How Job Candidates Lie, and the Best Lies They Always Seem to Tell

Every Monday morning, I have a meeting with my recruiting team.

It’s a great way to kick off the week. We share what we are working on, we talk about problems we are having on specific searches so the team can share ideas and tips, and maybe we even discuss a possible candidate they know of.

We also share stories! Monday mornings are great for sharing recruiter stories – horrible interviews, funny excuses candidates have, negotiating nightmares – you name it, we talk about it!

I was reminded this week what terrible liars candidates can be, because we seem to get a lot of candidate lying stories in the Monday morning meetings. So, as a shout out to my recruiters (and all recruiters everywhere), I wanted to put together a list of the Top Candidate Lies.

When I started thinking about all the lies, I found I could break it down by category, so here goes. Hit me in the comments if you have a favorite lie that you get – or, if you think of one I missed:

The Education Lies

  • I have all the credits, I just didn’t graduate.
  •  “I did all the classes, I just need to pay the fees to graduate.” (So you spent four plus years going to school, got done, but that last couple of hundred dollars stopped you from graduating?)
  • “I graduated from ‘State U’, but it was a long time ago, I’m not sure why they can’t verify my degree.”
  • I had a 3.0 GPA in my ‘core’ classes, but a 1.9 GPA overall…”
  •  “Well, it was an Engineering/Business degree.”

The Background Check Lies

  • “No, I’m not on drugs.” (Then they fail the drug screen.) “Oh, you meant Marijuana as a drug…
  • She told me she was 18.”
  • “They told me in court that never would be on my file, so I didn’t think I needed to tell you.”
  • No, I don’t have a felony.” (Oh, that felony! But that was in Indiana…)

The Experience Lies

  • When you said Java, I thought you meant experience making coffee.
  • I was a part of the ‘leadership’ team that was responsible for that implementation.” (So, basically you knew of a project that happened while you were working there…)

The No-Show Interview Lies

  • My car broke down.” (Either through some fantastic wrinkle in space, or a gigantic amount of lying, candidates have more car trouble per capita than anyone else in the world who has ever driven a car.)
  • I couldn’t find your location.” (So, your answer to this dilemma was to turn around and go home and not call and let us know you got lost?)
  • My son/daughter got sick, so I can’t make it.” (Again, crazy coincidences that happen with candidates and sick kids…)

The Termination Lies

  • “It was a mutual decision that I left.” (“So, you both ‘mutually’ decided that you would no longer have a job?” is the question I always ask after this statement! Dear Candidates: this statement sounds as stupid as it reads.)
  • I (or any family member) was in a bad accident and in the hospital, so they fired me for not showing up to work.” (No they didn’t – there are some bad companies out there, but no company does this.)
  • “I play on a softball team, and after games we go out and have a couple drinks. The next morning my boss smelled alcohol and fired me for drinking on the job.” (This was a true lie I got directly from an employee. It started out as me just giving him a written warning – until I went to lunch 10 minutes later at the Chili’s down the street from the office, and no joke, there he was belly up to the bar drinking a beer. Upon cleaning out his desk we found half a fifth of vodka.)

Here’s my take on candidate lies: Candidates continue to lie because Talent/HR Pros don’t call them out on it. We (HR) also perpetuate this problem by hiring the folks who give you the crappy lie, but don’t hire the folks who come clean and tell you the truth.

Article Continues Below

This was originally published on Tim Sackett’s blog, The Tim Sackett Project.

  • timago

    Yes, there are bad companies out there. I did work for a company that fired a very good worker after a car crash killed her husband and she needed some time off. They gave it to her — they fired her. Unbelievable, but true. Yes, some excuses are ridiculous, but recruiters shouldn’t automatically assume crazy answers are always lies.

    • flagirl336


      In a slightly different version of this, my sister (a nurse) worked on a broken ankle because her employer said she would lose her job if she didn’t.

      Her employer: a hospital!

      It does happen.

      • LT

        I am a 4 star hospital General Manager, tell your sister to sue the damn hospitals. not only did they not endanger her life and health, patients health was in danger. Nurses unlike doctors, run the hospital – that’s how important they are.

    • Emily

      It absolutely happens, and there could be an entire article on how companies unethically get rid of good employees to save money. (Of course not all do but to say it doesn’t happen is inaccurate.)

      • Vernesia

        hands up on this one! Happened to me!

      • aka texrat

        I worked for an employer that specifically laid off a large number of highly-experienced engineers. Turns out most were over 50. Guess who lost the class-action lawsuit.

        • plusaf

          and I once got to see some confidential charts after a mass layoff…. scanning the distribution lists which plotted frequency of layoffs versus age groups for various job categories, it was extremely obvious to me that the distribution was extremely flat… layoffs in all age groups… and would be great evidence for the company AGAINST claims of age-ism by any surplussed employees. Clever!

          • aka texrat

            Smart. But the company I mentioned was deliberately trying to get rid of this one demographic. An engineering director flat out admitted it to me. I’m glad they lost the suit.

      • Matt

        Absolutely true! Happened to me as well!

      • Mouse

        This happened to me. I was out sick with a fever for several days and when I came back the HR Manager told me I was not at full capacity and I should go home and come back on Monday (this was a Thursday.) On Monday i was let go and they tried to tell me it wasn’t because I missed the time, even after my immediate manager had praised me just the week before for doing a VERY good job.

        • Cass Murray

          What did they say was the reason?

      • George Jempty

        In the January after my wife’s company merged with another, they started manufacturing cause against employees instead of just laying people off. My wife had only been there a year, but not only did she start getting written up, but so did people with over 20 years experience there. This was all a ploy to get out of paying unemployment but they failed to remember something very important. As a medical lab company, almost all their executive decision makers were physicians, and in Tennessee, the physicians code of ethics states they must explicitly treat employees as ethically as they do patients. So I called them up and told them if they contested my wife’s unemployment claim, we would be filing ethics complaints AGAINST EVERY DOCTOR THAT WORKED FOR THEM, whether they were involved in employment decisions or not (this would have exposed the un-ethical practices to other physicians there who may not have known) They put me on hold for all of about 90 seconds to tell me they would not contest my wife’s unemployment.

        Oh, did I say something wrong, that corporations can be just as slimy as individuals? Yeah well I’ll start believing corporations are people when they start executing retarded under-age corporations in Texas.

        • Melinda Piette

          I worked for a company that wanted to get rid of a woman—which I even partially got, since she was effective at just one small element of her job. Much like your instance, the company didn’t want to pay unemployment.
          So they manufactured a truly absurd fake sexual harassment claim against—-fortunately they lost their opposition. Likewise I knew a woman whose employer tried to fight her unemployment because her grief over her father’s terminal cancer “affected her work”.
          In short, this is very much what companies do

    • PolishKnightUSA

      On the way to start a job, I dislocated my shoulder AND had gotten a cold somehow. Simultaneously, my mobile phone died and I had misplaced the charger (I was in the process of moving to the job site). I called the recruiter the second the office opened and got into work 2 hours late. The hiring manager looked at me with disdain that I was “late on the first day of work” and ignored my coughing and my arm in a sling and sent me to work in an office to spread my germs. He later said that I hadn’t gotten “started on the right foot” (to say the least.) Turns out he did me a favor. Lowest rating on glassdoors (1.5 out of 5).

    • LegalRob

      Look up the article online about a woman who worked for Albertsons. She was pregnant and asked to have a lighter workload. She ended up losing the baby because they wouldn’t give her time off or a lighter workload even though she had multiple doctor notes. There are plenty, no more like many, bad companies out there!

      • lena_scott

        If that was the case, she ought to have left, job or no job. I also worked for a grocery store at one time and yup…..I had the same issues because of difficulty with my pregnancy. I had to quit my job because of it, or risk losing the baby. I was made to feel that I was asking for ‘special treatment’, and sad to say, I was a very young married and they were unbelievably rude to me because I was young and had the temerity to marry, get pregnant, and ask for a transfer when we relocated from where my ‘home’ store was to the location where they refused to cooperate with my doctor’s recommendations. These comments are reminding me of some truly terrible crap that people have to put up with, just to remain employed.

        • aka texrat

          Often there’s no real choice but to tough it out.

          • lena_scott

            Tough it out until your baby dies? Um, I think not.

        • Erin

          Not everyone can afford to leave a job. Likely her options her were to keep her job or end up homeless, with no way to afford food and medical care for herself and her baby.

          • lena_scott


    • Gogetter

      I agree. I left a job because a my employer told me that my first priority was to be at the job not taking care of kids. My infant daughter was in the ICU for 3 days for pneumonia, husband was deployed overseas and nearest family was two states away. Needless to say, I threw my resume out there, snagged a new job and left my employer.

    • jdawgjayj

      You are dead on. A rock fell from a cliff side and landed on my hand. I lost my pinky, my ring finger and middle finger are only partially functional. I was in the hospital on day 2 and received a Termination Notice for failing to show up. They were nice enough to leave “Eligible for re-hire” box checked for me.

    • Tracy

      I agree. I once worked at a company where a young woman was fired for not coming in. Her reason for not coming in? Her daughter was hospitalized. I don’t know who this guy is who thinks he has heard and seen it all, but I am also a recruiter and I know that you have to really listen and evaulate what people are saying–not automatically assume they are lying.

      • betty luo

        I agree with you.Tracy

      • Peter

        Yes, Tracy. While unscrupolous people will use some of those replies as a cover for the truth, they could all also well be a truthful answer.

    • Kelly

      Most recruiters are clueless themselves, they become recruiters since they couldn’t get a REAL job

      • Nikki R

        I’m afraid I have to agree with this. I can clearly remember all the people who slept in the back of my college classes… or hardly ever showed up to class… or only went to school (for Business – easy) because they wanted to play sports and had a scholarship to run a ball…. today, a good handful of them are recruiters.

        And I just have to wonder… who are THEY to say who deserves a job?

        • bptsj

          “… or only went to school (for Business – easy)”

          I went to Business school (MBA) after an MSEE because I find the economics & business fascinating. Don’t needlessly belittle a business degree.

          • polyduces

            She’s a social worker…..don’t bother.

          • sklaw5

            This is the beginning of a string of comments which have nothing to do with the original post.

          • Joel Kopke

            It is absolutely possible to get both a busines and engineering degree.

          • Rick sanchez

            It is perfectly possible for those who want not only a business-easy degree.

          • Alan

            Only people who are bad engineers go for MBAs. I’ve heard MBA people say this, with pride ! Yeah right !

          • Andre Alexei

            Fascinating? Yes. Easy? Yes.

            To be fair…it is only the first 2 or 3 years of engineering school that are so killer hard. After that, go get an MBA, MS, MEng, it doesn’t matter much.

          • Rick Sanchez

            She does not belittle your business degree, she just said that it is easy. I also think it is a very easy-to-get degree, and I mean no offense.

        • polyduces

          From a glorified social worker………no recruiters call you, I’m sure. You probably have no clue what we do.

        • Kevin

          Cry baby, Some people float through a Business degree and others float through an Engineering degree. Most people pursue a Business degree because they truly love that field of study.

          • Matt

            Not many people float through an Engineering Degree. If they do, it’s very apparent. Engineers have an internal drive to solve problems and create solutions. Business is business.

          • Alan Chavez

            Business people also have an internal drive to solve problems and create solutions. Unlike engineering solutions, a lot of business problems does not necessarily involve complex physics equations or implementing a fancy algorithm.
            Usually business problems deal with people and how people interact with your assets.
            Also… A lot of Engineers don’t seem to understand business at all. No wonder why most of them settle for a $150K job having the brains to make billions.

          • matt

            Very good point, if all you care about is money.

          • morph2020

            If money is not supposed to be important to the candidate, then why is it important for the recruiter to disparage its importance?

          • walter crosby jr

            If the people you admire are engineers, it’s OK to pursue a career as an engineer even if you have the brains for other stuff. Also, many engineers are introverts who’d rather not go into business if it entails becoming mostly “people” persons.

          • Rajat Singh

            Its one thing to have brains to make millions, and another to have brains for making engineering solutions. The point is, where you want to apply your brains into. If an engineer is happy to earn even $40k a year, while doing the work he loves, then you are no one to disparage them.. In any case its a fact that most businesses cannot run if not for the engineering solutions to sustain them.. Make sure the next time your system crashes, the $150K engineer would come to your rescue, to save your billions.

          • Alan Chavez

            Don’t worry, the next time my system crashes I know exactly how to bring it up

          • Doug Thompson

            *doing the work you love*
            You will live longer, do it well because its fun, be happier.

            But then that is what Life Policies are for when you have your first heart attack at 40 and then your kids don’t have a father any more, not that he ever saw their first steps or saw them at school.
            What matters most in life?

          • Paul M

            how to make a small fortune starting a business? start with a big fortune and invest it and not get lucky!

          • Omar

            Alan, I totally agree with you
            I am a Computer engineer and I REALLY enjoy it

          • Girogio

            making millions it is very easy to say, much harder to accomplish

          • Tarun Sukhani

            Wrong, that’s because the jobs where you can make billions are reserved for those with privileged lineages.

          • Alan Chavez

            LOL. I know about 10 people who are self made soon-to-be billionaires. No privileged lineages, just hard work and a completely different mindset than the rest of the people around them.

          • Tarun Sukhani

            Oh really, name them. I’ll go research their backgrounds and get back to you.

          • bptsj

            HaHa! How many soon-to-be billionaires are there? Every entrepreneur is a soon-to-be billionaire according to them.

          • Tarun Sukhani

            Precisely, talk is cheap. Reality is quite a different thing altogether. According to Forbes Magazine, there are 447 billionaires in the world today. Now, if the earlier poster claims that there will be 10 more “soon”, I should remind him that the figure quoted has remained relatively steady despite all the feverish work that many like them have done in the past. If you research all 447 of them, you find the media paints a false picture of their “rise” to wealth.

          • Alan Chavez

            If you take Forbes as your source of how many billionaires there are in the world today, you’re doing it wrong.

            Forbes do not have a comprehensive list of billionaires in the world, it isn’t even directional.

            Take for example Ingvar Kamprad, whose wealth was estimated to be 3 billion; whereas Bloomberg estimated it to be around 40 billion. Too much of a margin to draw any conclusion, don’t you think?

            There are a lot of people who do private transactions, and there’s no way for Forbes to accurately estimate wealth, they value private companies by comparing them with their public competitors. That said, there are easily hundreds of billionaires whose wealth is yet to be discovered/estimated by Forbes.

          • buzzin1975 .

            What source should I use then? Should I look at the Rothschilds, the Warburgs, or other banking families? My point remains. This is a privileged club and entry is limited to those with the proper lineage.

          • Alan Chavez

            Why do these lists exist in the first place? To entertain the masses. There’s no functional use of these lists. Its only purpose is to keep the middle class asleep, to keep them entertained and distracted from the stuff that matters. A lot of people go to great lengths to avoid showing up in these lists.

            Think for example the owners and share holders of Lockheed Martin a 45 billion dollars company. Do you see its CEO anywhere in the Forbes list? No.

            Don’t you think that the CEO of a company that makes 45 billion dollars per year, and one of the most powerful women in the world have is worth at least 1 billion?

            What is her lineage? She was born in a little tiny town in Kansas and worked her way up.

          • fgsdgsdg

            And no one in your family lineage is bad huh?

          • Tarun Sukhani

            Where’s the relevance to the earlier comment?

          • Bernard

            I’ll give you one, Henry Sy…Look it up…

          • James

            You do NOT know 10 people who are self made soon-to-be billionaires. No one here believes your lies.

          • Alan Chavez

            Yet you took the time to reply to my comment. Well done.

          • Rick Sanchez

            The ” hard work” those soon-to-be billionaires do could well be selling iphone cases online for $40.00 but showing a picture of an iphone and the case at the bottom, tiny letters saying ” case”. Many fall for it and by, many became rich that way.

          • Doug Thompson

            Also different brain make-up. Engineering deals with constants and ‘laws’ which understood are repeatable. Where as Business problems as you say deals with people and require different softer skills.

            Then there is social cast system, my dad was an Engineer so that is what I will be, cos your dad communicated his passion for making things when you were a kid, kids idolise that dads during that impressionable phase. What does not happen is that you are given ‘permission’ to be the boss or a business man.
            It is more common to rebel now.

            People become entrepreneurs because ‘they cant stand it any more’ and they make the move that no one else does. This happens ant different stages in life, some young buck has the courage of youth to take a risk, where as some at the end of his first career is now ‘free’ to put all his life skills to use. For some people a $150K job is off set against work-life balance vs the commitment to make billions and what you give up at home.

            Is it possible to have both?

          • Rajat Singh

            Well I beg to differ on the issue of social cast system.. Well i do agree that it is very much prevalent, but then it all depends on your personal choice.. Then there is the issue of some things being in your blood as well.. Now historically my forefathers were basically carpenters.. however my father was an artist and was into literature, I am an engineer, though I still pursue carpentry as a hobby.. So it is entirely your own choice.. You can rebel all you want, but what you want is already embedded in your subconscious, and mostly ppl will pursue that sooner or later…

          • Doug Thompson

            Equally by way of contrast, my father was an electronic engineer, I joined IBM as such then built my own pc(z80) learnt programming then moved into software. It is possible because I could solder at such a young age that gave me a choice. Where as my partner whose father was an electrical engineer (marine engines for QE2 etc) has a child that was useless with anything electrical but from the age of 4 knew he wanted to be an Architect. To my mind its very jammy to know what you want to be in life from such a young age – the rest of us can bounce about a bit till we find the glove that fits.
            So you “it is entirely your own choice.. ” in so far as you will see if those doors are open to you, but you choose to go to the door to go thru the door. In todays world of the internet, we have the thought that anything is possible(liberated thinking) and that the are newly created career types. The job of being a Career Guidance councillor at school is getting ever harder I think.

          • Rick Sanchez

            CEOs make billions, not because they deserve it, but because this economic system is made by them and for them. I guess you are one of those who understand business and are making billions instead of $150k.

          • Alan

            That’s the problem with business/management people like YOU. Not everything is about money, I enjoy what I do and as long as I make x2 an average citizen I’m happy. Implementing those “fancy” algorithms worth 1000 times than what you deem to be worthy of my youth and time. No thanks, keep it to yourself

          • Alan Chavez

            I’m not in business/management. I’m a software engineer, but I can’t help to have a business mindset in everything I do. The way I see it, as an engineer I have to be constantly adding value to the company I work for; whether it is reducing expenses, creating revenue, improving processes, whatever it is; otherwise I’m expendable. It’s hard to ‘kill’ something that’s working.

            Also, your argument is a bit flawed. You say that not everything is about money, yet you are only happy as long as you make two times what the average income is.

            Tell you what, for a long while I was making 1/4 of what the average citizen was making, and I was happy doing it. Money is not everything, I agree with you on that one. By no means I intended to diminish what engineering entails, I know it’s difficult, as I said before, I’m an engineer too. However, it really bothers me that Engineers in general tend to treat other careers (like Business or Marketing) as something less significant, less difficult which is just not true.

            Engineering is hard, but so it is Business and other careers.

          • George

            From the moment you say ‘business is business’ we all know you have no clue what it is. Solving problems and creating solutions IS what business is about and 90% of the course-work focus on these two.

          • Matt

            You say “we all know”. Sweeping generalization buddy. Have you taken a poll from the commenters to support that comment? Also, “moment you say”? I did not say anything, I posted it. It’s a sad day when an engineer has to correct a businessman on proper use of grammar. Then you suggest to someone calculus? I don’t have time for this rhetoric, have a very fine life. Post a reply if your compelled, I’ll never see it because I’m out of this caustic place, bye!

          • Alan Chavez

            You know that an argument is over when someone picks on your use of words, to cover up for the lack of understanding of a topic.

            I’m an engineer, but one of the things that I really hated about my career was being surrounded by a lot of others soon-to-be engineers with a very curious beliefs about how the world works. Most of the time their beliefs were wrong, although they firmly believed they were right.

          • hillary

            Well there is also that fact that while he picks on George for poor use of grammar,Matt can’t spell Damn, as in “fix the ‘damn’ bridges”

          • Hillary

            Uggh…signed in to post this one thing and the whole thing got messed up and I couldn’t correct it! But since I AM posting on proper spelling, and grammar, I should probably notate that I know…my name is spelled with a capital and there is supposed to be a space between “grammar” and “Matt”. SIGH

          • sadfsadf

            yes but some of us actually start at the very bottom and work our way up. You can tell by the calluses on the hands who works and who doesn’t.

          • Mont

            If you knew how many engineering students cheat in every class, you’d probably not take another Interstate highway bridge ever again.

          • Matt

            Sorry, I said I was out of here.
            Then fix the dam bridges, lives are in your hands!

          • LT

            that’s very shallow of you. business degrees are very diversified, while engineering deals with that particular expertise. that is why we business degree people manage you engineering guys without even us having to know what exactly is it that you are doing. we make you look good and solve your silly excuses and mistakes.
            recruiters are a bunch of idiots just hired to ask questions, and mostly are jealous when they meet a young executive holding an MBA, BCOM, BHRM, AQMS – they ask you a silly question like – “so what is your area of focus”? the guy runs a company for Christ sake, thus all the degree to understand the company as a whole

          • Dross61

            “we business degree people manage you engineering guys”, no that is not true. Engineers with MBAs manage Engineers. People with just undergraduate B degrees calculate overhead rates.

          • Scott McCarty

            Pretty much true

          • Scott McCarty

            I would say good business people do, in fact, know WHAT the engineer is doing. I don’t think the good business person
            needs to know how to do it. This is a key difference that, frustratingly, I believe is missed quite often.

            I am a presales engineer, which is basically half and half. I know what all of the other engineers are doing and I know how to do some of what they are doing. But, I also know why they are doing it. I understand the capabilities provided by the new features.

            All of the wildely successful business people I have met, do know WHAT their engineers are doing.

          • Omar

            Engineers are clever folks, they come up with solutions, their minds are open to solving complicated problems. All these webistes you see and use are done by engineers from Computer Engineers to Electric Engineers to….
            You have to thank them

          • Rick Sanchez

            Disagree. Many, a lot, float through a Business degree and just a few float through an Engineering degree.

