Wise Czar

Liars for Hire: How Honest Folks get Left Behind

Posted on: June 16, 2013

Ever go on a job interview where the interviewer is doing everything possible to trip you up with “gotcha” questions? Worse yet, ever get weeded out from the employee candidate pool by one of those online compatibility tests that the company gives? One article in Forbes Magazine (see Sources) is entitled “Watch Out! 10 Interview Questions Designed to Trick You,” and it revealed how employers often develop questions which, no matter how you answer them, you lose.
job interview

To me, this practice is not only a testament to the vile ruthlessness present in the working world but also an opportunity for cheaters and liars to get ahead, while honest people get left in the dust. One of several interview questions on the article’s list was: “Why have you been out of work so long, and how many others were laid off?” The author explained that employers know that many employees are being let go due to budget cuts caused by the recession.

Instead of trying to help these laid-off employees, who probably need the job more than anybody to feed their families, many employers figure that those who were fired due to budget cuts must have been “second-string employees” at their old companies and should be avoided. This creates a double whammy for the laid-off worker. Not only was he or she fired due to the recession, something that cannot be controlled, but now he or she is stigmatized for it. This is despicable, and employers who operate in such a way should be ashamed of themselves.

Such employers, however, are potentially setting themselves up for poetic justice. Their cruel connivance can easily backfire if they interview a seasoned liar who paints the perfect picture of himself or herself and turns out to be the opposite in reality. In fact, the tricky interview questions that many employers ask are an invitation for the world’s cheating scoundrels to surpass the honest working person.

For example, one question the article listed that employers like to ask was: “Where would you really like to work?” According to the article, the perfect answer is: “This is where I want to work, and this job is what I want to do.”
First of all, the fact that there is a “perfect” or “right” answer that the employer wants to hear speaks to the phoniness of the entire interview process. Instead of giving the perfect answer, why not give the truth? And the truth is that someone unemployed during a recession is probably willing to apply for a job anywhere, not out of some great personal love for the company, but out of a need to survive or support his or her family. But truthfully, many employers are not interested in the truth; they want interviewees to suck up to them. Well, liars are excellent at sucking up while honest people fail.

The liar, before he or she goes on an interview or answers one of those online compatibility surveys, will research what the perfect answers are. He or she will then present themselves as a flawless celestial being, while the honest man will tell the truth and present himself as a flawed human being. The result? More often then not, the self absorbed employer will buy into the liar, who will probably act very friendly and make himself seem like the perfect fit for the company, while ignoring the honest person who may not possess those same theatrical skills.

Some people might call this theatricality “selling yourself.” Well, just like false television advertisements can trick you into wasting money on a worthless product, so too can people misrepresent themselves just to get hired.

Now, the employer may argue that this is exactly the reason why trick questions are necessary—to trip up the liar. Although some may get tripped up, there are savvy swindlers out there who will convince you that grass is blue. So, I would suggest that those employers develop a greater appetite for the truth and view someone with rehearsed, seemingly perfect answers, with suspicion and a skeptical eye. Also, they should grow a heart and stop with those “A Ha!’ questions. Instead, ask about concrete experiences and skills.

Check if prospective employees have the knowledge set to work at your company. After all, job skill and merit should be what matters in hiring someone. It is OK if the new employee is flawed in other areas. All humans are. As for the people who make themselves out to be perfect, they should take up acting.

Sources

[This is the article I refer to] http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennagoudreau/2012/02/23/watch-out-ten-interview-questions-designed-to-trick-you/

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