Archive for October, 2014

Why You Must Never, Ever Lie in an Interview

Posted on October 8, 2014. Filed under: coaching, my career |

I was shocked recently to see an article advising the interview questions that you must lie about. I did not read the article so it may have been an attention grabbing headline – and that certainly worded! (It may be case of the wrong sort of attention however that could be another blog)

What?!?!?!? Why would you tell someone to lie in an interview?

The only thing lying will do is get you offered the wrong job. Think about it, and think it through to the end.

You are asked if you have experience in a certain field and you lie and say that you do.

You are asked about the level of experience you have and you lie and say you have more experience than you do.

You are then offered the job. Where you will be expected to operate certain equipment or deal with issues and situations that are beyond your skill set. There is a strong chance that you will stuff up because you are out of your depth.

And then what?

Could someone get hurt? Maybe you or a co-worker. Or a customer?

You may damage equipment or the reputation of the new employer.

Then what?

Your new boss will be very unimpressed. It will be clear that you lied. Then your employment will be ended as this will probably happen in the probation period.

You are back on the job market. Only this time you have a gap in your employment timeline. You left your last job then went to the one you lied to get. What do you do? Do you include the failed job on your resume? If so, how do you explain why you were there for only a short time? Who from that company would be willing to give you a reference? What will they be saying about you?

OK I have been a bit extreme with that example to make a point. Let me take another one. An employee, say called Pat, wants to move into the HR field and feels stuck in a recruitment role in the current company. Decides to leave and go to a bigger company where recruitment is inside HR and Pat can progressively move into the HR role after gaining some context and observing the HR team in action. Pat goes to the interview for a recruitment role in a larger company and they ask how long Pat intends to stay in the role.

Does Pat tell the truth and say it is a stepping stone to HR or does Pat lie and say the recruitment role is the goal?

Do you see where I am coming from here? If Pat lies and then tries to move out of the recruitment role in 6 months or so then the manager who hired Pat is likely to feel let down. If Pat tells the whole truth then Pat may not be offered the role. Or Pat may be offered the role because that is how the company sees themselves providing career options for staff.

What to do? As a career coach my advice to Pat would be to respond saying that the recruitment role seems to be ideal although in the future Pat hopes for further career opportunities within the company so that Pat can grow and develop while at the same time retaining IP and company knowledge for the employer.

There is never a good time to lie in an interview, because the lie (if effective) will more than likely get you into a situation that is unhealthy and inappropriate for you and the employer.

It’s also worthwhile asking what will happen in the future when the other party finds out about the lie? How will you explain why you lied? How will you explain not coming clean about it sooner?

For professional and practical career advice, including how to phrase or frame an experience in a more positive light, see a career coach. If you would like to work with me, send me a message or call me.

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Managing Staff is Like Tying Your Shoelaces

Posted on October 2, 2014. Filed under: leadership response, managing change |

No, really it is.  Managing staff is like tying your shoelaces.

Everyone does it in slightly different ways.

If it isn’t done right and the laces come undone mid run or walk  it’s annoying, frustrating, interrupts your rhythm and is important to effective operation and function.

Blog shoelacesThis came to me while I was out walking. A time and activity where I often do my best thinking.

(and here’s a pic of my foot and the lace in question!)

You see in recent weeks I have noticed that the shoelace on my left shoe keeps coming undone while I’m walking or running.


And it annoys me when I have to stop and retie it.


This shoelace has never been a problem previously and I’m sure that I am tying it the same way as I usually do, and yet it keeps coming undone. At least two to three times in a 30 minute run or walk. Only the left foot. Only in the past 4 months or so.


And then it struck me, I was getting frustrated because I had to keep stopping and tying it back up – repeating what had already been done.

(Those are sentiments that some of my clients have shared with me – that the process of dealing with repetitive staff issues is a distraction from the work that needs to be done)

It seemed the more I thought about it, the more fitting the analogy between shoelaces and managing staff was an appropriate one.

everyone has their own style of tying shoelaces, and for managing people. The core principles are the same yet the actual process is different. Some people double knot their laces – that’s probably enough on that point 🙂

– once tied we assume that the lace will remain tied until it is undone with a purpose. Managers often assume that people know what is expected of them after one conversation or briefing

it’s easy to feel frustrated with the lace for coming undone rather than first asking “is there something different that I need to have done”

having to stop frequently disrupts the rhythm and output of the run/walk and the business. SO it is really important to do it well to begin with.

Stop and reflect before the task begins on whether there is something different that staff may need to be briefed on, or that may mean the laces need double knots (rain or their age)

Consider what I need to adapt to. If the lace has come undone several times recently then it may need to be double knotted from now on to give it the extra support it needs. Perhaps I should see a podiatrist or gait analyst to assess if there is something changing in my hip or knee that is affecting the way that I run/walk.

Maybe I could use the pause to catch my breath and assess my progress – in other words turn it into a positive and useful activity.

In the words of an old song “perhaps, perhaps, perhaps”

The important thing is that leaders need to adapt just as much as staff are asked to do.


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