        • Clew Garnet

          “or only went to school (for Business – easy)”. Really? I have a BS in Finance, and an MBA in Economics. Do you have any idea how many math courses were involved, starting with calculus? Not to mention classes in law, leadership and IT. Do you seriously believe that any liberal arts program is tougher?

          “… who are THEY to say who deserves a job?” I have to wonder… who are YOU to judge who deserves a job?

          • Mos bos

            you don’t know what engineering courses entail – you would have to ask people who graduated successfully from both to know the trough about relative difficulty and workloads.

            I also am a bit surprised at anyone defending recruiters. they really are hopeless in 99%.

          • dsfsdf

            You should’ve worked for Enron then. They would still be in business.

        • Ed Maltais

          “for Business – easy” – that is a bunch of Malarkey. I worked extremely hard for my 4.0 AS and later 3.36 BS. No one who slept through class at my college made it though to the next semester.

        • George

          Take Managerial Accounting, Econometrics, Business Calculus, Managerial Statistics and then re-write this comment.

          • Dross61

            Take Differential Equations then take Managerial Statistics and ACE IT!

          • Scott McCarty

            I don’t know if I quite agree with this. But, I will say, take Applied Statistics and Discreet Math, then ACE Managerial Statistics. In my experience, it appears people are often wired for one or the other.

        • Tarun Sukhani

          Welcome to the real world.

        • Mineme

          Business isn’t easy, and no I have not studied business, but have read my sister’s assignments when she was over 50% of those who started dropped out all thinking business is easy.

          I am studying Computer Science a lot of people thinks that is easy too now we are 1/3 left of those who started.

          I used more time running around with a ball than studying and if i could then i would have used my time in school running with a ball rather than studying, you see i was bored lessons were too slow and i learned way too fast, and even though i barely made any homework since i was 10 i still graduated in top of my class i didn’t put in an effort, however i doubt i would do better even if i did actually i might even do worse.

          I learned a lot more running around with a ball, sitting alone writing poems and stories, building secret hideouts and building shops and using my imagination than i ever did in a class room.

          What qualifies you to be a recruiter? what are the recruiters looking for, your MBA degree or something else? you might look down on them for their lack of degree but you should look down on them for not doing their job properly b/c the degree in itself is worth nothing, they might do better if they had a degree but you wouldn’t actually know. A degree might tell how good you are but not how well you do at a work place, previous experience is good here but we all start with none, i wonder how many with fancy degrees and a smart head wants to be a recruiter and have their paycheck cutted? and we actually dare complain about them?

        • Doug Thompson

          What did you notice about those who slept in the back of college classes and still were ‘just good at cramming for exams’ where as others have other learning styles.
          Not that it bugs me that some people have excellent short term memory and are Exam busting machines.
          Who deserves a job?
          Well if you do an MBA at Harvard then after those fee – you would expect a ROI?
          So what degrees are an investment in getting a job and others are a delaying tactic for not getting a job?

      • Tim Sackett

        You are correct.

        • Anne Zieger

          Tim, as per your invitation below, I tried to link up with you on LinkedIn but your link didn’t work. Want to search me out (I’m Anne Zieger, in the DC metro) and connect?

      • guest

        Aw Kelly, has a big bad recruiter hurt your wittle feewlings.
        Me = Pimp
        You = Hoe
        Now get back to work beforez I slap ya!

        • Rick Mangi

          Really? That’s just rude. I disagree that recruiting isn’t a “real” job, but I agree that the majority of recruiters are fairly clueless about what their candidates do in their jobs. But that response is just ugly.

          • polyduces

            Actually, when people ask me what I do, I tell them I pimp MBAs…’s a fair analogy.

          • LT

            you pimp MBA’s to get million dollar bonuses while you wait for that monthly pay check. I’m not saying recruiters don’t have a job to do, don’t misunderstand me – but you are an arrogant, jealous bunch.

        • Knight Moonsuga

          I’m actually ok with this response. Kelly wants to attack recruiters… you attack back. This is Ok.

          I’m curious as to what Kelly’s real job is

        • Allan Madhuram

          And you need to go back to elementary school to learn how to write proper English. Let alone insult someone in that language!

      • recruiter extraordinaire

        I am assuming you have had a bad experience with a recruiter and was most likely not offered employment in order to come up with the opinion that recruiters can’t get a real job? and by real you mean instead of a “fake” job? Recruiters, like myself, have REAL jobs that pay real bills and feed real family members because we were able to effectively interview for the position and meed and/or exceed the needs for the position.

        PREEEETTTY interesting that you would make an assertion like that. I hope you don’t interview with that mentality…

        • Guest

          I certainly interview with a positive, cheerful, upbeat personality, but I can prove that most of my phone interviews with recruiters are sham interviews.

          • polyduces

            Or you didn’t qualify and they blew you off……which is far more likely.

          • Will

            I think people are confusing recruiters and HR.

          • Allan Madhuram

            Recruitment is a part of HR activities anyways.

          • LT

            you must be joking – recruitment is but, just a small part of HR. a tiny drop in the OCEAN HR

          • Rajat Singh

            Even if it is, yet it is the starting point. And in any case, Human Resources are NOT managed. In most of the companies, the HR and Admin team are the most pathetic and slow workers, who do nothing good at all..

        • Poseidon

          Burger flippers at fast-food joints have real jobs and pay real bills. So do used car salesmen. So what? Both are jobs you do because you lack the skills and mental capacity to land a more challenging position. As an example, I live in an area that is an engineering and environmental business center. There are hundreds of recruiters working here, specializing in finding engineers and environmental scientists for local clients. I have talked to dozens of them. Most of them are drop-outs from engineering and science programs, or failed attempts to get an MBA. All of the recruiters I dealt with directly were only looking for referral fees and didn’t give a damn about what a prospective employee actually wanted or needed out of a job. I now avoid recruiters like the plague and I have been able to land good jobs without them taking a big chunk of my salary or signing bonus. I am not saying that good recruiters don’t exist, but most are just parasites.

          • recruiter extraordinaire

            ” lack the skills and intellectual capacity to land a more challenging position”? I am the SOLE, IN HOUSE recruiter and am not paid based on referrals or a quota. Based on where you live and your personal experience with “drop-outs” that MUST mean that all recruiters are drop-outs and don’t give a damn about candidates? Most are parasites?

            You don’t know me from any recruiter that you have met in your life. It is 100% fine for you to have the opinion that you do. The idea that the previous person considers recruiting a “fake job” is absolutely ridiculous. Likewise, the fact that many people are upset that this article belittles people searching for jobs and the facade that recruiters are slime balls who could care less about their morals/values/ethics within their industry is disgusting to me and frankly ironic. how hypocritical that so many people are commenting and writing messages doing the EXACT same thing that they feel happened to them… making assumptions and generalizations about people they don’t know?

        • Lou Mannheim

          “Recruiters, like myself, have REAL jobs”

          You guys are the corporate world equivalent of used car salesman. A small minority of you are fair, moral, and competent, but the majority of you are slick, lying sleazeballs.

          • recruiter extraordinaire


            and you know me? and you MUST know my morals/values and how much I lie correct?? At least you have SOME insight that some are fair and moral, but PLEEAAAASSSSSSSSEEEEEEE. let’s go ahead and group everyone as a sleazeball if they are a recruiter. That seems fair, doesn’t it?

      • MDCIRP


        • aka texrat

          I can’t believe that adults can’t find the caps lock key.

      • Knight Moonsuga

        ouch… I got good grades and wanted to be a recruiter to make bank. And I’m making well over 6 figures… REAL job? I would say so.

        • polyduces

          Amen….I billed $280K in my first year as a novice.

          My friends think it’s ridiculous how much I can make. I showed a friend a $50K check from a client I did a retained search for last year and they were stunned when I told them I filled the position in 2 weeks……after the internal recruiters failed to fill it in 3 months.

          There’s a difference between staffing and executive recruitment.

          The sophistication level is night and day between the two… is the CASH!

      • polyduces

        You sound bitter. Recruiting is a sales job. Like any profession, there are people who are good at it and there are people who are bad at it.

        Good recruiters add value to their clients by bringing talent to the table who would not normally apply. Good recruiters don’t search job boards, they org chart, database and systematically recruit passive candidates.

        It’s obvious you’ve had bad experiences with recruiters, but to lump them all in the same group is akin to professional bigotry.

        I sell for a living. I do in depth needs analyses with my clients, I’m a student of my industry, I have a fantastic network of clients and candidates I have worked with for years, and I make an excellent living at what I do.

        My question for you is, where does all this bitterness come from? Why all the hate? What’s your story? Elitism? Did a recruiter shoot you down after asking you difficult questions you couldn’t answer? Did you not get the job you felt you were ENTITLED to?

        • Lou Mannheim

          Oh please..

          You guys are parasites- an unneeded level of bureaucracy, nothing more

          • Lou Mannhein

            what a surprise- you’re one of those ayn rand cultists….so predictable polyduces

        • Rajat Singh

          Oh.. So how do you judge what kind of a person you are looking at? What you do face analysis?? Most recruiters dont even know what their company wants.. They are themselves inept at understanding any domain knowledge so as to assess a candidate on his/her technical skills.. Human Resource mgmt is at its worst in most cases.

        • Janik Litalien

          All that needs to be said…And yes, your kin has wasted too much of my time

        • sklaw5

          One source of bitterness could be to the insensitive and arrogant article by Tim Sackett to which these comments are intended to respond.

        • Kelly

          I totally sympathize with you for being a recruiter but before I reason with you try getting a REAL job and if you can stay in that job for over 5 days let me know …. so now you have my best wishes …. get a REAL Job

          • polyduces

            I’ve been in the business since 2005….it’s a real career that pays real bills……you’re just a hater because you CAN’T find what you call a REAL job.

            Can’t pass a background check? Fail interviews? Arrogant and entitled, perhaps? Not a cultural fit?

            Stop blaming recruiters because you FAIL!

          • polyduces

            Oh, and I’m an officer at a bank making 6 figures with benefits….tell me how that’s not a real job?

      • Kumar

        Mr. Kelly,

        Recruiters are professional…!!

        You better mind it before commenting something.!

        • Kelly

          Kumar, I totally sympathize with you for being a recruiter but before I reason with you try getting a REAL job and if you can stay in that job for over 5 days let me know ….. so now you have my best wishes …. get a REAL Job

          • polyduces

            Cut and paste… wonder you’re unemployable…..and your attitude makes you cultural poison……I bet you bash past employers in interviews as well… wonder you can’t get a job.

      • Gary Oman

        And they are on a power trip to make up for it

        • Kelly

          May be it’s a power trip , I personally find it to be more or less resentment or jealousy from their end

      • Mario D. La Gatto

        It is a sad truth that many recruiters are mediocre guys who only know about handing out applications. No wonder you find so many employees who only care about the time to go home at the end of the day. Years ago I was interviewed for a managerial position by a young lady in her early twenties. She already had my resume. Chin in hand and elbow on leg she told me: “Tell me about yourself”. When I finished my 5′ self-introduction she told me to await their call. I’m still waiting. I didn’t get the job, but they lost the chance to hire a qualified professional.

      • A

        I am sure Tim gets “more” from both sides of the desk. For a human resource person, he should not be so quick to judge. I also hate how some recruiters are full of themselves and have the “GOD” principle.

      • Adnannmad

        and the two people who dislike Mr GUEST comment are RECRUITERS haha

      • T Hall

        I’m a recruiter, and I have a REAL job. I’m not clueless, and I DO call candidates out on their lies. I also give candidates the benefit of the doubt, until they prove to me they aren’t reliable. It seems to me you’re bitter about something…don’t generalize a group of professionals due to one bad experience.

    • Paul

      When I was 16 I worked part-time in a supermarket and needed a half-day off to go on holiday with my family. The supervisor in my section hated us and wouldn’t grant me the time off, but I had to insist as I couldn’t be left home alone. Apparently the only option was to hand in my notice… so I did! I don’t think his boss appreciated having to go through the rehiring process over something so petty either.

    • JWS_Thotz

      I was running a 102 fever…everyone in the office said go home. I was caught up and not in the critical path at the time – So I did. The COO called me at home a bit later and said that short of a bullet wound I would be coming in.

      Or the boss who fired me when I suggested we were sending out consultants absent any SOW or necessary materials… like training content for a class of 35 – a class that had not been developed at all… and effectively asking the consultant to wing it… marginalizing consultant and client. (Yes – the bill rate was nontrivial.) Then she tried to suggest in the termiation paperwork I had been insubordinate and guilty of misconduct -actually having calmly and professionally pointed out the inconvenient truth – to avoid a hit on the unemployment insurance.

      Or there was my supervisor coke addict who would routinely…. well, that one is just so bad, I will leave it alone.

      I have had some some great jobs, of course … really!
      I think the expectation is often that at will state firings means no repurcussions.. that a dismissed employee will not seek legal action for fear of being blackballed or because of the financial uncertainty – which is often true; but there are definitely wrongful terminations still.

    • lena_scott

      In my experience, it is actually the norm for the companies I have worked for to behave like this, or very close to it. One of my work friend’s parents both fell ill and died within a short time of one another, then her husband and she divorced…among other things. During this time I know that her supervisor consistently questioned her performance (because I talked to said supervisor as I was my work friend’s fill-in) and questioned her right to take policy allowed time off to attend to her family. I also know first hand that her work did not suffer, neither did mine, while I helped her with hers. People are on the main unbelievably callous and DO see employees as expendable, for the most part, in the industry which I worked in. This company also had a habit of sending in ‘helpers’ who would then report on the people they were supposed to be supporting and then mysteriously those people being helped would lose their jobs….it’s normal, that behavior.

    • Tom

      This is why all recruiters have the responsibility of performing a full background check every time they are going to hire someone for any job.

    • ZippyJenne

      This guy has been extraordinarily lucky in his career, I guess. Which makes him an expert on every other company out there. I know of a company that fired someone for applying for a promotion within that company. Yes, there really are companies that are bad.

    • David

      I agree. I’m in the process of hiring loads of people into my team and my HR partners are great, but some are not. The article seems to discount every reason as an “excuse”, or a “lie”. It’s true, some candidates lie, but some have valid things come up. You can tell the good candidate based upon how they act if there is a need to reschedule. We recently had someone that had a family issue on the way to the interview, when he arrived he was virtually in tears and said he couldn’t do the interview but he wanted to make sure that we knew. You could see he was prepared, he had all of his notes, resume, etc. In the end, he didn’t ask to reschedule but he acted with integrity. This is someone I could see working for me. In life, there are issues that arise and not everything is a “lie or an excuse”. How you deal with those issues says a lot about what kind of employee you will be.

    • bahram

      In my opinion the recruiters should consider, facial expression and body language, story telling scheme … for proper evaluation. little nervousness is normal.

    • Erin

      Yes, this. There really are some people at some companies who are THAT terrible. Don’t call something a lie just because you’ve had the benefit of never working somewhere that was that awful.

    • Brett Stolz

      I was fired after my son was born and spent the first 3.5 months in the NICU in another state. My last day at work was the date of the last major surgery that my son had. I live in a work to right state, so I was given no reason why I was released. There is much more to this story that makes it sad, but I agree a crazy answer for this shouldn’t be an assumption that it’s a lie. I know when I start talking about it, I tear up and go on for 15 minutes. No one wants that at a job interview.

  • Bob

    I had a conference call with a recruiter, he didn’t show, after chasing for several days the recruiter emailed me back to say he had to take the day off because his wife was 10 months pregnant……..

  • Zeeshan

    Ever heard lies told by recruiters and agencies?

    1. “We’re hiring” (no you’re not, you’re gathering resumes for a rainy day when your company needs to fill a real position)

    2. “A client is offering 60K for this position” (Actually, YOU’RE offering 50K, the client probably pays double that and you take half thanks to somebody else’s talent)

    3. “I can schedule you for 1pm after I’m done with my other
    interviews” (You’re just saying that to make it seem like the position is
    sought after)

    4. “We provide a challenging work environment with the
    opportunity to grow” (How many times have candidates heard that one and been
    left utterly disappointed?)

    5. And the absolute lamest lies by recruiters are the interview questions where
    the HR consultant pretends to actually understand all the roles and their requirements.

    • m k

      6. There’s a position open–NOT! ESC is contacted and an ad is placed with recruiting companies, but internally restructuring is occurring and there really is NO job where they said.

    • Guest

      7. I have a great relationship with the hiring manager. I’ve been working with HIM for almost 2 years. (the hiring manager is a woman)
      8. I’m very technical. (And when he suggests Huffington Post article adorned with ads featuring Justin Bieber and the likes as a reputable source on a new technology)
      9. I’ve just found your résumé and I’m very impressed. (We’ve been in contact about another opening for a few weeks)

    • F D

      10. “It’s a temporary job but after that they’re might be some opportunities”
      11. “The salary is low at the beginning but most people are pleasantly suprised when they see what you can make after 2 years”

      But the worst ones are the bosses who wink at you during and at the end of the interview make it look like it’s a done deal.

    • Reza Putra

      You forgot multitasking trait.

    • Rick Mangi

      That position you responded to was JUST filled, but here’s another one that’s way less awesome but you would be PERFECT for it.

      • Melinda Piette

        That’s my favorite! And then you see the same filled job posted a few days later

    • MDCIRP

      AD 5. INDEED!!!!!

    • Twirly

      How about those cattle-call email blasts I’d get from one particular temp agency for creatives? When the job sounded like a good one, I’d reply that yes, I was interested in the assignment, but NOT ONCE did I get a follow-up contact!

      After I landed a new job (without their help, naturally), someone from that same agency tracked me down to pitch their firm for my new company’s recruiting needs. I took great pleasure in telling them I would make sure my department NEVER worked with their company as long as I worked there!

    • Melinda Piette

      12) We think you’d be best suited for our temporary pool. Even though you are currently employed at a stable, full time job
      13) Why don’t you register for our temp assignments while you’re looking? We’ll keep you working until we find you a permanent job.
      With #13, true story. I registered (because you never know) and never heard back from them. Some 6+ months later, they called one morning with a dreadful, one day, low paying job. I couldn’t that day, because I had my final interview for my current position (a permanent, full time one that I found on my own, of course). The recruiter was completely flabbergasted that I declined the one day gig and wasn’t on my knees, sobbing with tears of joy at the opportunity she was offering me.

    • Desert Fox

      You are absolutely right, I do not trust recruiters anymore, many times happened with me, they contacted me for curtain jobs and upon follow up, hardly they reply back, my advice do not work with recruiters, contact the employer direct.

  • YoggerMan

    I had a guy – heh, heh, heh! – no joke people…I had a guy….says to me: “I ain’t on no drugs. I can sling this shit into the hog pile best as any man. Damn tootin'”. Well – heh, heh! – no kiddin’, guy takes the pee test, flunks. Whadda surprise. I confront the bugger about it. Know what he says? Do ya? I’ll tell ya! He says, “Well that musta been in Colorado. You know it’s legal now in Colorado? Yeah, I was in Denver, trying to get into a Bronco game, and decided to stop off for a quick toke at the local reefer bar – yeah, they got those in Denver – and I had a few tokes. But hell, I didn’t know legally puffin’ the old booger would be binding on results here in good old Alabamy!….aw, c’mon, boss! I really need this shit slingin’ job! C’mon boss! C’MON!!!!” …. well, needless to say, while laughin’ my ass off, I signed the old bastard up on my dung digging crew. Now he’s the best, “legal” pot smokin’ shit shoveler I ever hired….gotta love it. Ya gotta!

    • Drock

      this hurt my brain to read.

    • lawdawg

      you should take that act on the road

    • Pro

      i hate alabama

    • MDShelest

      I loved this story.

  • Crystal S.

    This article is brilliant! I especially love the education lies and your rebuttals! I will keep these responses in mind in the future. And, I appreciate your candidness on HR perpetuating the lies. You’re absolutely correct.

    • Tim Sackett

      No, you’re brilliant for seeing my brillance! 😉

  • John M

    Interesting article. Many of these excuses I can believe, BUT if they didn’t call (that wonderful concept of communication), then I am not buying any excuse. When you are broke everything breaks at the worst time, and everything is about to break due to your inability to pay to have it fixed before the issue causes your vehicle to become immobile. You could say they are walking on thin ice.

    One excuse is the limit though!

  • Disappointed

    Lying is part of human defense mechanism. We all have been caught with our hands in the cookie jar. Sure it is wrong to lie under any circumstance. But this article is kind of too negative in the sense that it tries to portray most candidates as liars. And the tone of the article pokes fun at the candidates. No matter how wrong the candidate is, don’t poke fun at the candidate — he/she pays your bills.
    Job interview is a stressful experience for any candidate regardless of how experienced he/she may be. Perhaps if the interviewer can make the candidate more comfortable lying may relegate to a second preference.

    Poking fun at others’ follies excites some — after all we all enjoy watching the “Funniest Home Videos” watching people fall and injure and hurt themselves. Instead of focusing on the negatives, “accentuate the positive”. Write your experiences on how candidates’ honesty and truthfulness won over the interviewer.
    I got my job here where I am working now because I told the interviewer the truth. Weeks after I got hired, the interviewer, now my Lead, told me that he hired me because I was the only one who promptly responded with a “No” in areas where I have actually not worked in.
    My personal experience tells me that some interviewers have Brobdignagian expectations of the candidate for a Lilliputian job. Perhaps if the interviewers can keep the expectations more realistic, it will surely help.

  • J

    don’t worry…we laugh our asses off at the ridiculous and foolish
    HR people we meet along the way as well…and share the horror stories of incompetence that exist in all HR groups.

  • Madic

    Is it me or do HR people have god complex? It seems the smaller the role the bigger the complex.

    • ZdenoChara33

      HA HA HA!! This is the BEST comment i’ve read. Well said. HR professionals for the msot part hate working with recruiters because we make them look bad when we find a great candidate for a position. We’re not trying to take anyone’s job…we’re trying to earn a living and it would be awesome if HR professionals could be more receptive and warm to recruiters.

