liars. I asked about the secondment when I’d been there for two or three years and was told no, I was ‘too valuable.’ A colleague who joined at the same time as me went to Australia and another who joined after me went to the Caribbean. Hmmm. As for the research papers, it turned out I had to get the client’s permission to use their data in research papers and my job threw up so many roadblocks that they made it impossible before even asking the clients. A secondment to another department was also refused. There were a few other things they said in the interview that made me agree to work for them and they went back on their word 100% of the time. When I handed in my notice to that company, they literally begged me to stay but it was too late – I knew what I wanted and they proved that weren’t willing to provide it. My only regret is that I picked them to work for instead of some other companies that would probably have given me the experience I wanted…

  11. AmyNYC*

    The culture one is very subjective. I have lots of commitments in my life outside the office, so a great culture for me means leaving at a reasonable time each day and not coming in weekends. But for someone else, a great culture is social events to make up for spending all your free time in the office.

    1. SevenSixOne*

      Exactly. Some people love in-your-face, friendly! fun!! open!!! workplaces where everyone talks about their personal lives with their co-workers and hangs out outside of work and stuff… but I’m super-private and reserved, and I have to keep my work life and personal life separate, so that kind of environment sounds like torture to me.

  12. Clever Name*

    Another area where interviewers may misrepresent things is the amount of travel required. I’ve learned that the amount of travel a position requires is nearly always underestimated. I’ve been told by people who have been in my industry way longer than me to double the amount of travel estimated. Travel 25% of the time might not sound so bad until you’ve been away from home half of the year or more.

    1. Xay*

      A coworker once advised me to think of 25% travel as one full week out of every month, 50% as two weeks. It really changes your perspective when you think about what you can handle.

  13. Anon #1002*

    If employers lie like that, why am I obligated to tell the truth?

    I’m beginning to understand why a such a large portion of the population has simply stopped looking for work. What’s the point? If these companies can’t even tell the truth during interviews, do you think they’ll be honest once you’re hired?

    1. Elysian*

      I mean, are you though, really? I’ve never told someone “Your company is my last resort, but gosh I really need a paycheck!” even when its the whole truth. I always find something remotely interesting to explain why I want to work there. “I’m so happy to be meeting you for this interview today!” is just polite interviewee banter, even if you’d honestly rather be paintballing.

      I mean, these are little white lies, not lying-about-your-nonexistant-college-degree type lies.

      1. fposte*

        Right–most of these are on a par with “It’s good to see you!” and “I’m fine, thank you”–they’re social conventions rather than truth claims.

    2. Clever Name*

      Never play with a pig in the mud. You’ll just get dirty, and the pig likes it.

      In other words, just because companies/other people aren’t always completely truthful, it doesn’t justify lying. It just brings you down to their level.

      1. Anon #1002*

        I don’t plan on playing. I probably don’t even know how to lie effectively. But when companies treat people like pigs, who can blame them for playing in the mud? I’m sure some companies deserve pigs like those, especially when they can afford not to lie.

      2. Joey*

        I’m confused by the pig likes it part. Does that mean companies like you to lie back to them?

        1. Clever Name*

          Well, the parable isn’t really about lying in particular; it’s about not lowering yourself to someone else’s level during a conflict. Don’t fight dirty. Don’t sling mud. Etc.

    3. Jennifer*

      Because these days everyone is being investigated and snooped on and your lies will be found out if you do it.

      This stuff is the same old white lies crap businesses have been doing for decades though, that is not new.

  14. Laura*

    #4 is so common and so rude! If someone takes the time to come in for an interview, including prep time, it’s rude to not get back to them. And how many interviews can you be doing that letting rejected candidates is too time consuming? It should be a standard part of interviewing someone, and I think less of any employer that I interview with and never hear from again.

  15. EE*

    I got rejected yesterday for a job I REALLY wanted (currently trying to keep Alison’s advice of “no job is a dream job” in mind) and was told I did really well but my co-finalist ticked the boxes a little better. Hate to think it might not have been true.

    1. fposte*

      Most of the time, that’s exactly true if you got to the interview stage, which it sounds like you did.

      1. Susie*

        Three separate times in the last 5 years I’ve been told I was the runner-up for positions. It seemed to be genuine. Once you’re at the point where you’ve been interviewed (possibly more than once) it’s likely they are being honest and not giving platitudes.

  16. Sabrina*

    Yeah “We’ll let you know either way” is pretty equivalent to “Oh, baby, you know I love you. She’s just a friend.”

    1. Katie*

      NAILED IT.

      Job searching feels far too much like going on a string of bad dates at times.

  17. nyxalinth*

    I had one where it was actually the ad that had lied, in this case, about the pay. I got to the interview and they said it was all commission. I politely said, “Oh my. The ad said it was eight hourly with additional bonuses.” “Oh, that, well, really if you make enough in commissions it averages out to that amount.” I excused myself and left.

  18. JM in England*

    Why tell a candidate that they impressed you when it’s not true? If they didn’t get the job, they clearly were not impressive enough……………

Comments are closed.