      • John

        Haha, HR people = recruiters.

        • Mike

          As a recruiter, I despise that opinion. I try to understand the people around me, and what they do.

          • guest

            Right! Some of the comments on here about recruiters are pretty mean. Sure I make money off of them, but I’m the one calling them with a job. They can whine all they want but in the end, they need us too.

          • SUnsan

            I had a recruiter practically stalk me for several days via email and phone. I got in touch with her gave her all my info.. what I was looking for etc. I found a job myself within a month….never did hear back from her. lol

          • Madic

            At least recruiters’ fee is dependent on whether they do their job and their business is depended down the road on the quality of the hires they produce.

    • I_Love_KU_ver2.0

      describe a challenging situation and how you overcame it…..well, i googled how to fix my washing machine…bought the part and fixed it myself…how’s that mrs stupid HR person

    • guest

      There’s a reason why HR is every MBA’s least favorite subject and why we call people who major in the subject “HR Wienies”

    • Albulena

      Definitely … I love your comment…The best one! 🙂

    • mdox

      agreed… i was turned down by recruiter for not having multi-tasking experience. it was pathetic to argue with that dimwit that i had been multitasking for a decade. so i sent an email to hiring manager and he hired me in my current job… stupid no good recruiters….

      • Twirly

        How, pray tell, does one prove multi-tasking experience?

      • Melinda Piette

        Even better—my entire employment history is in hospitality sales and marketing and I had been most recently a department head. My resume clearly documented this, along with my track record—-the recruiter kept asking me, “well what exactly did you do? Did you ever type and file?”
        A) doesn’t she work in a sales job herself? B) no, she wasn’t 95 years old!

  • RecruiterSteph03

    Another “Experience Lie” that I get all the time…

    “I have done that, but I didn’t put it on my resume.”

    So you are applying for a very specific position, but you don’t put all of your relevant experience on your resume? Okay. That makes sense!

    • optimal_carnage

      totally does. what point is there in putting every job on the a resume when we are beaten over and over with the 1 page rule?? as long as they can talk about it, it should be fine

    • Guest

      Yeah sometimes you have to weigh what is important enough to include and what isn’t. Space limitations, etc. Makes total sense. Why does everyone assume everyone is automatically lying? I would hate to have to apply for a job at both the writer or this poster’s company.

  • Kathy

    Great article ! Funny and insightful. However, it would have been even better if it would have addressed misleading recruiters that offer hope; then suddenly withdraw. I’m an honest candidate and I just can’t seem to get a break ! I’m educated and in the process of getting an advanced degree. But, go figure !

    • Tim Sackett

      I don’t disagree with you but people confuse recruiting for HR. Recruiting is marketing – all we have to ‘sell’ is hope!

  • m k

    Interesting article because businesses and HR employees always tell the truth. They never lie.

    • Tim Sackett

      mk –
      I can state with 100% positivity that HR does not tell the truth – because I’ve been in HR for 20 years and for the ‘business’ have had to tell a lie, or lose my job. That’s the real world – sometimes it sucks! 😉

      • I_Love_KU_ver2.0

        so credibility and integrity are important to you and other recruiters…you guys are just smarmy sales people

        • Tim Sackett

          Well paid Smarmy sales people.


          • I_Love_KU_ver2.0

            im sure….but there are those of us who can buy and sell you….but whatever makes you happy

          • MJ

            You just lost any amount of credibility you may have had with that comment.

          • Poseidon

            Kind of like successful car salesmen. Unscrupulous con artists, but well-paid nonetheless.

          • Melinda Piette

            Gee Tim, so are drug dealers and pimps. What a shallow, soulless, petty person you are!

  • ringtail

    How often do you hear this from recruiters: ‘we work a 40 hour week’ (reality: you’ll be working 50+ hours a week). ‘this opening has arisen due to expansion/promotion/… (reality: the last guy couldn’t take any more). ‘promotion is based purely on merit here’ (reality: as if). The list goes on. Recruiters need to get their own house in order before complaining about candidates lying.

    • Jon Jones

      it can go the other way too. Sometimes they say its a 50 hour week and it turns out that you struggle to make 35 hours a week. When you are on an hourly contract that can really dig in to your pay expectations

      • Melinda Piette

        Good point. My friend’s current speech pathologist assignment keeps cutting her hours

  • YoggerMan

    I had a guy – heh, heh, heh! – no joke people…I had a
    guy….says to me: “I ain’t on no drugs. I can sling this shit
    into the hog pile best as any man. Damn tootin'”. Well – heh,
    heh! – no kiddin’, guy takes the pee test, flunks. Whadda surprise.
    I confront the bugger about it. Know what he says? Do ya?
    I’ll tell ya! He says, “Well that musta been in Colorado. You
    know it’s legal now in Colorado? Yeah, I was in Denver, trying to get
    into a Bronco game, and decided to stop off for a quick toke at the local
    reefer bar – yeah, they got those in Denver – and I had a few tokes. But
    hell, I didn’t know legally puffin’ the old booger would be binding on results
    here in good old Alabamy!….aw, c’mon, boss! I really need this shit
    slingin’ job! C’mon boss! C’MON!!!!” …. well, needless
    to say, while laughin’ my ass off, I signed the old bastard up on my dung
    digging crew. Now he’s the best, “legal” pot smokin’ shit
    shoveler I ever hired….gotta love it. Ya gotta!

    • Melinda Piette

      You already posted it. BTW, since apparently you waive the results, why are you wasting $$$ on drug tests? And if it’s “corporate policy” then they wouldn’t let you hire anyone who fails, anyway.

  • Andre Bonnet

    I can see your point in writing this article, but it does paint a very unbalanced view. Also, I believe that information given to you by candidates is largely confidential and discussing it in group is, at the very best, a borderline unethical practice. Although I am not an HR professional, I have recruited and interviewed (alongside HR personnel) hundreds of candidates. I have many hair raising and humorous stories on the back of that, which would go down like a treat in a group conversation or as dinner conversation, yet I withhold myself from doing so and have never to date divulged any of them. And this is without even mentioning the practices of many recruitment and staffing agents. Equally, I would say that the true connoisseur of human nature understands that people in general are not automatons: human nature comes with various shades and you cannot apply the same point-of-view to every single situation you come across. Listening to each individual and each case is key, so snap judgements like the one below aren’t always applicable, no matter how good a soundbite they are.

  • cc

    The recruiting team and HR department should always check the documentation or facts of the statements before making a quick decisions. So many times have I seen where the recruiting team will believe in a lie over the actually truth. Some candidates do so well in the interview process and can have a major influence over the decisions of both the recruiting team and the HR dept., whereas, candidates who may otherwise be less communicative have many talents, experience and or verifiable proof of education, etc. to land the position. In my opinion, always confirm the facts, then make a final determination of potential candidates. This may not always be the case, but, I too have seen some questionable comments that actually turned out to be the truth and worked with people who have lied there way into a position that they were never suited for. The recruiting team and HR must be better qualified and realize that it takes more time to verify all the information. Time is money. But, having qualified, trustworthy people is worth the extra effort.

  • m k

    This is interesting because businesses and HR always tell the truth. They never lie.

  • Dexter Nelson

    I had a recruiter tell me off on the phone once when I called and said I couldn’t make the meeting because I was in an accident. The company asked her a few days later what happened to me (I was their pick) and she said I lied to get out of the interview. Then she lost her job when i produced the police report to the job (they contacted me directly) and they weren’t very happy that she just assumed I was lying. I get that recruiters hear a lot of excuses, but that kinda comes along with the territory doesn’t it?

    • trothaar

      FTW!!! I’m glad you held that moron accountable for her lies.

  • Cleverclocks

    How about everyone stops lying and gives people who are honest to a fault a chance? Oh wait… people who always tell the truth aren’t accepted in our society. Oops, forgot.

    • Tim Sackett

      Clever –
      No one wants the truth…

      • Cleverclocks

        if that statement is true, that is extremely sad and that is exactly why our world is the way it is. And if you believe that, then my heart breaks for you. It must be a miserable way to live, always trying to keep up with your lies, never actually knowing anything.

  • optimal_carnage

    after having a phone interview, an in person interview, shooting, editing and posting a “video resume”, gathering references, shooting, editing, and posting “video references” for Intern Sushi, the recruiter stopped returning my emails. No explanation, no word, no nothing. So yeah, this is definitely a two street buddy.

    • Tim Sackett

      Optimal –
      Recruiting is a volume game – reality. If your not going to fill the bill for that recruiter – they’re moving on. It’s not personal – it’s business, buddy.

      • I_Love_KU_ver2.0

        do other recruiters spell better than you

        • Tim Sackett

          Yes, yes they do! Trying to respond to 90+ comments without spell check is a bitch!

          • I_Love_KU_ver2.0


      • nosleepma

        “your?” really?!!!! These are people I never explain myself to.

        • Melinda Piette

          In one of his other actual articles (not comments section) he used “their” for “there”. But to be fair, I worked for the largest contract F&B company in the world of one of the senior VPs used “week” for “weak”.
          Shorter version: you can freely ignore elementary school grammar and still BS your way up the corporate ladder.

      • guest


        You really do represent the scum of your industry. Bravo.

        I have had to deal with your kind before, and as somebody who makes over six figures a year, I have seen the full depth of ass kissing you guys will do to get a paycheck.

        I’ve also hired your type. You make real HR people look bad, because in my time I have also met really great recruiters who genuinely make connections with people.

        You are a two bit show on the side of the road. I hope this article makes you lose some business. You are like the ambulance chasing lawyer or used car salesman, in a world where there can be quality and substance in your trade.

        You should focus more on making genuine connections and see yourself as a bridge between solving the problem of finding and placing talent, and seeing these people you try to sell, as just that – talent.

        Best of luck, I hope the internet trolls make you miserable, you will certainly deserve it.

  • peter

    What a callous perspective.

  • Alien

    Well, dear HR people, how about your favorite “We will let you know either way by next week”? Not to make any excuses or justification for sloppy business manners, what goes around comes around. If you want and expect responsible candidates, how about treating them professionally as well?

  • The Truth

    As a recruiter I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. Yes when the lies surface we feel terrible, it makes us look terrible to our clients, and our bosses say “As a recruiter it is your job to pick up on these things” when someone flakes out on the first day or no calls/no shows. But at then end of the day you need the type of relationship with your candidates that they feel comfortable telling you the truth. The best way to get that type of honesty is to GIVE that type of honesty, but even then we still get burned. AND its not usually the recruiter who is calling you with bogus positions. A lot of times we are handed a position, under the belief that it is a true position, we gather resumes, interview, and then when candidates are asking for feedback, we go back to that sales person and they say “Oh, I was trying to get an agreement in place with XYZ company, they have that position open on their website, but I cant get anyone to answer my calls” Wait so this job was never even real?! As a recruiter, I find this article to snarky and degrading of the candidates, which without them, none of us would be working

  • ZdenoChara33

    I typically find the comments on an article to be far more entertaining and contain more value than an actual article. This is coming from a recruiter’s perspective who has been in the industry for over 5 years.
    First – as a recruiter, someone commented below saying something along the lines of “you signed up for this” and I fully agree. Whether you’re recruting candidates or developing business with new clients, the bottom line is you’re dealing with people. And human beings are the most fickle beings on the planet. Everything is fine and dandy one minute and changes instantly the next whether it’s a candidate with car trouble or a Hiring Manager saying “we decided to fill the position with an internal employee” – and that’s after spending hours recrutiing, submitting candidates, preppaing candidates, checking references, keeping candidates “warm”. And then things fall apart and we’re left sratching out heads. You either cope with it and move on, or you sulk, let it wear you down and decide recruiting isn’t for you after 6 months.
    Second – to the “candidates” complaining about how awful recruiters are – it’s also a two way street with both sides. There are good recruiters and there are bad recruiters. There are good candidates and there are bad candidates. Love it how this has become a “bashing” party for both sides. Candidates don’t understand what goes on at our desks as recruiters for one. The biggest mistake that candidates make is the “assumption” that we find them jobs when the reality is that me, as a recruiter, doesn’t CREATE jobs or CREATE companies. We partner with various clients with various open positions and it’s in our job to fill those positions because time is money. Of course there is a right way and wrong way to do things. As a recruiter/Client Relationship Manager at my recruiting firm, I find the best thing to do is ALWAYS be honest, upfront, and genuine with the candidates and clients. Give them those extra 3 minutes instead of hurrying them off the phone because alter down the road when I have 30-45 seconds for you, he/she (the candidate) understands that you’re busy!
    Third (and finally…i’ll stop ranting) – don’t understand how the writer of this article is being “bashed” for discussing “confidential” information. You know how many tiems recruiters hear these excuses and will continue to hear them for the bext 50 years? ike Hiring Managers at companies haven’t heard the same load of crap from their own employees. Don’t see any issues at all with the content of the article unless he said “Judy Smith of 123 Main Street in Lansing, MI who is the Corporate Controller at XYZ Company was about the accept a position at ABC Company but then decided last minute to pull herslef out of the process and turned down an offer because her mother is in the hospital.” THAT is an example of violating confidentiality. Not listing out excuses like “My car broke down.”

  • Fred McCoy II

    “I did all the classes, I just need to pay the fees to graduate.” (So you spent four plus years going to school, got done, but that last couple of hundred dollars stopped you from graduating?) – Yeah actually.
    Except it’s thousands of dollars students pay after they’re done with school and they don’t get the diploma till it’s paid. This is a real thing for some students, way to demean it in a generalizing statement. You’re probably missing out on some great talent if you think that’s a “lie”.

    • Matt

      Mine is close to that as well. I was 1 hour away from graduating. But I already had a portfolio, got a job, and never cared to finish. Do I care if some shitty recruiter thinks that’s a lie? Nope. Doing just fine when actual directors call me up, thanks.

      • Tim Sackett

        If you can get paid – more power to you!

    • Tim Sackett

      Fred –
      It wasn’t meant to be demeaning – this is based on experience – never once in my 20 years of recruiting have I run into someone with this excuse where it has come out they have actually finished the corse work. As a recruiter if I had great talent – I’d offer to pay it myself through the company – if that’s all it was – so far it hasn’t been.

      • Sandy

        Tim, I did 4 years of BS degree up to the last month. Then the college didn’t allow me to present my conclusion on the way I wanted and I never graduated. I was going to be out of the country and wanted to do over webcam (in 1997).

        You should read the comments above on how the majority people perceive HR personnel.

      • Prax

        Tim I think you make some very good points, but I can see how people may take your article as “definitive” because it didn’t seem to allow for much wiggle room for people who actually do end up in odd situations. For just as many people that you have worked with where their excuse was not valid, there are hundreds of millions of cases other people have experienced where the excuses were valid. If we immediately judge a situation based on a previous experience, then the outcome will likely be the same as the last. If we treat each situation as new and unique, the outcome has the possibility to be a pleasant surprise.

        No matter how many years of experience we have, our experience is just one possibility in an infinite sea of possibilities. With human memory and cognitive behavior, only the last 5 years are even relevant in most cases. Most observations/decisions made by people are heavily based on the last 3 months of experience, then loosely on all the rest. We also cannot accurately predict the outcome of any experience before it happens, regardless of our past experience or expertise leading us to a logical conclusion that we should treat each experience as unique and not try to group, categorize, or justify them.

        20 years of experience has a lot of value. Openly acknowledging that many people have and will have different experience and that we cannot simply condemn everyone based on the same observations that have been made over the years through only our eyes allows us to remain humble (though some people may still take things personally).

        All too many times I have had my experience shirked off by someone who sees their 30+ years of experience as having more value than my own 10+ years of experience, when really a truly understanding and open minded person will always understand that no matter how much or how little experience exists in an individual, it is the combined experience of those two individuals and the willingness of both to allow themselves to develop new opinions based on discussions that will ultimately form new, better, and more valid opinions. Of course this only works if both people do not consider their opinion to be the truth.

        Good article, very good read. Thank you.

      • gigi

        how you wish you had never written this post! next time “think harder” before you judge.

    • Graphic Designer

      ^^ This. Exactly. I’ve been out for three years and JUST NOW finished paying off my bill. Only now that I’ve paid off the tuition bill will I be allowed to take the exit exam and “officially” graduate.

      Maybe some students are lucky enough to have a supportive family, and help paying off those last few hundreds of dollars so they can walk across the stage after all those years.

      I wasn’t one of those people. I am, however, one of the ONLY people from my graduating class (and major) to be gainfully employed in my profession.

      I also don’t feel the need to undermine my experience by telling this story. I did my time. I completed all of the coursework, and when I finally get done jumping through the hoops, I will have the piece of paper to hang on my wall and go un-noticed for the rest of my life.

      How many stellar candidates are you missing out on because they didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in their mouths?

      • SUnsan

        Never heard of such a thing. I went with student loans both times I went to college so the college itself got it’s money.. I’m still paying the government though.

      • MDShelest

        um… some of us went to school on VA benefits and that’s how we were able to pay for school. I sure woulda liked a silver spoon in Afghan. Sorry to interrupt everyone’s rant. please continue.

  • Beezow Bop-Bop

    I like how they have at the bottom of the screen – Contact HR if you have a problem. Well on numerous occasions requesting additional information on qualifications for a job posting I never received a response. I also like how HR posts jobs that are already filled or leave the job available because they are too lazy to pull it off the website. Like everyone else says on here. It’s a two way street. Also being completely honest doesn’t guarantee the job either.

  • John

    My all time favorite is you go through the phone interview, go through at least one, maybe two face to face interviews and NEVER HEAR FROM THEM AGAIN!

    • Tim Sackett

      John –
      That’s the one thing I think is unforgiveable as a Recruiter! At least call the person and tell them they’re out – way too many people in this industry are conflict avoidant and can’t make that one simple call!

      • Sherry

        Tim, I agree that a lot of people have brought some needed insight to your article. I’ll give the other side.

        I was laid off from my job in February. I worked with a lot of recruiters and I would never search for a job any other way. Perhaps there are some smarmy losers out there but the ones I dealt with were all extremely professional. (HR people are another story!). You can edit this out but Dave Sterenfeld at Corporate Dynamix worked very hard for me and never lost faith. I’m glad he’s getting the commission. He really earned it.

        I actually considered being a recruiter due to knowing so many good candidates and being in sales. And knowing how damn good the money is. If you’re willing to work like, 80 hrs a week!

        There are some very good ones out there. Don’t confuse HR people at companies w/recruiters. Those guys just collect a paycheck. Recruiters are usually independent and have to place someone before they ever see a dime.

    • Madic

      Hey that’s happened to me at a major corporation called Bloomberg! Never heard from them after the interview. Then again the management at Bloomberg is notorious and turnovers are high to prove that.

  • Hermann

    Sure people lie but my experience with a lot of HR people is that they lie too and just don’t know how to do their job and are extremly unhelpful once working at a company.

  • LyingBastard

    What a worthless article.

    • Tim Sackett

      Thank you.

  • sovereynder

    Has somebody posted a forum for “How Recruiters/Companies Lie, and the Best Lies The Always Seem To Tell”? Just as equally as this column has some truth to it, there is also another side to every coin. I can guarantee you the publication that I suggested would triple in length to this review. The difference is that in today’s economy, if we as candidates called the recruiter out on the lies that they tell us during an interview, we would not even be considered for the position listed (whether that position listed truly exists or not).

  • Daniel Sisson

    You know the mutual decision thing can be true. It would be in interesting cases, but it can be true.
    I know of a guy who was working for a start-up and the company wasn’t doing well. They offered more equity instead of cash. He refused. They parted ways. That’s fairly mutual.
    I know of a project manager who’s company was running low on projects and had no client to bill her too, they tried to move her over to production. She said she didn’t want to. They had a discussion. They parted ways.
    In both cases they could have stayed, but it was better for their own lives to move on. They willing left, but they didn’t quit. the company tried to retain them, but couldn’t based on various variables.
    It’s not always black and white.

    • trothaar

      I was about to post about the same issue. There are many circumstances under which both employer and employee agree that the employee is simply not the right fit for a particular position.

      Usually these situations arise soon after the employee joins the company. Perhaps both parties felt that the employee was “the perfect candidate” for the job, but it turned out that the employee hated the job, or maybe just wasn’t very good at it (not for lack of effort or work ethic, but skill set). The employer and employee discuss the situation, and the employee agrees to leave, though not on bad terms with the employer. It’s not a situation where anyone did anything wrong; it’s like a dating relationship that did not work out.

      Another scenario is if the company relocates as a whole, or relocates the employee’s particular job or department, and the employee is not in a position to move.

      Rather than responding with a snarky remark, I would instead probe the applicant for the details: “Can you explain what happened?” If they cannot provide a coherent, reasonable explanation, THEN you’ve got a red flag.

      • Daniel Sisson

        Or the employer changes the terms. Or the employee is looking to grow and there’s no more room for growth, or a myriad of other reasons too.

      • Mel

        Or the employer failed to tell you that it is actually a mat leave contract, and that it’s actually physically dealing with warehouse inventory when you were originally hired as a sales manager. Or that you are actually doing what used to be three unrelated people’s jobs. And you are asked to go home because you are sick, but they don’t pay for sick days. Ya, I “mutually” left a place too.

  • optimal_carnage

    judging from the comments, both from recruiters and candidates, this article needs to broaden its scope. its easy to bash one or the other, but the simple truth is when times are tough, candidates get more desperate and companies get more ruthless.

  • dudeimperfect

    this.. is a HORRIBLE article.

    “When you said Java, I thought you meant experience making coffee.”

    • saywhatnow

      These have to be low paying jobs they are hiring for.

  • Mike

    Lying to get a job may workout at the start, but you will soon be found out. I do not talk from experience, however, as I do not lie on my resume. Never misrepresent yourself.

    • Madic

      You do not talk from experience, so you repeat what you were told by HR articles? 🙂 You’d be surprised what people get away with.

      • Mike

        No, I have friends who have lied to get jobs and it has come back to bite them in the butt later. I choose to not lie because I do not like to misrepresent myself.

    • Melinda Piette

      Really? Frequently you’d be surprised how easy the basic functions of most workplaces are. Granted, I’m not discussing pretending to an open heart surgeon, but generally you can learn new software programs or how to sell stuff while you’re there. I’ve frequently embellished and then spent a few days learning how to do whatever.
      Never been caught

  • Pam

    I went home sick from a receptionist job & was diagnosed with tonsillitis – couldn’t talk, so answering phones wasn’t possible. Lived alone. Didn’t call in sick the next a.m., so they fired me. Does that make sense? Couldn’t talk. Lived alone. Went home 12 hours earlier with no voice…so it isn’t impossible for corporate people to be stupid. That said, I’ve worked with a LOT of liars who got away with the most ridiculous excuses for not coming to work — including a dog that needed a week of medical treatment in another city. OMG, so professional!

    • LM

      Ever hear of email?

      • trothaar

        Perhaps this happened a number of years ago, before email existed, or at least before it was common for everyone to have it. It wasn’t that long ago that very few people had Internet access at home, and many companies didn’t even have websites. (I worked for a small law office as late as 2003/2004 that had neither Internet access nor a web site.)

        • LM

          So maybe Pam didn’t have email at this time, but a no-show at a receptionist position could be costly. If I weren’t going to show up at work (and couldn’t talk…), I would have had the doctor’s office that diagnosed the tonsillitis call/fax/email in note to say I would be out. You don’t just not show up. Sorry.

          • trothaar

            I do tend to agree with you. I suspect Pam was very young and inexperienced when this happened; this may have been her very first job right out of high school. That’s not an excuse, just an explanation.

      • Tim Sackett

        LM –
        Liars don’t respond to logic…

        • Melinda Piette

          You really are a smug, judgmental creature, aren’t you?

  • Guest

    If this HR professional is screening out candidates because they say they were a “member of the leadership team responsible for the implementation” – THEY should be fired. This is a completely legitimate way to describe a manager’s involvement in a project, especially if it is part of a cross-functional team.

    Also, the “no company does this” referring to being fired for a family member getting in an accident and needing time off. Yes, that does happen.

  • folasade

    ha ha its better not to lie, here’s an article on it you lose your job because of something stupid.

  • SA

    What if you finished all your credits and thinking about retaking some courses before graduation… but had a job opportunity that got in the way, so you held off re-taking the courses and graduating?

  • TohellwithHR

    Oh. An HR professional wants the truth, really? Well, here’s the truth: I have the experience I have to make myself attractive for the job I am applying for, and to offer good value (if not added value) to the company. I am not here to steal my supervisor’s job. No, the fact that I have had short term employment doesn’t mean I am fickle, it just means that I am not a hanger-on trying to justify his job when he’s obviously redundant. Unless invited to stay, when the job is done, I move on! Also, I don’t need to “fit” in a corporate culture, because culture is about diversity, and so you have to accept difference. No, my arms akimbo are not a sign of defensiveness, I just have a big gut. No, looking away doesn’t mean I am deceitful, I am just looking for words. I don’t smile because I’m nervous, and because I don’t like talking about myself, not because I am jerk. I have other truths to tell about HR people, if you’d like to hear them…

  • jdawgjayj

    “I (or any family member) was in a bad accident and in the hospital, so they fired me for not showing up to work.” (No they didn’t – there are some bad companies out there, but no company does this.)

    Reading this again just pisses me off even more. I’m missing a finger to prove it. I got the letter of termination while I was in the hospital post surgery for not showing up to work. You may not have done that if it was your decision. But it is a fact it happens to many people and is an honest truth.

    • Tim Sackett

      As a HR Pro here’s how I respond to this – No company would do this unless there were other underlying issues – poor performance, etc. It is not in the best interest of a company to let go of a good employee because they got in an accident – only bad publicity comes from that. It’s bad business. I’m sorry this happened to you – the only thing I can say is there are bad companies out there and if they do stupid stuff like what happened to you – they won’t be in business for long.


      • trothaar

        ——No company would do this unless there were other underlying issues – poor performance, etc.—– That assumes the company, or at least the manager in charge of that particular employee, will do what it is in its best interest. That is not always the case.

        I spent several years working as a paralegal in workers’ compensation and insurance defense. It was not unusual for us to see cases where an employee was fired for being injured (on or off duty), or was injured at work but not allowed to seek medical attention. (One guy had to have his leg amputated because he smashed his femur with a huge wrench, fracturing it, but his manager told him to just sit and put ice on it, and made him stay until the end of his shift, some six hours later.) These decisions were almost always made by some unskilled, untrained, idiot “manager” earning $10.00/hour to supervise those making minimum wage. After the case went into litigation–costing the client company tens of thousands of dollars–the manager would be fired, but the damage was already done, and likely that idiot would be replaced by another idiot apt to do the same thing later down the road.

        Those were just the cases that went into litigation. Many people decide not to sue, even if they are truly unjustly fired, because they do not want their lives to be consumed by years of litigation; they would rather just walk away and go on with their lives. Having worked in the field I did, having seen what happens up-close, I would be leery of suing a former employer except under the most extreme of circumstances. Litigation is not fun. It is truly the Nuclear Option.

      • Mel

        I will have to respectfully disagree with you Tim. I once got in a bad car accident, was told by the doctors to take 2 months off, (who unfortunately called my employer with that news before I could), As a result, I was told that if I didn’t come in the following Monday, not to bother coming back at all.

        Needing the job, injury be damned, I went into work. Three weeks later, I received a HUGE raise.

        If there was a performance or another type of “issue”, why offer a raise just after they threaten to terminate? Just an example of how messed up companies can be sometimes.

      • MDShelest

        As a former business owner and personnel manager, this may be the only post you made that I agree with, Tim. You’ve taken a lot of slack for commenting in this article. In some cases, people are correct. In other respects they are wrong. Mainly I think people forget that is it Saturday and most people, including yourself, are probably off work. I defend everyone who tries their very best to do the very best job that they can personally do. That applies to business heads, HR, recruiters, engineer’s, and yes the occasional dung shovel man. A few mature individuals have made the comment that we are all wired differently. You have tried to open people’s minds to how difficult your profession can be, and a lot of people took you wrong. Advice: Don’t take this so personal, and folk won’t personally attack you – they are wired differently. Naturally, as an engineer, I have my opinions and this doesn’t make us buddy’s. But like everyone, my opinion just might stink, so I refrain from sharing it.

      • jdawgjayj

        They wanted to get me off the payroll as an expense because the next few months would cost them more, and they would have to deal with a One handed worker for at least 6-8 months. That is the reason.

  • Tracy

    I’m a recruiter and I am sorry but Mr. Sackett does not seem to know what he is talking about. Yes, at some point you will get a candidate who is telling a lie, but I have to ask myself what lies are you perpetuating? Because I am sure you come across as a slick-talking jerk who will say anything to get a candidate to do what you want them to do, even know the situation is not as you portray it. And if you lie to the candidate why wouldn’t they lie to you in return?

    • Tim Sackett

      You’re probably right – I don’t know what I’m talking about.

  • anti corp america

    Where’s the article about the lies that HR reps tell you about the job for which you are interviewing? I was hired and asked to make at least a 3 year commitment to a job. 6 months later the company had money issues and my position was eliminated because the program I inherited “wasn’t performing well before you arrived, so it’s the easiest to eliminate.” Would have been nice to tell me the program was crap and already on the chopping block!

    • trothaar

      A couple of years ago, I interviewed for and took what was described to me as a marketing and sales *support* (read: administrative) job.

      Upon arrival on my first day of work, I found out that the job was, instead, a full-on sales gig. That would not have been so bad if the job had not involved selling highly technical software products that I did not understand, to customers primarily located outside the U.S. who did not speak English…with absolutely no training at all on sales techniques or, worse yet, the products themselves. There was also no commission offered, just a $35k/year salary.

      I found out later that the proper title for this job should have been “Sales Engineer,” and that the salary should have been around $80,000.00/year, plus commission. I also found out that the last individual who had been successful at this job had been earning that much, and that after he’d left in disgust, five months prior to hiring me, at least a half a dozen other people had sat at my desk.

      I lasted 33 days before leaving in disgust myself. That was 2.5 years ago. The employer HAS NEVER FILLED THE JOB. At least once a month, I see him running another ad.

      If he had been honest about the nature and scope of that job, I would have never taken it. I had no sales experience or training, and even if I had, I would have still needed extensive training on the products. I did not do anything wrong. I did not lie about my skills or background. He lied to me about what the job entailed…and apparently he’s continued to lie to all successive applicants, which is why he cannot fill the position.

  • Kelly

    Most recruiters are clueless themselves, they become recruiters since they couldn’t get a REAL job in the Real World

    • Tim Sackett

      You are correct. God bless America and this $5B industry that recruitment is.

  • I_Love_KU_ver2.0

    most HR guys are just overweight fat slobs who couldnt get jobs that require real skills…

    • Tim Sackett

      This might be the best comment of them all!

  • William Alexander Josaphat

    Interesting lies

  • zandeman

    Glad you’re able to have a laugh at the people who want to work with you.

  • Terry

    Don Imus puts it best. You never get a straight answer from anybody. Everyone’s a lying skunk. HR people lie, managers lie, candidates lie. I’ve yet to meet a hiring manager who is direct. I am, and it’s cost me but better that than being a skunk and still getting nowhere.

  • Chad

    This is a very narrow and cynical article, and does not give the benefit of the doubt to the candidate. Generalizations as outlined in this article are why Recruiters are considered a necessary evil, and not as a boon to the hiring process.

  • Jaded

    Somebody should write a story about the best lies that recruiters/companies tell their top applicants as well. I’m thinking:

    “How HR Teams Lie and the Best Lies They Always Seem to Tell”

  • Antek Baranski

    “We (HR) also perpetuate this problem by hiring the folks” since when does HR do the hiring??

    Any company that has HR deciding on who to hire or not is doing something wrong, if only for one reason I have yet to meet the first HR person who can make an informed judgement about any candidate’s capabilities and fit for a role.

    The hiring decision can only be made by the hiring manager or better yet the team.

  • DayDreamer

    Both the recruiter and the candidate need to be more honest. But there seems to be more negative response towards the recruiters. If the recruiters would start being more honest, maybe the candidate would be more honest. And I agree with one of the comments about the money left to pay at the end of someone’s degree. Today it’s not only $200.00 , it’s in the thousands left to pay in college fees. Today sometime’s it cost as much as a home to go to college., depending on where you go to college.. But getting in a car crash, or saying my car wouldn’t start is the oldest lie in the book.

  • trothaar

    —- there are some bad companies out there, but no company does this.—– It’s nice that you never worked at a company like that, but I worked at a bunch of them. This is especially common in retail and food service jobs, though low-level office jobs aren’t beyond this type of behavior, either.

  • Brit

    HR — is that Human Remains or what we used to call Personnel ? Either way, many are not as important as they think they are

  • squirley

    now where’s the article about the lies told by hiring mangers and recruiters?

  • Whyte

    There are some nasty employers out there: I was dismissed from a job I loved because I fractured my foot in three places. My employer was a physiotherapy service provider.

  • max

    I’m really glad this article badly backfired with people railing at the poster.

    It’s in bad taste and offensive towards interviewees.

    • Tim Sackett

      Max –
      It didn’t backfire – it got more traffic for TLNT than they’ve had all month. It did exactly what it was suppose to do.

  • Stolting Media Group

    This article certainly displays a level of unprofessionalism. I would consider sitting around in a meeting talking about candidates in the way that you are to be immature to say the least, if not insulting. Maybe instead of “shouting out to your recruiters (and all recruiters everywhere),” it might be a good idea to seriously consider publicly apologizing to each and every candidate that has ever crossed your path. Social media has a way of backfiring on one’s business when articles such as this one are passed around and go viral in a negative way. 2. Successful candidates are your bread and butter. They deserve some respect! If they lie to you, it’s probably because you lost theirs. From this article, we can see why.

  • CC

    I have to agree, the biggest liars are the recruiters! They troll for resumes even when they don’t have any jobs, start by ask you questions about if you are interviewing with any other companies (in order to protect you. .NOT!) and if you mistakenly tell them the name of the company they steal it and send in their own candidates behind you. I had this happen to me 15 years ago. . .NEVER again. They try to fill some roles with the cheapest person, not the best person all to make a commission.

  • Nikki R

    As entertaining as this article is, I have to call out one thing… ever heard of Murphy’s Law?

    I shit you not. While it’s never happened before a job interview, there have been PLENTY times when I want to be on time for something and my car just…. does what it wants, I guess.

    But it’s more of a problem for people applying for minimum wage work and young adults, I assume. Since we’re usually the ones with the crappy cars, lol. I drove a car for two years that wouldn’t crank if the temperature was even a tad too cold outside. Luckily I live in South Georgia, so it wasn’t a big deal – most of the time.

    But I still showed up late to a few meetings, and school too, because of it.

    Other than that, these excuses are laughable. I’ve never felt a reason to lie in an interview.. which may be why I have a very high interview success rate (and why I do career coaching today).

    I’ll be sure to print out this article and have a discussion with my clients about this when we go over interview success tips.

    Thanks for sharing your Monday morning laughs with us. 🙂

    • Madic

      There are thousands of people, who have interviews every day. There are thousands of things that can go wrong, car breakdown being one of them. It’s not exactly improbably that a car would break down that day. It’s not like people waste their time filling out applications just to stand up an employer during the interview day.

  • Charles Chambers

    Sorry, but the two best ones I always get as a candidate are:

    1) I have a client who…

    2) I have this open position….

  • highlulu

    “I (or any family member) was in a bad accident and in the hospital, so they fired me for not showing up to work.” (No they didn’t – there are some bad companies out there, but no company does this.)

    except for the fact that there are in fact companies out there like that. I personally got fired from my last position after being diagnosed with kidney disease, doctors requested 2 months off from work, work says “focus on yourself, your job will still be here” and all that lovely cheerful BS, right up until 1 month into that time off, I just got out of the hospital again after a surgery to get me ready for dialysis when i receive a email out of the blue telling me to hit the road… There are absolutely companies that bad out there and YES THEY DO conduct themselves in this manner.

  • saywhatnow

    I know of some one who did not pay the money to get the actual diploma from a university. Yes, it is quite plausible for some one to chose not pay $300 for a piece of paper that should be included in $75k it cost to get the education! It’s the equivalent of paying for baggage on airplanes- #badfees

  • Charles Chambers

    And, actually, I DO have an overall GPA of 2.5, but in my major field (IT) I have a 3.7 GPA. You might guess which subjects I like, but you won’t have to guess whether I’m willing to provide transcripts to prove it.

    • Skoop957

      Oh you have an IT degree? Looks like that grade you received in 17th century classical composers means other candidates are more qualified than you. We’re looking for well-rounded employees (who we can pay less to be less good at their job).

      At annual review:
      Doesn’t focus on the relevant details. Not a team player; spends all day with ear phones listening to Pandora radio.

    • MDShelest

      My overall is 3.17 with a 4.0 in my “core” courses? What is a “core” course? Every degree program I looked at before going for my EE is a full and comprehensive program designed to teach you everything you need to be good at you career choice. I didn’t know you could ‘divide’ them up. Either way, I provide my transcripts every time to prove that I do know what I am talking about. This was a really confusing reply Charles – are you looking for a job? You have a job with these qualifications? I cannot find employment with my qualifications yet you did? All I can say is that you validated this article. Everyone argument every single candidate put on this article is now pointless. You validated the “evil, bad, immoral HR’s” statements. Mabye they aren’t so bad folks. Maybe – just maybe – they have a rough job too.

      • Charles Chambers

        My general studies classes contribute to my education and to my literacy, but they sure don’t contribute a thing to my skills in the IT field. Forty-seven semester hours in IT subjects, all at once and properly selected, would be halfway to a master’s degree instead of almost to an associates. The reason they aren’t all at once is because I work for a living.

        Kinda of like the doctor who says, “You have cancer, but it’s not terminal. Before we discuss treatment, let’s share our thoughts on Chaucer”.

  • Bette

    This is author is selling something: HR crap. She must paint candidates as adversaries to create a need for businesses to pay her more. You can imagine, that once hired, the employees continue to be the adversary that she must be paid to heroically protect the company from. HR in most places are populated by people who must create fear in employers so that they can create a demand for their services. They get paid to snark and nark on employees, justifying firing, layoffs, reduction or refusal of benefits or just to keep employees from being uppity. They are not there for the employees or candidates.

    When the author snarks that no employer ever fires someone for taking off for an injury, she lacks basic Google skills. She wants employees not to like, but she’s already got her mind made up about whether you lie or not.

    Frankly, employees and workers should not be blamed for being mercenary and doing what it takes to be hired these days. And frankly, if someone tells you some “negative” news during the interview about a gap or why they got fired or whatever, she’s telling you that whatever you tell them, you are screwed. So cover up the gaps and the firings. HR always lies that “just tell them the truth” will not hurt you. Many employers only report the dates of employment, and will not say the reasons why you left. If they don’t hire you after a coverup, they would not have hired you anyway.

    The takeaway? Never take advice from an HR columnist. They will never advice you how to deal with oddities in your background or how to really get a job. They are there to reduce the liability of the corporation. Not help people get jobs.

    There are some good sources. There’s HR Confidential and other ex-HR people who aren’t looking for fear gigs from corporations, but provide career coaching to regular people. Companies hire professionals like scandal fixing companies and others to help them smell good to help them make the sale, why shouldn’t you?

  • Joel Lindow

    I can’t say I agree or disagree with this article as a whole. But here is the one line that I believe in 100%:

    “Candidates continue to lie because Talent/HR Pros don’t call them out on
    it. We (HR) also perpetuate this problem by hiring the folks who give
    you the crappy lie, but don’t hire the folks who come clean and tell you
    the truth.”

    I have caught some of the most ethical honest people I’ve knows tempted to lie in these settings because the one thing they don’t want to risk is losing an opportunity to provide for their families. It’s a shame that this is the one thing that I’ve seen reduce them to lies. I’ve always appreciated honesty when interviewing and hiring. But it’s a lot easier for someone to come clean with you if they don’t feel like you’re giving them a gestapo style interrogation. One of the biggest errors I see in hiring managers is their inability to connect with their potential future employees. Instead these people are just a number and are treated as such by the hiring and HR department for the duration of their employment. On the other hand I have always striven to build some sort of personal knowledge of EVERY individual I interview. If this person is going to be a mutual employee I want them to be right for the job, and I want them to be qualified but I don’t want to start that potential work relationship with them feeling like they’re in a police interrogation. Because I take a more personal approach I have never had a large issue with turnover and I typically am able to find quality individuals to fill the positions I am looking to fill. Sometimes a few bad ones slip through the cracks, but not nearly as often as when my group is selected using intimidation tactics.

    I know that recently I looked at changing career paths into a position where my skills and experience would fit perfectly. I flew through the initial stages of the application and 1st interview process. I spent some time with other managers I would be working directly with in the 2nd interview and it was an alright experience until I dealt with the hiring manager. The hiring manager asked me to present any questions I may have about the company now that I’d met everyone. After presenting 1 simple question I had this interviewer insulting my question and insulting me for asking such a “ridiculous question”. I was then cut off from asking any more questions and grilled in the remaining minutes of the interview. As someone who has conducted numerous interviews over the years I was very taken back. Thank GOD for this clear red flag. I received a call back later that day from this same individual who had a complete personality switch and told me she’d like for me to come in and complete a 3rd interview. Although the pay was fantastic, the career was challenging and I was totally qualified… I declined the 3rd interview. The moment I told her that I would like to decline the interview. All because of this one person in HR’s ability to conduct a reasonable interview. All this to say that just because somebody is in a position to hire does not mean they are qualified to be conducting hiring interviews. And just because they may hire some good candidates does not justify bullying or insulting someone in an interview.

    Maybe it’s not always the applicants that are to blame. Maybe the hiring managers need to take a moment to practice a little humility and humanity in the interviewing process. No wonder so many applicants lie. Sure… there are a ton of lazy people that will lie to get a job. Still, interviewers shouldn’t create such an intense environment that good qualified candidates feel any need to lie just to keep things civil.

    • Madic

      Agreed. If honesty was valued there would be more of it.

  • KB

    “I (or any family member) was in a bad accident and in the hospital, so they fired me for not showing up to work.” (No they didn’t – there are some bad companies out there, but no company does this.)
    This is absolutely not true. I’ve seen this happen. A woman I knew was terminated from an “un-named” county position after a horrible car accident and the county wouldn’t make reasonable accommodations when she returned. She sued and they buried it in litigation so deep it was never settled. Why? Because she died before anything could be settled and the case was dismissed at that time. I hadn’t seen anything like it before or since.

  • Not Me

    Recruiters to me are like used car salesmen, they’ll tell you how great you are and promise the world. I can’t stand working with them

    • Tim Sackett

      You aren’t wrong – some are used car salemen/women. The key is to find a good one. Call me, I can change your mind! 😉

      • John

        Tim, why don’t you just find me a recruiter who won’t laugh at my resume and will really work at finding me a job here in Houston.

  • stan King

    Next time, ask the recruiters if they closed the loop and let these candidates know that they were no longer being considered for the position. Its more likely they simply ignored their phone and email followups. So, as funny as those stories were, you probably have a lot of ignored liars out there now badmouthing your Company with even better ones.

    • http://www.Marisic.Net/ dotnetchris

      Whenever I interview people, if they do not meet our criteria I always make sure to let them know as soon as we’ve reached that conclusion. There’s nothing worse than waiting to hear back from an interview.

  • MacKenzie Coley

    The main lie that is a recurring theme that I have experienced is when a person checks on the application that they have reliable transportation, but when they once hired, look to management to give them a ride home or to work. Some employees feel management is responsible for getting them to work and back home. I had to often remind them that when you stated that you have a way to work on your application, it was not interpreted as long as management will give me a ride. I’m not your reliable transportation.

    • Melinda Piette

      I actually don’t drive. I also had far fewer issues with getting to work on time than any of my co-workers who did drive AND lived closer

    • http://www.Marisic.Net/ dotnetchris

      Clearly you work in the restaurant business 😀

  • carpedm

    Yes-mutually agreed does happen. When you tell your boss 4 times in the first 2 months that this is not the job that they represented and if it doesn’t change to what was represented, you’ll have to leave…well, it becomes mutual when they say “yep, you’re right and we’re not changing, it’s probably better if you leave.” And then they downgrade the job to two tiers lower on the food chain.

  • cvalent5

    Actually ““I (or any family member) was in a bad accident and in the hospital, so they fired me for not showing up to work.” (No they didn’t – there are some bad companies out there, but no company does this.)” I was fired the day after my house burned down because the company didn’t feel I could fulfill my contractual duties without a place to live. Seriously…

    • lena_scott

      There are some seriously ignorant people out there who are in charge of managing. There are also some stellar, community conscience, non-arrogant companies out there~and if all else fails, there may be ways to start your own…….

  • Tim Sackett

    Oh boy this one might sting a little folks,
    I’m reading the comments and seeing a lot of people who have, or know of someone who has, lost thier job through what seems like reasons that would never happen in todays world. The reality is, there are always two sides to every firing – the employees and the company’s! One reality that most people face in termination is far too often an HR person who is unwilling to give them the truth, so they get fired believing it was because they had an accident, they were sick, they were taking care of a sick family memeber, etc. When in reality, there was some other issue at play – but a weak HR person unwilling to come clean on why they were actually losing their job. Legal rarely allows HR to fire someone over something that could end them up in court and where the company will lose. 99% of cases that are brought before a court by ‘wronged employees’ the companies win – not because they have better lawyers, but because ‘legally’ they did nothing wrong.
    It’s a painful truth – but more terminations are done because the person was a poor performer, and never told they were, then some other circumstance happens that allows the company to part ways with them and the person goes about life believing the company fired them for what they believe was some very legitimate.

    • saywhatnow

      It seems like you have content for another post about how HR personnel is doing a disservice to employees when they are not truthful and honest about why a termination is happening.

    • Skoop957

      No HR person is going to tell you that you were fired for something the company could get sued for. These type of things happen all the time. HR will back it up for the one thing you did wrong, even though everybody usually does at least a few things wrong. It’s why every performance review has a room for improvement. Even if you have no room for improvement, something will be made up in case you need to get fired. People sometimes get fired because they don’t fit the culture. They get black-balled and group think kicks them out the door. That’s the sad truth. It’s not in every case, but you’re wrong Tim if you think it never happens.

    • Melinda Piette

      If that’s what the HR person told them, then that’s what the HR person will tell YOU—because otherwise they leave themselves VERY vulnerable to a myriad of issues. Also, most HR people I’ve met weren’t “weak” they were the company’s hatchet person, which is why they were generally pretty unpopular. Not to mention, they’re typically the ones testifying on the company’s behalf in court.
      Not to mention, most companies will only verify dates of employment nowadays for precisely the reason you cite. Not to mention, I have yet to work for a company that didn’t routinely break or bend the law—which is why they frequently don’t fight UI

    • lena_scott

      Actually, I live in a ‘no cause’ state, and my experiences have been in a ‘no cause’ state. However, instead of just firing the person when they can, legally, I have observed in the companies which I have worked for over the years a preference for waiting until the employee is inconveniently ill or has a family issue etc. to vindictively threaten and try to get rid of, when all they have to do is say, ‘Your services are no longer needed here’ and there needs to be no excuse. The reality is that they want to avoid paying unemployment compensation so try all sorts of bother and tricks to force the person to either quit or to fire them for some seemingly trumped up crap. Bottom line.

      • Melinda Piette

        If anything, I’ve seen people canned quite often for not fitting the culture or having a personality clash with their boss—even if the boss had a personality clash with everyone in that position and it turned over quite frequently.
        Bad fit is probably the most common reason for termination

    • trothaar

      But I did get to see both sides. I worked for law firms representing the *companies being sued,* not the former employees/plaintiffs. I had access to the entire case files; some of them were literally thousands of pages long. The case files included the employee’s entire HR file, down to the application they first filled out when hired, and including every performance review, every commendation, every negative write-up. I’m not just basing my opinions on a story from a friend or acquaintance, but on real-world experience in workers’ compensation, labor law, and insurance defense.

      In the cases I outlined, we–the law firm representing the COMPANY–came to the conclusion that the company had wronged the plaintiff. We would encourage them to settle. Most cases did just settle, regardless of which party was at fault. It was rare for one to go to trial. We REALLY did not want to go to trial if we knew our client was in the wrong, because in all likelihood, they’d end up having to pay even more, and suffer more negative PR, than if they just settled. The attorneys I worked for were legal professionals, not miracle workers. There’s not a lot you can do when your client is at fault, and there’s a mountain of hard evidence to support that.

      The company was not wrong EVERY time. In fact, they were not wrong most of the time. Usually, the plaintiff was a shyster trying to work the system. I clearly remember the plaintiffs who were not–like the guy whose leg was amputated–because they stood out. Their cases were so sad, and what made it even sadder was that the shysters, liars, and crooks usually got more money than the people who were truly wronged.

    • MDShelest

      Truth is, most States enjoy a ‘right to work’ law that states an employer can fire someone for simply three small violations of company policy. If you were late to work three times, that’s grounds for termination. People clicked on the fact they did not like this reply – but it is the hard truth of the world we live in.

  • Skoop957

    It’s usually a mutual decision to leave when the employer finds out you’re looking to leave and fires you ahead of time. Saying it was a mutual decision is just a way of not looking like an employee who has a grudge against their former employer.

    “I was a part of the ‘leadership’ team that was responsible for that implementation.” What was the response supposed to be? I do everything all by myself, all the time because I hold myself to be so much better than anybody I work with no matter what team I’m on. I do all the work and was responsible for all the gains; other people were just in the room.

  • me

    My sister was let go because she called in sick as she went into labor. They even cancelled her health coverage while she was in the hospital so she was no longer covered. That sounds crazy, who does that? (Yes, the company ended paying for everything since that violates multiple employee protection laws.)

  • Ellie

    Personally I prefer to concentrate on the positives – although some of these did make me smile 🙂

  • Guest

    Gang –

    BTW – connect with me on LinkedIn – I promise not to you lies…well, I’ll try not to. 🙂


  • sunsavvy


    Actually, I am working with a very good internal company recruiter at this time. It is true there are some good ones that I’ve worked with (referred from friends) and really bad ones out there. Also, I LOL’d at this statement in the article – “When you said Java, I thought you meant experience making coffee.”

    Thank you.

  • Tim Sackett


    BTW – Connect with me on LinkedIn and I promise not to lie to you…well, I’ll try not to! 🙂


    • saywhatnow

      the link is wrong and has some garbled html fodder at the end…

    • trothaar

      Oh, why not? I’m a LION, and I’m not looking for a job; I’m looking for clients for my copywriting business. Anyone can connect with me, too:

      If the link doesn’t work, just search for “Teresa Rothaar.” I’m the only one with that name. =)

      I don’t IDK or spam.

  • Wael

    I strongly agree: “(HR) also perpetuate this problem by hiring the folks who give you the crappy lie, but don’t hire the folks who come clean and tell you the truth”

    Actually one more question (You have been recommended by one of the management, have you met him before?) then he replies: “well!! really I didn’t met him before but I think someone of my coworkers has recommended” (then you discover he has been recommended because of direct relationship)

  • EMC

    Perhaps this article should have come with the disclaimer: “for entertainment purposes only”.

    When you’re looking for a job due to unemployment or unhappiness and/or been through scenarios that are scoffed at in this article, it does more damage than good. I think the comments showcase that.

    We’re all looking for the edge, the catch phrase, the inspiring word; it’s why we read these articles. I’m sure you have a lot of fun stories and a lot of great insight to offer, however, I think this article got away from you too soon.

  • HireRight

    Great article Tim! As you can imagine, we have heard some
    doozies as well!

    One of our favorites involves exaggerating dates of
    employment. Some candidates may do this to cover a gap in employment that they
    don’t want to explain.

    For example, one candidate extended his end date at his
    previous company by six months in order to hide the fact that he spent those
    six months serving a jail sentence!

    Check out four other lies we often uncover:

  • Mel

    Well because so many lie will you be able to recognize the truth. For instance. My mom had a long term illness I worked some short term positions but concentrated on her care and she just passed away this month. I do not want employers to know my personal business and my choice is one I do not regret so do they really have to know all their is about a person to make a adequate decision.
    Many of the HR firms I have talked with are only hot on the fill not the truth so I seek employment directly and not by third parties they have only caused me to have to provide another person with my personal information and I can negotiate better than they do and I can keep my promise and doe the jobs I claim.
    Have you read any resume’s really that is a joke it is done by a computer not a HR Professional and it filters to people as they know to put target words to get the interview but do not have the skills it is a big deception and needs to change because they really do not look for qualified personel they look for target words and pass over many capable skilled people due to the lies. Resume’s and applications need to go back in time for actual human screening.

  • Prattle On, Boyo

    No mention, however, of the lies employers tell.

  • G

    Had a neighbor who was fired because she was taking too much time off to take care of a newborn with disability. Anyone in US would recognize the company that did this to her, it wasn’t a non-profit or startup. Has a co-worker who wanted to leave and was asked to leave (mutually) because he and the boss just could not work together, and he was not bad at all – he was just another special needs person and could not handle the crazy demands. Please be a little more human, S happens to people and it doesn’t take effort to just be understanding and move on to another candidate instead of calling them liars.

  • http://www.Marisic.Net/ dotnetchris

    I am devoutly opposed to employees being forced to subject themselves to invasive medical analysis as a precondition for employment. The only acceptable reason these screenings are immediately after an on the work accident occurs.

    Also I find it unethical that employers are able to use dutifully completed judicial actions to have any bearing on fitness for employment. There obviously are some reasonable exceptions to this, such as you were found guilty of embezzlement and are seeking a position as a financial officer of an organization. Regardless even those scenarios should all have sunsets. People make mistakes in their life, that shouldn’t become an indelible mark that follows them for years and decades after their recompense.

  • Joe

    Here’s one about the company. “We will be completing our first round of interviews by the end of this week, we will let you know if you are selected for the second round, which will be the following week”.
    Okay, fair enough.
    Then, the following week rolls around, and now they’re back to square one with a dozen agencies posting ads for that same job you interviewed for.
    Okay, this isn’t a lie, but how about sticking to your original game plan?

  • hiringmanager

    1. HR doesn’t hire people, hiring managers hire people. If not, that has more to do with a poor workforce than recognizing lying.
    2. Outside of 1), the statement is very true. Too many poor hiring managers out there who don’t value actual character in people, but just look for the “right answer” out of candidates. No wonder the liars get hired.

    “We (HR) also perpetuate this problem by hiring the folks who give you the crappy lie, but don’t hire the folks who come clean and tell you the truth.”

  • sailormac

    When a candidate puts ‘chess’ as one of his hobbies my recruiter friend always asks, “really.. so what is castling?” Amazing how many look at him and go ‘huh’.
    His best story involves a descent looking candidate suddenly announcing in the middle of the interview that he didn’t really need the job he was interviewing for.
    Why? asked my buddy.
    “Because I’m John the Baptist ” replied the candidate.
    Note to all interviewers:
    When interviewing, never allow the candidate to sit between you and the door of the interview room!

  • Jeremy Estes

    don’t know why this was on my LinkedIn, but I think it’s hilarious. The joke’s even funnier when you read that it’s written by a staffing agency exec in Michigan… a top 5 unemployed state.

  • my opinion

    So sad that recruiters have to put a candidates dirty laundry out in the open. Somewhere I read something about ethics and confidentiality….hummm how about being a little bit more professional 🙂

    • j_steveson

      Ethics and confidentiality (and accountability) are all alive and well;
      ‘in the merry old land of Oz!’

      • dissapointed

        Unfortunately, you are correct!

  • j_steveson

    Some companies DO fire you for being hospitalized. As for the problems being perpetuated – how about my former company (Gerdau) that has had a 280% turnover in their IT department in the last 2 years all due to the Infrastructure Director – other managers and staff from other IT teams have also left thanks to this guy; what does HR do – nothing. Staff left behind are afraid to say anything as they’ll immediately be fired. Yes, candidates lie, but so does management and current staff. EVERYONE should be held accountable.

  • Catch22talent -RPDC

    I think you need to be clear on the value of service that you provide.
    If you don’t treat potential candidates with respect why would they ever respect you… and clients alike!!
    What about when recruiters promise the world, you turn up to interviews at your own expense and guess what to no success…
    Who picks up the costs then?
    What when you can spend days following up with recruiters… Very much one sided I believe and guess who then have the best lies? or wait even cowardness in respondiny. And guess what, HR personnel are aware of the issues at hand, damaging the industry and this is exactly why I aim to turn recruitment on its head and provide greater emhasis on the candidate and client service that is provided.
    Not just a sales game… more “product development of candidates”. Yes identify raw talent and transform this to release potential and deliver capability -Catch22talent
    *enough said

  • Richard Saling

    A lot of inaccuracies in this article.

  • j_steveson

    Next time you’re talking ‘confidentially’ with your HR rep. (How’s it going with your supervisor? Don’t worry, it’s 100% confidential), remember the statement in the article;

    We also share stories!

    Last guy at my company that ‘spoke confidentially’ was out the door less than 20 minutes later. We now have a ‘confidential ethics hotline’ that has already been used to dismiss 14 staffers that reported illegal/unethical behavior. Go Gerdau!

    • http://www.Marisic.Net/ dotnetchris

      Even in at will employment, retaliation is incredibly illegal and grounds for serious legal implications. Any time you need to report something that could be retaliated against, never do it verbally. Always do it in writing and present this to atleast 2 witnesses, likely upper tier boss and HR representative. Require them both to sign and date that they received this information from you. This is how you protect yourself.

      If you have unequivocal documentation such as this, retaliation is extremely unlikely to occur, and if it does you have recourse. If you did everything verbally, you will never have recourse in he said she said.

      • Melinda Piette

        Yet it happens all the time. Complain about a boss protected by the higher ups—-and you’ll be the one out the door. Had it done to me, seen it done to others. Including a tenured, union employee. Once you report something, you’ve reported yourself as a troublemaker.
        ONLY two benefits exist with this 1) if you’re reporting, you’re probably already less than thrilled with your current position. 2) when they do can you, they won’t fight your UI or give you a bad reference because they KNOW that if they do, you’ll sue. So they’ll keep their mouths shut to keep yours shut—and everyone can move on

        • http://www.Marisic.Net/ dotnetchris

          Did you formally document this on paper with multiple witnesses one of them being HR as I said?

          • Melinda Piette

            Yeah, cause that’s exactly what the CEO or other senior manager wants. Try again…

          • http://www.Marisic.Net/ dotnetchris

            This is why you involve HR as the 2nd and mostly neutral party in these situations. They will always CYA, By them signing with you they are mitigating their risk. If the business leader refuses to sign and you are retaliated against you will have very clear documented proof. You will have the signature of the HR person and that will compel them if they are required to be subpenaed to acknowledge you approached this situation formally and professionally, pretty much or flat out affirming you were retaliated against.

            The last thing a HR person ever wants to be involved in is culpability for retaliation in a company. This could literally be not only a job ending position, but a complete and total career ending move.

            Everything in this world is all part of multidimensional chess match, you need to understand all of the pieces and their moves so you can always be 2 moves ahead.

          • Melinda Piette

            Wow. You are OBVIOUSLY an HR person, because the only people who EVER say HR is “neutral” are HR people. I have witnessed HR people facilitate retaliation, freely violating written policy and the law. And not just against myself, but many others.
            I’ve also attended trainings in which HR instructed management to keep secret files on all employees (completely illegal in my state, told us to never give a copy of a disciplinary notice to an employee unless they signed (also illegal) and even encouraged us to bully competent, contented but somewhat complacent line level, minimum wage employees into working harder—“just because they should feel privileged to be here”.
            I can guarantee you no HR person nor upper level executive would ever sign off on one’s grievance, for precisely the implied liability. And they’d unquestionably find a way to punish your presumptuous behavior.
            Unless, of course, you were complaining about someone they wanted to get rid of anyway. Then it would be sunshine and flowers. Saw that, too!

          • http://www.Marisic.Net/ dotnetchris

            You clearly have a chip on your shoulder.

          • Melinda Piette

            Nope, just battle scarred. However, you’re clearly a pompous, self satisfied jerk. Who really enjoys the management theory section at Barnes and Noble’s.

          • Melinda Piette

            Oh also, you’re all of 29. That explains EVERYTHING.

  • trothaar

    Maybe this is the real message of the article: if you left a company under some sort of negative situation, DON’T just bluntly go through a blow-by-blow of why you left. Try to put some sort of positive spin on it. For example, perhaps rather than saying, “It was a mutual decision for me to leave,” explain off the bat that the company relocated your department and you were not in a position to move, or the job was not the right fit for your skill set (say, you’re a quiet accountant type and the job was for an extrovert who loves to chat people up all day), or whatever it was that happened.

    I worked for bosses who were absolute tyrants, but I never openly expressed this in an interview situation. Now that I work for myself, I likewise do not bash former clients to prospective clients, even if the former client was a raging, screaming drug addict who I would never work for again (and yes, that did happen to me once). Even if you are absolutely right, it just makes you look bad and unprofessional.

    Questions about why you left your previous jobs are not unexpected; you have time to prepare answers for them.

    • http://www.Marisic.Net/ dotnetchris

      Yes directly bad mouthing your former colleagues is a sure way to never get hired. It’s fine to discuss organizational and organization culture issues that lead to you leaving. Regardless of the words you choose to pretty it up, for your answer to be “my boss is a dick” no matter how absolutely justifiable that might be, is not going to work out well.

  • Taiyeb Raniwala

    I have had (on more than one occasion) the following excuse about failing a drug test: “I don’t smoke marijuana, but my (wife/husband) does in the house and that’s why I am testing positive. SORRY, but second-hand exposure does not cause marijuana to enter the blood stream, which is how it enters the urine.

    • http://www.Marisic.Net/ dotnetchris

      It’s none of your business what people do in the privacy of their own home.

      • yankmydoodle

        Agreed. The tough economy has given employers the opportunity to step over the line of what is basic human decency. They often pass up on the best candidates because of their ‘cookie cutter’ approach to what constitutes hiring criteria. If a candidate doesn’t have a check mark in all of their silly boxes, they are cast aside.

    • MDShelest

      Ya – I live in Colorado. I’ll still pee clean. Will you give me a job?

  • guestwriter

    There are bad companies out there that fire people when they are in the hospital. I was fired while in the hospital b/c I went into labor pre maturely at work. They said I was not to return b/c I was a medical liability.

    • Poseidon

      Seriously? That would be completely illegal here in Canada. You could sue your employer for wrongful dismissal.

  • Dobie Gillis

    Agreed, most recruiters are clueless, a little like this poorly written article.

  • Joel Lindow

    I wonder how many HR Managers on salary spend all day writing articles on their “pathetic” interviewees and then fighting for hours on end with people in a comments section of a social media board while they’re on the clock.

    No dig on the author. None at all. But I see a lot of HR managers writing a lot of articles in the middle of the day on LinkedIn. And then posting every few minutes in a response capacity for hours on end. Many of these are the same that enforce a strict “no internet use at work” policy. Seriously, I wish there was a way to get a good statistic on that.

  • S P

    I get frustrated when HR people (company’s employee) reach out to me, tell me they want to speak with me about a position I know of and am a good fit, I tell them day and time..they do not call on that day/time nor do they care to apologize and reschedule..I pursue, pursue and then they reply to the third email, that they are sorry and that the position is filled .. what the FUCK …why in first place they reached out to me then? why they did not keep in touch then?

  • Mariano

    Recruiters and specially head hunters are (most of them) are clueless and worst, unprofessionals. Do you receive any feedback after a first interview?

  • Paul R

    Why care about the No Show lies? They didn’t show. That’s enough information.

  • andi

    I have to say that I really *am* 2 courses shy of my degree and I am too broke to finish right now. My loans are outrageously high and I am no longer eligable to recieve more loans until I get some paid down. I can guarantee that this “lie” as the author has stated is actually true for many people. Should I bring in all my proof?

  • Kris

    Har dee har har. Yawn. That’s what I have to say about this article. And this made front page on LinkedIn.

  • Paul R

    Recruiters are a necessity if you are growing a business at 45 degrees. They don’t make the hiring decision anyway but the good ones have a great nose for the better candidates. Of course the hiring person, myself included, doesn’t always meet the ones who got screened out. But of the jobs I didn’t get into the final round for myself, it was usually a dependable position by the recruiter, I could see it and I rarely if ever felt it was recruiter incompetence.

  • Jon

    That’s strange. As a recruiter I don’t get these excuses all that often – maybe one of them a month, and they’re usually verifiable and true. Maybe it’s because I find the candidates who actually want to do the job and fit the client needs and culture, and not some resume with a voice attached to it so I can fill out some silly metric.

  • Vr

    Now do you want to hear all the Recruiters lies? They represent the client not an individual.

  • Scott Nairb

    This article is such a crock of garbage.

    Next thing Tim’ll tell us is that sexual harassment doesn’t happen in the office space either, or that no bosses can ever be out of control lunatics, or that workplace jealousy & insubordination is never an issue.

    Saying you can’t find a place or traffic is never an excuse? Sorry bub, I can give you at least 50 places in my town, just off the top of my head, that I guarantee with even the best GPS system you could not find.

    There’s no such thing as getting fired for being injures?? What kind of nonsense is this?? I was fired back in 2008 after sustaining serious injuries (not able to walk an inch and in extreme pain 24/7) in an accident, and I was told by the person (a friend) immediately under the HR woman that she also disliked me because I’m German and she was Jewish, nothing more than that, the injury was just something to put sprinkles on her insane reasoning for firing me. My friend even showed me a correspondence which illustrated that fact, and that several of the Jewish guys at the company who hated her, and who had smack-talking sessions about her in which I was the only one who defended her, and she still blamed me and hated me.

    So I can’t sit here and read this crap, that it’s the employees fault much of the time. There absolutely are sh*tty companies out there, many of them, and many of us deal with them on a daily basis.

    TLNT, you need to stop running this junk, it’s obvious that Tim Sackett is either a disgruntled HR person or has absolutely no clue what he is saying and he needed something to fill his writing quota with and trying to act like an “expert”.

    Laughable, at best!

  • Ebm Gypsy

    Walmart huge company infamous for treacherous and thoroughly unscrupulous business tactics against employees.

    Yes there are very dishonest applicants out there, many of witch have a past they are not proud of and just want for once to get it right. Lying would not be wise in any interview, how ever if the shoe was on the other foot. Point is can the applicant do the job, and do they have the portfolio to back it up.

    Catching someone in a lie is a bad thing, however to make an example of a struggling person in an interview using your tactics show your lack of class, simply do not hire them.

    Please review Google’s hiring ethics/process, take your head out of the sand, educate yourself on this new wonderful world of colorful individuals we live in.

    Get out of the 1950’s no one is perfect, and when was the last time you lied? Lying is wrong in every situation but we all have done it.

  • Ebm Gypsy

    “How Job Candidates Lie, and the Best Lies They Always Seem to Tell”

    should be changed to
    “How can we bash a candidate, and have a bad attitude before they even get there, if they get there.”
    on a good note
    Great job on generating internet traffic!

  • S. Hauzel Sailo

    True information, and I’m not excluded either 😀
    I really love the last true and honest sentence.

  • tony

    And the top recruiter lies:
    1.” Come in and meet me because we have all sorts of roles I can put you forward for” (in other words, I need to meet my KPIs in interviewing and building our database)
    2. “As soon as I hear back from the client I will update you on your progress” (fact; once the client has rejected your CV you’ll never hear from the recruiter again)
    3. “We’ll keep your CV on file so if other roles come up we can let you know” (fact; you’ll never hear from us again because we’ll use the next role to continue building up our database with new candidates and hitting our KPIs)
    4. “What other roles have you applied for, just so I can be sure I dont send them your CV” ( fact; this is a recruiters way of finding out what other agencies are looking so they can send them their own candidates, in opposition to yours)
    5. “Lets connect on LinkedIn so if any other roles come up, I can keep you in mind”. (fact; accept my linkedin connection so I can use your contacts as potential new business leads – you’ll never hear from me personally, in fact now that we are linkedin friends, you will often see me post roles that you would have been perfect for)

    • Jonathan Marvens Barronville

      Wow. You pretty much nailed it. Nothing more to say.

    • Ebm Gypsy

      AMEN to this!

      • tony

        This article made my blood boil. How dare the recruitment industry post an article on how to spot dodgy candidates when their whole professional is based on BS.

      • tony

        The key point i’d like to make from this comment is the LinkedIn one. Anyone who accepts a LinkedIn request from a recruiter who is not ACTIVELY involved in finding a new role for you – and I mean during the interview process – is just a sucker.

  • Pico

    Right now we have an employment problem and rather than trying to get as many people working as possible it seems that there is more focus on how to bar people from getting the jobs. People make mistakes, and yes, in this cut-throat job market there are those who will deny it to try and overcome obstacles to employment.

    But what about the lies that employers and their HR tell to candidates? Maybe some of the people with a skeleton in their closet (kind of personal info, don’t you think?) would have a chance at getting a job if the employers wouldn’t try to unrealistically hype it up to sound awesome just to attract the “desirable” applicants.

  • Pinocchio

    This article strikes me (and apparently many others) as myopic at best, or a time-wasting hack at worst. On the other hand, kudos for cultivating a backlash which is more informative than the article itself.

  • TB

    Ideally the fix for most of the complaints I see that people have for recruiters is to have them practice or adhere to a Code of Ethics. If they wish to present themselves as professionals they should be accountable for actions that are not and lose their credentials accordingly.
    My biggest complaint about recruiters is they try to find you someone while they are contacting one of your current employees to find them another job. This is where professionalism and Code of Ethics should be mnadatory.

  • Jonathan Marvens Barronville

    I apologize to the readers for what I’m about to say, but this post is so full of shit. Yes, a few of your points can be (most of time) lies, but please don’t do yourself the disfavor of generalizing things like this just because of your assumptions and thoughts.


    “I did all the classes, I just need to pay the fees to graduate.” (So you spent four plus years going to school, got done, but that last couple of hundred dollars stopped you from graduating?)
    Yes, from the top of my head, I know more than a handful of folks who are or have been actually and legitimately in this situation…two of which are software engineers.

    “My car broke down.” (Either through some fantastic wrinkle in space, or a gigantic amount of lying, candidates have more car trouble per capita than anyone else in the world who has ever driven a car.)
    Yes, this is of course suspicious, but it totally happens, which can just be a bad and unlucky coincidence.

    “I couldn’t find your location.” (So, your answer to this dilemma was to turn around and go home and not call and let us know you got lost?)

    I personally know someone that this happened to a couple of months ago. This was for a Software Engineer position. She didn’t call while she was lost because she was afraid that they would believe that she must have a “smartphone” (which she didn’t), so she must be lying…perfectly understandable. And then she went back home because she was ashamed and felt that they would tell her (or think) exactly that…that she was lying. Yes, this can sometimes be a lie, but why make candidates feel this way?

    Way to lose on talent man!

    Also, please remember that hiring goes both ways. You are interviewing because you “need” someone to fill a certain position and the candidate is interviewing because they “need” to fill a certain position. However, it seems to me that there is so much out there about how to be a good interviewee, but very very little about being a good interviewer. For example, no offense, but with such quick assumptions and conclusions, I would find you (Mr. Tim Sackett) to be a terrible interviewer. Your company is your employees…without them, you might as well be worth a penny. You need them and they need you. Hiring and recruiting shouldn’t be Black Ops.

    – Jonathan

  • Laowai

    What I find frustrating is that typically members of an HR organization are the LEAST qualified to judge an applicant’s professional skills. The people that are work in HR usually have non-technical degrees or a general business degree with a focus in HR. How can these people actual measure applicants when they themselves are so weak? Many companies claim they want employees that have the ability to ‘wear a variety of hats’ or have diverse educational and professional experiences but this is not reflected during the hiring process. If a candidate’s resume does not EXACTLY fit the JD then they are automatically disqualified. What I am also find humorous about today’s job market are the arbitrary checklists of qualifications that are used to disqualify applicants. Not from a Big 4 accounting company… no thanks, Didn’t go to a top 20 MBA program… not good enough. What value add are HR groups providing to a company if they solely source candidates from a few select firms or schools? I know many companies claim that they hire only the ‘best and the brightest’ but once they get to a certain size all companies will have their share of dead weight and sub-par performers (it is a statistical fact).

  • 1MegaBeast2

    This is a stupid article.

  • x x

    Sorry but kids do get sick at the worst time and cars do break down when you least expect it. If a child was sick then the least the prospect should have done was call you as soon as possible to tell you they could not make it. I guess you’ve never had anything ever go wrong.

  • Nora

    Actually, have asked people to agree to leave — for example, because we were a startup and the person was having some sort of brain seizures so he could no longer be relied upon to show up at meetings, to remember they needed to occur and he could no longer write good specs (as head of product management). This appears to contradict 2 of the obvious lies above. We loved the PM when he was well but job was overworking him, he was obsessing, and it was definitely bringing out health issues that made it impossible for him to perform safely. It also seemed more humane to ask him to get a softer and less risky job. Ditto where people couldn’t do job they were hired for but they were great people — suggested they find something that was better match to their great strengths — and told them what wasn’t working.

  • Jeltz

    I will let you in on a little secret. It has been my experience companies lie just as much about the terms and conditions and descriptions of the jobs they offer, as applicants do about their resume.

  • DB

    I find that being part of a team and allowing for credit to go to a team is a truth. Sometimes an employee can not take full credit for a project or initiative but is still a critical and productive contributor. Perhaps the problem is you have time on Monday morning to inanely dissect any statement into negative attribute. Since when did recruiters feel the need to pass judgment. Probe the question – do not prosecute.

  • john

    Love the explanation.. only I have one MAJOR PROBLEM with the company that sacked me due to not showing up as a family member was in hospital…….
    It has happened to me not one but TWICE… and yes sir that is the TRUTH!!!!
    so although it may not be true in most cases occasionally, you find someone that ONLY speaks the TRUTH!!

  • EDM

    Hmm – I have seen very good employees get laid off or fired for really stupid reasons – you need to get real and recalibrate on this article. In a world of at will employment any employer can dump any employee for virtually any reason. You seem a little high and mighty Tim

    • Peter

      I agree. This Tim guy is only seeing from a “recruiter/HR” point of view. He doesn’t get what it is like to be on the other side.

  • FMR

    So, if someone works for a sociopath/bully in academia and losses their job because they did not receive their tenure because of the sociopath/bully + bad leadership at university, do they make up a fabulous lie or tell the truth? And, how much truth do you tell? Is there a politically correct way of saying “I did not receive my tenure” and “please do not call for references”?

  • JoeB

    people lie because job market is tough and no recruiter would give them a chance if they didn’t lie
    people have family to support, mortgages to pay, etc.

    people lie not because they’re bad people, but because it’s what is necessary to get a job in this economy

    if you have ANY experience outside of recruiting and have been through a job search, you will understand this.

  • maryd

    That’s right, I’ve never been able to get past an HR interview because I don’t have a college degree. If I ever have to go through that humiliation again, I might lie. As part of my A/B testing, of course.

    • veteran222

      You do not need one. I’m pretty sure there are many millionaires and billionaires who did not get a degree. It became a required part of a resume for two reasons. 1. Our poor public education system 2. The college indu$trial complex

  • feng

    about the The Termination Lies, of course an employee can terminate a job when he or she can not find balance about certain things with the employer. this is not a lie. not having a job? not all people want just a job to get paid.

  • Allan Madhuram

    More than half of these statements here would be made by –
    a) Fresh out of college graduates
    b) someone who doesn’t know what the terms “professional” and “maturity” are.

    I’ll be very very surprised if Recruiters get these kind of excuses in the current age. Even if they do, It should hint the fact that they are sort of wasting their time over these candidates.

    Also, this article hardly adds any value (let alone the comments section). How in the world is this “Linkedin recommended news”. Must be a slow day at the office….

    • veteran222

      fresh out of college graduates seem to trump those with experience in the market. Cheaper admins, every time.

  • Randy

    Guys.. Let’s admit it.. Recruiting is a low-skill job. Some of you got lucky and got paid but don’t set a wrong expectation. Recruiters are dime a dozen!

    • Kelly

      Completely agree. I deal with several recruiters trying to hire for technology job and no clue of what they are talking about.. I am sick of them

  • mva

    “My kids are sick…” is a TOTALLY legitimate reason for not showing up to anything scheduled. My kids are sick ALL the time. Yes, right now, as I type, they are sick; and they wake up several times a night to cough (as do adults). It’s amazing I still can get up and get to work and focus all day.

  • WhackRecruitersGetNoLove

    I think someone should write a counter article on how some recruiters are tacky and lazy when it comes to doing their jobs. Also, how some recruiters feel that they can dick prospective employees around as if they hold the key to the gates of heaven.

  • kara

    “I (or any family member) was in a bad accident and in the hospital, so they fired me for not showing up to work.” (No they didn’t – there are some bad companies out there, but no company does this.) <—- Yes this does happen. I have seen it done on countless accounts with in a company because they work off an attendance point system that allows for no emergency situations.

  • Janis Froehlig

    I have used two of those “lines” genuinely. One was the $20,000 school bill I needed a job to even get my head around, and the other, after I paid that bill, was that I had all my credits completed, my bill paid, but hadn’t passed a locally notorious piano proficiency test. i had my Registrar’s phone number on my resume for verification. To assume the interviewee is lying on something like this is, at best, prejudgmental.

    What really miffs me, though, is the comment about sick kids. The workforce that will be supporting you when you’re retired is being raised by a whole lot of over-stressed single mothers. Congratulations on your contribution here to making the US working environment a less-ethical, angrier, more selfish place.

    Does no one value child-rearing enough to do something more than pickup the phone during the first week of May and spring $100 for overpriced floral arrangements?

  • Tyler

    “I have all the credits, I just didn’t graduate.”

    Actually, this pretty much describes me. I dropped out 2 quarters before graduation to instead take a full time job in my industry of choice. Thus, I never completed four year degree but came very close. Years later, I went back to school and completed all my associates degree course work in another field. A job transfer then took me out of state, and I never bothered to wrap up the degree paperwork, thus no degree.

    True story.

  • Marty Koufax

    I love this guy thinks the problem in our terrible economy is “lies candidates tell” What a self-important person. Maybe he should a column on the uacceptable things recruiters and HR people do to candidates. Here’s a couple that take the cake:

    1) Telling someone an interview is being scheduled and then never return a voicemail or email from that point after. You either hear nothing OR get a form letter.

    2) Telling you to “apply online” as if you didn’t already know that. Who is going to see your resume is a pile of 479?

    3) Simply failing to return a polite email in the first place, it’s so simple not to be rude.

    4) Asking “tell me about a time questions” for an hour over the phone.

  • Twirly

    I was asked one question by a recruiter that bothers me to this day. I didn’t lie, but wanted to scream WTF by the time he was willing to let it go and move the conversation along. “What would you do to move a project forward when you’ve done everything you can to move it forward but are not making more progress?” (or words to that effect).

    I wish I knew what the guy was looking for there. I dunno, discuss with the team what to do about the impasse? send cheery reminders with the schedule attached, pester the people who weren’t holding to their commitments? Redraw the schedule with the dates moved out? None of these ideas satisfied him. It made me want to lie, if only I could have figured out what he was looking for.

    Four years later, I’m interviewing with the same company for a similar position next week, and I sure hope I don’t get a similar question!

  • XTruckerWill

    Actually, I was let go for getting something which mimicked the “Swine Flu.” The state ended up siding with me over the loss of employment.

  • rational

    I am not a recruiter and have no animus towards them. However, it has been my experience that Linkedin has been a professional networking destination for professionals to share their experiences, strengths, and hopes as well as provide guidance to those who might be struggling. Seeing a respected contributor attack the very population from whence he derives his income is quite startling.

    I am sure that Tim Sackett would have averted some of the backlash he seems to be receiving had he entitled his article ‘How Some Job Candidates Lie, and the Best Lies They Tell’. I am also sure that he did not mean to come across as insensitively as he did to infer that all of his clients/prospective job applicants are in fact untruthful on a professional networking site where he might also be acquiring talent.

    • Tim Sackett

      I never said all. But the fact remains, and my clients – those who hire me to find talent – run into the exact same lies, frequently. This isn’t anything new!

  • Mikeinchgo

    “We (HR) also perpetuate this problem by hiring the folks who give you the crappy lie, but don’t hire the folks who come clean and tell you the truth.”

    So if you (recruiters) admit to hiring those who lie, but fail to hire those who tell the truth, what was your in writing this article?

  • Hill

    Tim Sackett, let’s not get full of yourself. Your blog reeks of self-satisfied arrogance. Instead of writing about all the lies you’ve heard from applicants, why don’t you write an article about the lies you told qualified (AND HONEST) applicants?

    • Tim Sackett

      Great comment!

  • Jessica Wu

    One of my classmates said he never mind working overtime at the interview.However, he regrets after several days’ extra work.

  • sdgators

    Your tack on this article is very negative. Basically in your Monday morning meetings, your team bashes candidates.

    • aka texrat

      Good point.

  • Antonio Stradivari

    “I did all the classes, I just need to pay the fees to graduate.” (So you spent four plus years going to school, got done, but that last couple of hundred dollars stopped you from graduating?)

    Hello? Do you have any idea what tuition rates (esp. at private universities) are these days? This has really happened to more than one person I know, and it was never for a trivial amount.

  • ojrak

    People get nervous on interview day that they forget to check their car tires and forget to bring their cellphones. So you hear excuses like ‘my car broke down’ or ‘I got lost. Some even hold their breath for days in anticipation, can’t focus on kids and then on D day, one or some of the kids get sick. HR people should understand this.

  • JIM

    We like to call ir embelishing. That’s just a lie with a bow on top.

  • James

    So, you’ve never met a person who honest to goodness worked for a bunch of assholes? Do you honestly think your candidates’ previous employers are never at fault? What is a candidate to say when his employer treats him like crap on the job he has and then gives him horrible references to ensure he can’t move on? And people wonder why workers go postal…Isn’t it obvious?

  • Montreal Recruiter

    When you lie, you get caught. It’s that simple.

    • SUnsan

      I know people that lie all the time. They get caught most of the time but not one single times have they been called on it.

      • veteran222

        agreed, then they get in, “learn the system” and push out everyone else. Seen it, been there, done that. It’s gross because when something needs to get done, they have no initiative and rely on the questioning of others.

  • JK Seattle

    Sorry kids, but I am adult enough that I don’t need to be treated like a child and have to give you a ‘note’ to justify anything. A lot of those so called lies you point out are truths – they ARE NOT lies. I would tell you the lies recruiters tell candidates, but that would be taking away your business.

  • Jobee

    Tim, as per the theme in the comments, your article lacks empathy and can easily be interpreted as arrogant. As a HR professional, every interview is an opportunity to leave a positive impression of the Company I am representing and to increase my professional network. The advantage of having been both a hiring manager and candidate is you understand the experience from the other perspective. Perhaps you could utilise the time in your team meetings to coach your team on empathy and the power of employment brand.

  • CJ

    When I ran a truck driver temp service we called no shows
    alien abductions.

    • Tim Sackett

      I’m using that one!

  • Susan

    I could write a whole book about the lies recruiters tell candidates.

    • veteran222

      I’ve seen this. OMG…they’re just trying to hit targets…and I thought military recruiters were bad.

      • MDShelest

        lol – Army recruiters are still worse. They target high-schoolers.

  • Honey

    Early on in my career I knew somebody who loved firing those people who she could not get along with. The system was easy, give three warnings and fire the employee. One manager was given three most ridiculous warnings, just so she could get rid of her. She was well on her way, trying to give me warnings to get rid of me when I found a much better job and resigned before she could make me a culprit. Her harassment was to the point that she would come around to harass me even when I was not working in her area of operation. Complaining to higher authorities was useless. She took out and hid $200 under the cashier drawer to show a variance in my cash, and even after all my insistence she did not pull out the drawer where she had hidden the money…which was discovered by another manager later who told me about it. So many staff did not want to work with her. Once I met some of her family who passed on some real bad comments about her. All this…simply because she heard me saying that I am very good with cash handling and was planning to apply for senior cashier position.
    And yes, I have had some of the other excuses happen to me, Once I was told wrong place to go to by the navigator…another time the company had wrong office address on their own website…another time my husband left the car key in the car while I just got out of the car to go to interview after having finished a 12 hour night shift….and latest, I had an accident and was in hospital when I got the interview call on my mobile.
    Its called life! Shit happens! People are NOT ALWAYS telling lies although they probably do sometimes. 🙂

  • mc

    When their resume says they are “detail orientated” or “detailed orientated” you know the are a liar right away, otherwise their detail orientation would not have allowed such an egregious typo!

  • ABelanger

    While it is true that people lie in job interviews the “blame” cannot fall on any one individual because today’s society itself requires everyone to be a certain way, whether that is who they are or not. The younger generation, namely grads, lie about themselves in job interviews because they are too shy and insecure about themselves to tell the truth and promote themselves. The sad thing is that the lies they tell are not necessarily to make themselves look better but often to make themselves appear less skilled than they are. They do not know (or do not have the confidence) how to promote their skills without appearing too pushy or something so they put themselves down more instead. This too is considered bad with recruiters who want people to promote themselves but be honest at the same time and so they look at these undergrads as being unskilled and so they do not give them the job.

    Society itself is far too strict about being “perfect” in work, in social and in personal life and it leads to SO many of our problems today, like the lies. People feel that they HAVE to lie in order to get a job because society makes them feel that they have to be something they are not and for those who are they way society wants them to be they boast too much and do other things that they think they can get away with just because they are society’s “perfect” image.

    The next time someone lies at an interview, if the recruiter catches it right away it is not that hard to take a couple of minutes and discuss the topic which they feel the potential employee is lying about in order to discover the truth. This is not to say that they should come out and say that they think the person is lying but there are other ways of trying to make someone who is lying “slip-up” and force the truth to come out. Those who are lying to cover something up will show their true ugly colors but those who are lying because they feel they need to be way too modest will start shining in the interview. It’s all about trying to draw out the person’s REAL self by finding where they fit or where they don’t fit through general discussion.

  • Alain

    I wonder if sometimes the interviewer still remembers how it was to be on the other side of the table : to speak out the Truth and maybe get penalized, or to lie and risk getting caught out ! ….. what a dilemna ! If Mr Tim Sackett can tell me what to do !

  • YupYupYup

    Yes, companies really do fire people for reasons like the example in this list. My brother-in-law was killed in an accident and I notified my manager and requested two days off to go to the funeral and be with my sister. He said yes…and then fired me when I returned. (Yes, I returned on the day I was supposed to and was on time.) What he didn’t know was that my sister’s best friend just happened to be my manager’s regional manager. It didn’t go well for him and I got a different job.

  • Matteus

    Not to mention that when we do come clean, we don’t get the job… I have been trying the honest approach, I’m still jobless… You want to give me a job and prove me wrong?

  • aka texrat

    re: “I (or any family member) was in a bad accident and in the hospital, so they fired me for not showing up to work.” (No they didn’t – there are some bad companies out there, but no company does this.)

    You’re wrong. They do this and worse.


    Here’s a better list – Lies Told by HR Hacks

    1. I really have open, active jobs I need to fill;
    2. No, I’m not just resume collecting to justify my pay check;
    3. I really read the resumes that are sent in;
    4. I NEVER top pick the first ___ resumes that pop up in response to SEO;
    5. I’m impartial and objective;
    6. HR is NOT a willing stooge enabling corporate misdeeds (this was way obvious when the economy went down the toilet and corps leveraged HR to their advantage through job cut threats);
    7. No, of course age isn’t a factor in hiring (anyone over 50 looking for a job knows this is crap blatant);
    8. Yes, I read your resume and understand the contents (got this from some 20 year old twinkie on her first job (HR). She asked if I had ever held a position of responsibility. I asked her if she had read my resume and understood it, she said yes. I’m a former US Army Special Forces soldier, Jump Master, Pathfinder, and Repel Master … ’nuff said unless you’re an idiot, or HR, but I repeat myself. (Sorry Twain, couldn’t resist).

    As an Instructional Designer, Master of Science in Education, I am a Subject Matter Expert in curriculum and instruction. Having reviewed the curriculum for HR it is my SME opinion that the discipline lacks sufficient academic rigor to qualify for anything above an Associates Degree … and that’s being generous on my part.

    • Tim Sackett

      You’re probably right. But you know what they say – ‘Those that can’t do…teach’

  • CallMe Dan

    Well, the article is complete ridicilous, there is a minority who says that…

  • Morpheus239

    I thought this was a good article. After working for the same company for over 10 years I have seen all of those lies and to make matters worse, I never worked in HR. Even one person I recommended years ago laughed at me when I told him he had to take a hair drug test and said “Really? OK but you know me, I have never done drugs”. Tests came back about a week later for VERY high amounts of cocaine. When confronted he came clean and we were like “Did you think the test would miss it?”. He said “Yeah I was hoping so”. The best one, (one that makes me laugh the most), is one guy said he could not get the garage door open because of a power failure. Hmmmm.. the garage door opener has a cord on it for a reason and the cell phone tower were still working because you called 2 hours after your scheduled interview to tell us the power was still out. HR must see all sorts of lies that I cant even imagine.

  • Randy

    This article is really unprofessional. Is your list an important insight to candidates and hiring process or just the product of a pretty junior manager? I would expect more from someone who refers to their career as an HR professional. I can think of a number of instances where the HR team did not have a clue as to what the business needed but sure considered themselves “strategic”. But ridiculing that team for their failure to execute really solved nothing. And you article does exactly that. Solves nothing.

    You sure think pretty highly of yourself. What goes around comes around my friend.

  • cheedra

    expecting standard behavioral answer to judge candidates results in recruitment of incompetent staff or liars and loss of competent staff…

  • Rosalin

    That was nice. A very funny excuse that I’ve experienced in the “No show” category would be… candidate calls up and informs that he/she met with an accident, his/her legs are hurt, so can’t come for the interview… please reschedule it to sometime in the next week as he’s going to the hospital now 🙂

  • EA

    people who can find a job, work ….people who can’t find a job work in HR

  • plusaf

    You mean none of you in any business have ever had the “challenge” interview where the hiring manager asks you to solve a “hypothetical” problem?… i.e., one they can’t solve and you won’t get the job if your solution sounds plausible? That happens a lot, too.
    In a similar vein, I interviewed back around 1982 for an internal transfer. The job sounded appealing and matched a lot of my skills until the hiring manager described it in detail.
    Towards the end of the interview, I let her know that I was not interested in the job and summarized “my solution” for her this way: “The job you’re describing will be extremely boring after the initial work is done; after it’s complete, it could be done mostly by a computer and a good database. Hire a consultant and give them maybe a six-months contract and you’ll get everything you want. And by the way, when they’re done with that task, the output of the program could be used to computerize the next three or four steps in the production process, too.”
    I got a longer-term job working in a sales support organization for that same division and parlayed that into follow-on positions for about another twenty years.

  • Varun Menon

    One more excuse for the No-Show Interview Lies:
    I met with an Accident yesterday evening.

  • Morpheus239

    I see nothing wrong with the article. Simply stating what HR hears in interviews/resumes and what they actually found out about the candidate is not unprofessional nor incompetent. The fact is many job seekers do lie and I only see this as a warning of a HR Professional/Expert. There is nothing in this article that I have not seen people try or even had a friend or two tell me they actually tried to lie about it. People do stupid things. That does not exclude me. When I was in my 20s I lied about just about everything from trying to get a job to trying to get a date.

  • Ferret Chere

    I could easily write an article twice this length with “How recruiters lie and the ‘best’ lies they always seem to tell”.

    Actually, I’m going to do just that. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Joydeep

    Been in talent hunt in some organizations… Lies are mutual… Often recruiter lies to candidates about hours of work, Travel needs, joining bonus, shift timing, etc.

    As I was posting this comment – a featured article on right hand side of the screen caught my eye –

  • Jacob Webb

    Tim, you should post an article about the stupid things that recruiters ask in interviews. “If you were an animal, what would you be?” These kinds of questions are clear evidence that the recruiter doesn’t know what he’s looking for. It would be a great article if you could articulate how a candidate should manage those types of questions.

  • John

    All in all I think most recruiters are a joke, 9 times out of 10 they dont know a thing about the job they are recruiting for or they were not successful at the job so they became recruiters. I have rarely been asked questions at most interviews that pertained to the position I was applying for. It is truly sad that these are the people who are deciding who gets what job. Coming from the restaurant industry…no wonder so many restaurants are run like crap.

  • Amy

    Try having your University misspell your name on your diploma and trying to get it corrected EVERYWHERE before you assume your inability to do your research properly is a lie on the part of the person you are recruiting.

  • Tony

    interesting article, I would be more interested to see a countering set of examples of where Companies lie to the candidate. Personally, I think this is more prevalent. “yes, we have a great working culture, no politics here!” “yes, we have a great pipeline, that’s why we’re recruiting” etc. etc.

  • Guest

    I remember reading this in 2011, I’m pretty sure it’s a larger number now

  • veteran222

    Funny, when you tell the truth, the recruiters/HR look at you like your lying so….

    I want someone to tell me how they fixed problems, where they are weak, and what they don’t like. At least then, I or any manager can make a good decision. If everyone is perfect, the one who lies better wins.

  • Orcale

    From my experience, most recruiters don’t have a clue and they are usually quite jealous of the real talents they try to “recruit”

    • Tim Sackett


  • Amy

    This is a really ugly article that treats people like objects. Thought I was going to read something funny. Having taken a leap and given the benefit of the doubt to a homeless woman claiming to not have proper clothes for the job….I was rewarded for my faith in people by an employee who used part of her first paycheck to buy clothes. You think you know what you are talking about because you do the same things you have always done… But YOU are WRONG.

  • Jo

    Wow…the arrogance of this author and the lousy company she works for! Cracking jokes on the candidates that you interview? How extremely unprofessional is that?! I always wondered if that was true, now I know! Some of these candidates are unemployed and have families to support, and are really nervous and eager to get a job I’m sure they are all capable of doing. An to write an article about how them while they are vulnerable is so disrespectful and inconsiderate. I will boycott every company that has a recruiting team that does that.

  • Jo

    Wow…the arrogance of this author and the lousy company he works for! Cracking jokes on candidates that you interview? How extremely unprofessional is that?! Some of these candidates are unemployed, have families to support, and are really nervous and eager to get the job. The audacity of him to write an article insulting canidates while they are vulnerable is so disrespectful and inconsiderate. I will boycott every company that has a recruiting team that does that.

  • Jo

    …speaking of unprofessionalism, when you tell a candidate that you’re going to call to let them know if they were hired, and you never do,…you just lost a LOYAL customer!

  • Hadeel Bassam

    ” We (HR) also perpetuate this problem by hiring the folks who give you
    the crappy lie, but don’t hire the folks who come clean and tell you the
    truth.” Yes this is it !!!

  • Jo

    Can a 20 minute personality test really determine or demonstrate the ability of a candidates working skills and job performance? Is this an outdated method of hiring? Some of the hardest working, smartest, and creative people I know are a little weird!

    • Melinda Piette

      I once took a personality test that was so clearly slanted that it showed me to be the exact opposite of my personality. This was fine, I got the job….but seriously, it’s all BS

  • Imad

    All these Excuses are unreal! what position were you hiring for when the guy had to say “She told me she was 18??” The rest of the excuses mentioned too are pointless or used by people applying for interns or office boys! We expect important things on our Linkedin Walls and when we read such pointless things on it, we feel disappointing as people expect quality articles from experienced professionals like you. Please don’t post things just for the sake of….well posting things.

    • Imad


  • Samit Mathur

    take it as a funny article…. that’s all!! 🙂

  • Ironicgrl

    One of the main reasons people lie is not mentioned here. There are a significant percentage of the workforce who are “managed out of the business”… that’s the nice way to say bullied until they “choose” to leave. It is generally a very clever misuse of leadership (and HR) power. This type of bullying leaves a skilled and otherwise competent employee out of a job. If they are assertive enough to call the bluff, they are paid out with nondisclosure contracts. So what is this person meant to answer to “why did you leave your last job?” … ” sorry I can’t answer that question”???? or maybe a little white lie?

  • RR

    As a seasoned HR professional, I find this article rather rude (even to me).

    “Never assume or judge another person. People are people is good for the books. People are different is what you need to read it as.”

    Generalizing excuses and making a list to publish is easy. I can also categorize the things recruiters tell both clients and candidates as ‘excuses’. What has been penned are fantastic tips for the recruiting team to consider but I would not have gone as far to ask “So, you both ‘mutually’ decided that you would no longer have a job?”

    The answer to this (99/100 times) is “I’d rather be unemployed than work for this place”. Mutual consent goes either ways, especially for candidates with a high degree of ethics.

    Some fantastic articles from the author, but I think this one sounds better inside the head.

    • Navdib

      So, you mean we should voice stuff that everyone will agree to and keep the rest resounding in our heads because it might offend some people? Now isn’t that being typically HR and hypocritical?

      Having said that, the article isn’t anything great and if you think these tips are amazing, it just goes to show the IQ level of most recruiters. Do you really need to be told “watch out for these”. Then again, couldn’t some of the stuff up there be genuine? How do you know if someone is genuinely telling you the truth or lying? Again, having said that I must take that back because your last sentence says “you only say what others like to hear” and that is the same as lying. That is not a good thing at all.

      Kevin up there is right. Cats out of the bag.

  • Navid

    I was shocked in recent Indian recruiters interviewed me for the sales position, they asked me why did you resigned so quickly I said I was asked to transfer another city which was not mentioned in job agreement however I demanded for salary increment, the recruiter asked so you resigned if they didn’t accept your demand I said YES, then said its mean you are hot tempered, I said NO you should say demanding its a services contract between me and company non shall favor for each other, we are selling our services to the company and company paying us for that so nothing to be hot tempered in that. And then they rejected me….

  • Kevin Baldwin

    Well the cat’s out of the bag now. Is this the level that the over paid HR profession operate at, driven by gossip, politics, and prejudice.

  • Navdib

    I was part of the outsourcing industry and worked as a Sales/Solutions Analyst. Unlike most analysts, I wouldn’t sit around at work quietly writing reports and responding to RFP’s, I’d go out and sell and build my own clients. I was shun from a sales role because I didn’t have an MBA. It didn’t matter that clients wanted me to discuss their business problems and work together instead of the sales guys. Later, I quit the job and every time a recruiter asked me why I quit the job when I didn’t have one in hand, I simply said because I thought that was best, I’d had enough and I wanted out.

    And since then finding a job has been an uphill task. It is probably very hard for recruiters to understand how could someone working in a call center selling insurance go onto start selling business solutions and moved into product marketing and then became an analyst and also sold and brought in business. They say and this is actual feedback “they’ve not come across a more confusing resume than mine in a while”. Well, honestly how could they understand that a person can be more ambitious than the place where s/he starts out. For them it appears after attending interviews for the past 10+yrs is that if your resume does not seem to follow a traditional expected path, you are confusing and are potentially a fake.

    Another interesting aspect of recruiters is their ability to belittle you when you tell them the salary you expect. Normally you do this when you’re pushed to say a number because otherwise we usually say we are good to negotiate. To a recruiter and hiring manager, you rarely deserve the salary you ask for. Or maybe its something to do with Asia.

    I stopped looking for a jobs and in the last four years have survived with freelancing and without a regular paycheck. The best part is, I’m doing alright. And I started a company of my own too and though its just been 3 months, its doing very well for a 3 month old.

    And in these 3 months, I’ve given an opportunity to B-school grads and undergrads from various backgrounds including a recruiter or two who wanted to make some money on the side. Here’s what I found and this is interesting – the undergrad students (still to graduate) fared better than B-school graduates and the recruiters fared the worst. What was the basic job you might ask? Fixing appointments and taking interviews. I didn’t judge any of them based on their qualifications, looks, or whatever have you may – I just gave them a chance. It has been an interesting experience. But I made sure I was a little discriminatory while deciding who to give the opportunity. Since I’m from India and folks some B-schools think no one can be better than them and recruiters even put up jobs postings stating if you’re not from those B-schools, you are not to apply – I decided I would give anyone who comes to me a try as long as they are not from those B-schools and Engineering colleges – schools whose alumnus think the world revolves around them.

    Point is, most recruiters are truly clueless. And it is true that some folks lie to get a job and make ridiculous stuff up like some in this article here but some times, some are just plain desperate and end up saying stuff to look good. If you make the candidate feel like you’re going to put a bullet in their head for not saying the right answers, they are bound to say things they might think will keep them in the running. Sometimes it is genuine.

    Would you as a hiring manager allow a candidate to go take a cigarette break in the middle of an interview? Probably not. Well, I did and I still do and will continue to do so though I’m not a smoker. I did give a candidate that break once because the poor fella was so nervous he looked like he would break-down any minute. The cigarette calmed his nerves and I took his interview while he was smoking in the smoking area drinking coffee with me and he didn’t even realize his interview was done. It was all a casual chat.

    Recruiters, you guys need to understand the candidate. The candidate does not need to understand you. Yes s/he is looking for a job but s/he is already in the hot seat so cut them some slack and try and be more humane. Unfortunately, most recruiters pride themselves in the fact that they are the gatekeepers to jobs instead of being a bit more down to earth and being helpful.

  • Homer

    How Recruiters Lie and Otherwise Abuse Sincere Job Seekers

    Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

    “I’ll Call you back next Thursday”

    Two years ago.

    “I send you an Email next week”

    Six months ago

    “The decision maker is traveling so we can’t get back to you until about the 20th”

    Three months ago.

    Recruiter to Recruiter: See how we can make Homer run; watch Homer run!

    We do not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, religion, age or national origin

    “They want a young buck they can train up”

    “This job only pays $ 90,000. per year which is too little for you to live in that area”

    “You are too senior for that role”

    Recruiter to Recruiter: How can old Homer think anyone will hire him at his age; hope he will commit suicide and not bother us anymore.

    Get Lost

    “They will only hire people who used to work for company (name withheld) or (name withheld)”

    “They are still collecting candidates” (for a job that has been listed for six months)

    “They are not familiar with the company you used to work for”

    Recruiter to Recruiter: How we enjoy playing god with Homer; how we love to twist his resume into a a ball of scrap paper and throw it in the trash.

  • Tushar

    One of my opinions about this topic is that yes candidates mostly lie . There are many unseen and unknown reasons why the candidate lied . It may be because the candidate knows that if he tells the truth , nobody will recruit or becoming a common joker factor when he has already switched too many companies or has lost his way out because of earning good salaries . In certain cases , there are reasons of health and financial needs which drive the candidate to lie during interviews . In trying to get a job he commits even things which he does not know by saying that he will learn on the job ,etc.. .

    Well this is my opinion because I have faced this fact . Though a candidate is technically sound , in today’s world at present when HR asks for references , things do not turn out well during the interview. It happened in my case hence I am close to this topic to give a comment.

    Productivity and Performance of a candidate is the most important topic during the interview but because of the lie of the candidate who has his own reasons hamper the growth of the company . Instead of having a point to point scale to measure the skill of the individual , there has to be gradings which define a slab where that individual has to be ethically placed considering all practical facts.

    This is an ongoing topic with probably every organizations especially when you have to look for skills with a short timeline to cover.

  • scott

    There are indeed bad companies here in England – I worked for a company where I had said I wanted to earn £10K more, so that I could be in a bargaining position with my bank to re-negotiate my mortgage; [nothing wrong with asking, I thought]. The big boss called me in, and said I could either resign, or give them a couple to days to sack me and not provide a good reference. So I resigned and haven’t worked for 15 months.

  • Warry of articles which bait

    You do all realize that responding to this arrogant article in any way shape or form has officially put you on the radar of every HR person out there who is paid to surf the social media and news sites so they can locate, document and label would be candidates as “ineligible for representation” based on their “not being able to represent the firm or the firm’s client base in a positive manner”. You just enabled today’s thought police in their new mission – to kill your careers before they’ve even got started. Welcome to the new McCarthyism – blacklisting of job seekers that have the unmitigated gall to not only have personal opinions but the sheer balls to share them. (No matter how justified your reaction to published sewage like this article may in fact be.) Do yourself a favor, if you don’t agree with garbage like the above article, just close your browser window and squeeze your stress ball for a few minutes. But don’t post anything with a traceable photo, email address or member ID. In the new world of vindictive HR initiatives, its only your own career that will suffer, not theirs.

    • MDShelest

      YES! Exactly! So – Recruiters and HR Reps – please review my comments and GIMMIE A JOB!

  • Josef Walkure

    Hahaha, HR professionals are the worse type of people on the face of the Earth, everyone knows that. The corporate gestapo and con-men/women of the nameless, faceless corporate masters. I mean, I know guys who use to be paid by our government to kill people for a living, real cut-throats these guys were, and even they think you people are immoral. I found this article–an article about people’s dishonesty and ease and willingness to deceive–very amusing coming from HR professionals. Thank you for the good laugh.

  • Gunnerhavesome

    What about the recruiter lies, I’ll call you back later!!! I’ll call you back tomorrow to confirm!!! I’ll update you later in the week!! let me call the client and I’ll call you right back. All of these and you never hear from them again despite then trying to follow up. they are at lunch. AT 10 in the morning come on. They are in a meeting Ok maybe true but all week. just have the guts to call back when you say you will or even an email to say thanks but no thanks. I had one position where I received 4 phone calls in an afternoon about flights to get me to a job overseas for which I had signed a contract but then received a cowardly email at 7pm at night to say they could no longer proceed and then refused to take my calls.

  • Kevin Hengehold

    Tell me no one was so brazen as to make that stupid coffee joke when they were interviewing for a developer’s position….

  • Fahmina Arshad

    very interesting

  • Fred D

    About education, how would you know it is a lie? Did you check?
    I was working 70 hours a week instead of writing my thesis, which I finished months later.
    One of my best friends wrote his thesis 4 years after his last class.

    Is that paper really of any value after (really) validating every other credit?

    The only reason I bothered is because of a promise I made to my father.

  • Natalie – HR Recruiter

    This article is poorly written and just stupid in my opinion. How do you make fun of people who are stretching the truth to get a job in these hard times? I used to be an agency recruiter and left because I refused to “sell” jobs to honest candidates. When was the last time this recruiter “stretched the truth” to place a candidate I wonder? I will write an article on the top lies Recruiters tell. “Oh no there is definitely an opportunity for growth…” “They will give you a raise in just 6 months if you prove yourself….” “Its a great team environment, everyone is super nice!…” “well I am told they promote an excellent wok/life balance” and so the list goes on……

  • Sushant

    No offense intended to anybody – specially the recruiter community. But I have found on many instance how either (1) recruiters don’t understand the ‘actual’ job roles, and the skills required for the same; and (2) they get confused and ‘stressed’ when their own company’s HR or some other vertical Head gives description of an opening, which may sound very difficult, non practical and ridiculous! In case of point number (2), poor recruiters can’t even argue or convince their superiors to delete some competency factors.

    I also think that “Termination” is a very broad and most misrepresented word that floats in recruitment. I think companies need to take a stand if they would want to see the “Termination” word positively or not. There could be end number of reason why an employee could be terminated… vary of an employee knowing business / process secrets; company arm-twisting an employee to do some unethical work or personal compromise; bad bosses joining recently and wanna “boss in” and throw their mood swings on employees working on the process since more than 4 years…..there could be numerous reasons for that. Worst part is in case of wrong termination, employee can’t even take on a legal course against the employers who maybe well-funded. Legal courses in any country is wastage of time, money (and also outcome). Besides, there would be family to feed for the terminated employee!

  • khurram hameed

    You know what is interesting that these recruiters always prefer to hire candidates as far as they answer what recruiters wanted to hear…. no matter the fact is far different from what they claim… they hardly hire straight forward candidates…

  • João Pimentel Ferreira

    THERE ARE companies in Portugal that fire women for being pregnant and limit time access to toilet, so YES, “there are some bad companies out there” or I need you to remind you the catastrophe in Bangladesh where one thousand workers lost their lives?

    • David

      And sometimes it’s not even a problem with the company. Sometimes there just isn’t a cultural fit. Many people want employees that conform, others want employees that challenge and stand out. If you end up in the wrong job or environment, you will probably not last at that company.

  • Arshia

    SO True ” Candidates continue to lie because Talent/HR Pros don’t call them out on it. We (HR) also perpetuate this problem by hiring the folks who give you the crappy lie, but don’t hire the folks who come clean and tell you the truth.”

  • Danny Veling

    I’m neither a recruiter nor am I a disadvantaged applicant with an ‘odd but true’ story but I still think it is no use insulting each other over the matter.

    I think the truth here is, as many times, in between. don’t auto-assume people are lying, but feel free to ask questions to double check if you are not comfortable with the answer.

  • Pepijn

    Ah shush. If you can write an article on job candidates, I can write a book about recruiters’ malpractices, shameless arrogance, incompetence and ignorance. Amen.

  • savitha

    I had a break in my career and first I did not know how to inform the new company or at interview because it was recession time and my earlier company decided that they needed to cut off some of the employees so I was one of them, since I was not comfortable telling them that I was part of recession cut off(becos then the hiring company would understand it assume that I was a bad worker so I got cut off)..I lied saying that it was personal etc…in anycase I tried to get a job for 2.5 years, no go…no one was hiring, then one company hired me which was going on well and suddenly there seemed to be too many changes in company, my manager stopped coming to office and 3 months I came to office and I was checking with HR for a new manager but it seemed that one by one everyone was resigning…so invariably HR informed us to try any other jobs in the company but no go, since lot of jobs were gtg cut off and also new management wanted voluntary resignation from the employees, we were under pressure to decide to either resign find something new jobs, so I dint know what to do..I then had no option so I resigned & its 1.5 years now and each time I attend an interview, I tell them that the reason for my resignation is management change and I had no manager to work with, I had to quit, but I dont think anyone believed it

  • Animesh

    biggest truth – this article is bullshit! written by someone who has 20 years of experience of lying…den observing the actual lies…..

  • Faiz Alahmary

    I’m surprised with this level of conversation between experienced professionals ??!!!!

    All business and engineering majors are important and each path has its own uniqueness.

  • Chris McGlynn

    I really wish recruiters would shut up. You do not have a difficult job and in most cases you do not seem able to read a cv. Please just be quiet.

  • Soo P

    Unfortunately the candidates who lie, then taint those of us who are honest….. when I first went out into the world of work at the tender age of 16, I had an interview lined up at an Estate agents. My car DID break down, and I called the agency to tell them. I never got a second chance at an interview. So clearly the employer made the assumption I was lying. So it works both ways, recruiters and employers can be just as bad!! The other thing that companies are guilty of is wasting candidates’ time. I’ve recently been through 2 redundancies in 12 months, and the last one left me out of work for 6 weeks. I had plenty of interviews lined up, and two were with big Corporates. One of them I had three interviews with, and they then did the usual and made the decision to recruit someone internally. They were clearly just going through the motions and formalities but had no intention of recruiting someone externally. This is extremely frustrating from a candidates POV, and you could say that really it means companies are lying to candidates too! So again, it happens on both sides!!

  • JDesler

    I have to share the #1 excuse, I heard over the years of hiring not showing up for an interview… Any the winner is “My Grandmother got sick and we had to take her to the hospital.” Here is another I always asked when I owned a bar hiring bartenders; “There is two types of people – those that work for themselves and those who work for the business?” “Which type do you fall under?” 100% work for the business – I’d catch them stealing tips within week and fire them.

  • Brawling

    Recruiters and HR are, generally speaking, the most uninformed members of corporate life. They just don’t get it. I know of several instances when the fortune 50 company I worked for fired people for having accidents, that’s not even odd. They were notorious for firing pregnant woman executives. The poor alcoholic should have been referred for treatment not fired. (also, illegal) I feel for Tim. He must be the recruiter for a Church. I think hiring managers should do their own hiring for all non industrial posts.

  • TLNT

    Actually, while HR are of value I also find that they block fully qualified individuals from even getting the first interview. Don’t know how many time i have heard of HR representatives blocking out candidates who should have been brought out to the hiring manager. I am in touch with many of these former candidates, now employees, who went around the HR reps and presented themselves to the hiring managers and were hired. HR people are NOT the hiring managers and, in fairness, really do not understand the needs and requirement of the hiring managers.
    My opinion, get the hiring managers to screen/review the applications instead.

  • NP

    One of my favorites was from an older guy (which we had zero issue with, you just have to probe a little to make sure they really know how to use a computer…some do some don’t). I ask, “how are your typing skills, can you type?” “Oh yes, yes definitely” he says. I said, “I mean 10 finger, not looking at the keyboard, typing.” Oh…no, I don’t know how to do that.” I guess he though I just wanted to know if he had ability to identify letters and numbers and press the button. haha

  • joepill

    You mentioned a question you put to a candidate, but its not in a form of a question. Recruiters in corporations should be good grammar users too; in person, in email, and in article writings.

  • Reginald V. Finley

    A number of these things have happened to me! Not everyone is lying about these things. I worked in recruitment as well, if some of these things didn’t happen to me, I wouldn’t have believed them. I almost didn’t get my recent Masters degree either because I was unemployed and couldn’t pay for my final courses. I was actually one class away from my associates 15 years ago and some life events occurred that stopped me short of getting that degree. Only one class! By the time I considered finishing it up, they changed the curriculum and I was told that I had to take 4 courses to graduate. I said “F” it. I didn’t go back to school until 12 years later.. This happens to students more than people realize, ask any college administrator. Also, statistically, the “no show” lies would actually happen. These things happen with ever increasing frequency the more people you call into the office. Probability. It’s inevitable. My car has broken down at least twice to various interviews over the past 15 years. Anyway, just offering a differing perspective.

  • Jimmy

    Tim, all credit to you for having the courage to post such an article.
    However, don’t you think it is a bit extreme?
    The replies to your article seem to tell a lot…

  • SafetyViking

    I think I’ve worked with some of those people….

  • AA Williams

    I will say, I really did have car trouble on the way to an interview about 22 or 23 years ago. This was pre cell phone but I did call and reschedule. 30 minutes in the Houston summer with no AC meant I wasn’t going in late. So it does happen, but I’m sure some percentage of them are lies.

  • NB

    “I (or any family member) was in a bad accident and in the hospital, so they fired me for not showing up to work.” (No they didn’t – there are some bad companies out there, but no company does this.)

    You’ve never worked for CVS and tried to take a half-day to take your child to the dentist.

  • Mickey7

    Actually, there are plenty of companies who fire (or threaten to fire) employees who have to take time off for catastrophic emergencies. My niece unexpectedly developed heart failure during a minor procedure done at a facility under the umbrella of the healthcare company my sister worked for and needed to spend weeks in intensive care. My sister was told she would be fired if she took more than what was left on on her ‘generous’ one week PTO benefit. So this healthcare company’s hospital nearly killed the kid and then they threatened to fire her mother for trying to take care of her. Nice.

    I’m pretty sure this large medical corp in Arizona wouldn’t be on anyone’s list as a ‘bad’ company, but they have no problem being brutal martinets when employees have emergencies. I think you need to rethink your position on that particular ‘lie.’

  • George Jempty

    Completely slanted in favor of companies instead of candidates (“there are some bad companies out there, but no company does this”). When I go on interviews, I’m interviewing them as much as me. How many times are candidates in a situation where companies are supposed to call to do a phone screen, or otherwise have committed to contact you in some way, and the companies either fail to do so at all, or are late. Would they hire me if I showed up late to an interview? Then I’m not working for them if they fail to call for a phone interview on time — it shows they have no respect for you. I’m interviewing companies, they’re not interviewing me.

  • Tina R

    Everyone lies on their resume. Even recruiters, so stop acting like you are above us all. At the end of the day the question is whether or not the candidate can do the job. If he/she embellished their resume to get in the door so what if they can do the job. So you give a techy a technical interview and give others tests that tell you whether or not they can do the job and you find good solid candidates. And you stop assuming that everything is a lie. Maybe their car really did break down and if not why do you really care, isn’t the talent pool large enough to find about 10 more candidates in their place? Oh, but that would require more actual work so maybe you are just complaining about having to work a little for your salary. I share most of the others sentiments on recruiters. They are usually scum who could care less if they place you in the right position or with the right company as long as they get paid. How about an article on recruiter etiquette and you could start with how 85% of them don’t even call a candidate after an interview to give them feedback. Or maybe about the lies recruiters tell you like “yes this is a contract to hire” when really its a contract only job. That’s always great for a single mother to find out 6 months into her 6 month contract when she’s about to have to go find another job!

    • MDShelest

      I do not lie. Not “Everyone” lies. I will defend my integrity through proof and past performance. Please do not label people you do not know. My resume is technically written in simple, factual statements. Tina, you are labeling everyone based on your own perception of yourself. I am glad that I do not know you. Certainly, all HR and Recruiters reading this, you now know who NOT to hire. Please do not judge all of us from this simple persons perspective.

  • Bruce Randall

    15 years experience in Storage Area Networks, delivering training for SANs as a introduction five day course. And now I am looking for work competing with people who did my training and have recruiting companies say yer yer we have thousands of people like you? Funny how I had the highest accreditation at HP for SANs and only 2 other people in Australia had it at the time and recruiters cannot tell the difference. I have been looking for work for three weeks and i can tick off every requirement except a Bachelor degree from a University and yet i shake my head when i get one in my classroom cause they might know the theory but they have no clue in the real world and I cannot even get an interview.

  • Ina Given

    Sometimes the company is asking for way too much out of the position they are trying to fill. The person may be more then able to do the job but has no way to fit into the the list of qualifications asked for. There are companies out there who fire people for reasons that are stated in the application. Many companies have taken the attitude that there are so many unemployed out here they no longer have to show any kind of humanity towards their workers.
    I agree that there are people who lie to get jobs but it also must be stated that there are companies out there who lie about the positions they are hiring for.

  • Don’t

    Please make sure your ultra professional whining babies with a entitlement complex never contact me looking for candidates. I can tell as many stories as you did about lies from recruiters and HR people. Very little respect for people that are neither human or resources.

  • RedFred

    The issue once identified, requires working in the solution. Recruiters provide a service designed to eliminate the necessary time consuming process of hiring a qualified employee. The solution is “dressing up” the issue so as not to appear as an issue, and with the understanding that an issue involving irregularities regarding background checks, education, and experience have been effectively corrected. Candidates are people too, as are recruiters, and at times fall short of expectation.

  • Paul

    Getting a degree only proves that you can study and remember what you studied. Applying your degree and it’s philosophy is what counts. I have met many people over the years with more letters past their name than the alphabet, but they can’t apply anything they learned to the modern world. At the same time, I’ve met people with much less education and the street smarts to run circles around any MBA or P. Eng. I would much rather hire someone with an inate capability than just the education.

    On a second note, good Engineers and good business people are very different personalities. Engineers tend to be black and white thinkers because they work with in the laws of physics, mathematics, etc., whereas a good business leader works in the grey… much more of a gut feel approach to problem solving. What feels right vs what the numbers are telling you. That’s a leap that many engineers can’t make and that’s why many fail as managers, but excel as individual contributors. If you find one that can do both, hang on to them and pay them lots.

    • MDShelest

      I can do both! Someone gimmie a job!

  • sally

    wonderful job

    • Tim Sackett

      Thank you!

  • Pradeep Rajput

    I am afraid to say but, he’s a bull shit, having NO human feelings. I am interviewing the candidates from last two decades and as I find out most of them are genuine.

  • Craig A. Reading

    Fame grabbing topic. It seems that people will go to amazing lengths in order to get their 15 minutes of fame. It also seems that recruiter are as frustrated as job seeking candidates. To paraphrase others, the job market is a “Black Hole” when it comes to finding meaningful and rewarding work. GOOD recruiters follow up, return calls, and get involved with both clients and candidates. Lies, half-truths, and fictional stories only hurt the candidate, agreed, but sometimes truth is stranger than fiction… Good candidates tell the truth and have references and recommendations to back up their experiences. BUT most recruiters take shortcuts and never even get to the pertinent information. I was approached by a colleague asking if I wanted to start a consultant placement firm, because he was disgusted by the level of professionalism within the recruiter / HR areas. The bottom line is that people are people and some will do anything to better themselves at the expense of others…

    • MDShelest

      Shouldn’t pass judgment. Maybe the guy was just telling an interesting story. Maybe hiring someone is as difficult as finding a job.

  • Monica

    Tim- Thank you so much for the amusing article! I could not stop clutching my abdomen, my eyes were like a retina reservoir streaming tsunami, as I continued howling in laughter..wew!!!

  • PaleV

    What stands out to me, is that these “candidates” were selected for interviews in the first place. This is where recruiters fail, and why so many qualified applicants never get the opportunity to demonstrate their job fitness by honestly presenting their skills, experience, ethics, and motivation. Gone are the days when an employer would take a chance on sincere applicants with transferable skills. Now, if you don’t have the right key words, job headline, or format to keep your resume or CV in the pile, you will never make it to the decision maker–the person who actually knows what it takes to do the job well.

  • B

    I’ve had a company tell me ” you’re good at what you do, you just can’t do it here ” and fired me. Two hours later a staff member sent an email out that was racist and stated ” I’m not sad “. That employee still works for the company, I do not. AND they made me sign a non compete agreement for 2 years to receive unemployment which I was told ” we don’t have to give you this, but we’d like you to use this so you can find another job.”

    Silver Spring, Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington D.C. ( Wisconsin Avenue to be exact )

    • B

      This was also after a 8 months. 6 of which were probation where I was to have a review and discuss salary advancement. They kept putting off the review and then fired me. These experiences are due to the new method of companies hiring freelancers and not valuing employees. I worked weekends and slept in that office for projects, and in the art world, I was denied my work to showcase on portfolio as well. I think recruiters and companies may have some gross stories but I also think the TRUE employee, the TRUE job seeker has equal to or greater than in comparison.

  • Melisa

    Most of those are true…I am an independent recruiter and have had to deal with candidates telling me so many weird stories (lies)…

    However, I’ve had many jobs that needed me to go to interviews and believe it or not, it happened that I really had a bad car accident and couldn’t make it and it happened also that I had to go to the hospital as I passed out a couple of hours before the interview as I was sick (I was unaware of my medical situation at that moment).

    And I have seen people got fired too for real reasons that bosses didn’t believe but was in fact true…One of my colleague, for example, had to leave early one day because her mom had cancer and that day went to hospital… the doctors told her she didn`t had much time left…The manager of the department fired her although she had all the proofs regarding her mom`s hospitalization and death. I had a similar situation because I got cancer and had to miss days of work for treatments…they fired me too!

    Sometimes, it`s not just about the candidate…Sometimes it`s about the other person (recruiter/manager/director). In my point of view, if the person asks for another interview because something bad happened, then it’s worth giving him/her another shot. If, however, the candidate doesn’t request another interview to make it up to the recruiter/manager/director, then too bad so sad for him/her. And also, again there are lot of liars out there, but sometimes, stories are actually true…Being a recruiter is not only checking records, skills, references and criminal backgrounds…You also have to be empathetic…

  • SKramer

    Let’s not forget about companies who lie to candidates. The story I’ll take to my grave is about the company I worked for following a five-year run with GE (GREAT experience there, but they sold my division). This interviewing executives said they wanted to be like GE in the sense that they want people who speak their mind and are empowered to act.

    I took them at their word, accepted the job, and contributed as openly as I did at GE as it pertained to my area of expertise and responsibility.

    A couple of weeks later, my supervisor said to me (EXACT quote here), “You haven;t been here long enough for anyone to want to hear what you have to say.” I am SO glad that chapter of my career is behind me…

  • dail f melton

    Interesting article. Well, at 57 and as a current candidate looking for a “filler income” job at this time, I’ve got a couple of points I want to throw out for recruiters to consider. The first being the “drug tests.” Now…I do not smoke, nor have I ever smoked, cigarettes or ‘pot’ but; I kid you not, when the last employer hired me, and they did hire me, I failed the cannabis test. He showed me. I was as shocked as he was. Finally I responded that I had eaten a muffin earlier just to get the job. But in reality I hadn’t. So, recruiters need to find a way to work around the nature of human body chemistry on some applicants, other wise, you could loose out on a good employee. Next…
    The age thing, is just dang ridiculous. If a interviewee shows up obviously ‘fit’ and in apparently good health, then to pass up on their wisdom gleaned from years in the work force is just dang stupid. A employer I worked for, recycles used goods. They have twenty something’s estimating the value of the items coming across their benches yet; they stick the “old men” on janitorial detail. (Or try too.) So imagine my frustration when I empty the trash and find that a “youngster” has thrown out an antique not realizing it was valuable. (Like the old ragged book that turned out to be worth $2600. dollars!) So recruiters, don’t under estimate the value of an older person on staff. They may just save you a bundle on your ‘training curve costs.” Finally,…
    Every so often in life, one just happens to meet a genuine interviewee who seemingly has a broad range of experiences in a variety of trades or professions in life. They just seem to knowledgeable on many things to be of any real value. Well…
    Whoa!…hold on here. Perhaps due to their past or their interests, they just acquired a lot of different experiences along life’s way. Maybe they aren’t a pro in any one thing but; I’ve learned from previous employment that; it just don’t hurt to have at least one “jack-of-trades” on staff to fill the voids of knowledge that may exist in all the pros on board. There are some really unique employees that exists out there, and to stumble on one maybe a recruiter’s good fortune.

  • Ted Garrison

    It amazing how smart everyone is in this discussion. Only their profession has smart people – all the rest are just dumb and parasites on the system. I would suggest there are weak performers in every profession – including doctors, engineers, professors, and McDonald’s workers. However, there are talented people in all those positions also – yes even at McDonalds. Most jobs require a certain amount of education and a certain amount of on the job training. Often doctors can’t fix the simplest thing around the house, engineers often have trouble communicating, many people hate sales. Jobs have different people doing them because they require different skills. The reality is if someone does his job well it looks easy. I would venture to guess that most people couldn’t just step in and do some else’s job in a different profession.
    SO STOP CRITICIZING EVERY OTHER PROFESSION THAN YOURS. Sure some jobs require less intelligence – but studies show if a person is too qualified for a position he actually does a poor job doing it because he become bored and becomes careless. Jobs need to challenge people for the system to be effective. Therefore we need people at all levels and as the people become more skilled at the job they can move up to the next level. Sure there is some deadwood out there – always will be, but most people are trying to do a good job. Sure many people at low levels give you ridiculous reason for things, but often those reasons were provided by senior management.

    In the end respect your fellow man and the world would function a lot better.

  • Kyle Schlapkohl

    I think that the writer of this article is a bit clueless about how most industries work and it’s a bit pretentious to talk about lying a completely negative connotation. I don’t want to start an argument with someone who clearly knows about the business of HR, but I say that if someone has the charisma and intelligence to pull off a bit of deceit, they’re the type of person I want to work with. Above you’re missing the most important deceptions, the ones YOUR company tells to people to sell a product or service. Sure, honesty is usually the best policy, but at some point, you’re engaging in a bit of mass deception to convince people that what you’re selling or doing is the best thing since sliced bread.

    “Yes, our product is the best one out there.”

    “I’m not sure we really consider THEM competitors.”

    “We’re the #1 company in OUR category.”

    Now I’m not saying that there aren’t some really bad liars out there, I’m saying that to outright not pick someone for a job because he/she told a lie of omission or skewed the truth a bit to make themselves a viable candidate is bad business. Today’s world is all about trying to put people into this box or that Venn Diagram, and HR people are usually the worst. By hiring this way, you’ll get a large number of workers who can do the job, but to the exclusion of the superstars who fall outside of box. The Bill Gates’, Steve Jobs’ and Richard Branson’s of the world would never have gotten hired if they were interviewing with a normal HR person.

    In the cases where I’ve had to hire someone, I always personally check background and references and if I think they’ll be an asset to the company, I pull the trigger. If I catch them in a minor lie, I weigh it against what I’ve learned and make a decision. If I feel they have the potential to be a rockstar, I’ll hire them on a trial period. God forbid I’m wrong, I can always fire the person.

    Companies today are too afraid to fire people. I know it creates more work for HR people, but when I started my previous job, I was working between 12-16 hours a day and living on coffee and bagels. Is it wrong of me to expect the same commitment from every person in the organization? Or at least to not get a dirty look when I ask you to do your job? When you’re afraid to go above and beyond because it’s more work, you’ll end up with Dilbert’s and Wally’s of the world. Perfect on paper, but lacking that special thing that makes us all want to band together and make the organization into a world-class powerhouse.

  • rrxing

    “I (or any family member) was in a bad accident and in the hospital, so they fired me for not showing up to work.” (No they didn’t – there are some bad companies out there, but no company does this.)
    It didnt’ happen to me, but to a very close co-worker. She totally did not deserve the termination, or any punishment, for that matter. When the economy is in recession, many companies will take even the slightest opportunity to reduce their workforce. Sad.

  • Roberta Jennings


    I have to disagree with your comment above “(No they didn’t – there are some bad companies out there, but no company does this.)”

    There are some absolutely terrible employers out there and the stink starts at the top and goes to the bottom, middle whatever. It runs from no management skills to no money, filthy offices, etc.

  • disqus_km5CTpHGGm

    Wow, these are terrible lies.

    • Melinda Piette

      What about just conflicts with managers? That happens all the time, for a vast variety of reasons (including being too good at your job and thus making your boss feel threatened). Would you have compassion for a person who has gone through that?
      Because that IS the reason for most terminations

      • disqus_km5CTpHGGm

        I don’t work in HR and I agree with you; but the above listed are ridiculous lies. I’ve been a victim of it, and I’ve reflected a lot on this. I still don’t have the answer other than part of being a successful professional at any company is learning to play along. Your employer is like your client, you have to keep them happy. Even if it means sucking up the dysfunctional personalities and relationships at work. Otherwise, we end up unemployed when the best thing would have been to be as professional as possible and leave when you have another better job lined up.

        And, as I’ve learned more than anything, HR is there for their employer and c-level executives, not to make nice nice with the rest of us. Sad, not jaded, I do belief this is the truth until someone enlightens me as to a better theory.

  • NickL1975NYC

    oh and hiring managers never lie right? (and never discriminate either)… Most recruiters have a real inflated sense of sense importance as well and have a very ‘I am better than you attitude toward the job seeker’.. Thankfully, I own my own business and have a constant flow of income which will be in the six figures so I dont really have to deal with this recruiter BS especially for some $75,000 a year corporate job

  • vikrant

    How Must HR expect lie from a condidate during interview particularly with respect to the the reason of leaving earlier job

  • sklaw5

    Dear Mr. Sackett:
    You are an arrogant fool. You know damned well that staffing agencies and employers lie through their teeth whenever they find it covenient. They claim to have jobs which they post only to fill their files with resumes from people whom they never intend to call. They call desperate people in for interviews for jobs which do not yet exist. They take advantage of people who have families to feed. It sounds like you have surrounded yourself with people who are as smug and dishonest as yourself.

  • sklaw5

    By the way Mr. Sackett, I have a good job but empathize with people who are unemployed. I hope you join them.

  • iikati

    Candidates lie. So do bosses. Right now I’m picturing a list of companies in my head that includes Enron, WorldCom and AIG. Sad to say, there are even HR staff who should probably pick other careers because they are either burned out and cynical and have forgotten what it’s like to be human, or are just in the wrong career to begin with.

    I’m an Engineering hiring manager who has built a center of excellence in a city that is remote to my corporate headquarters. In 2 years I have interviewed almost 500 people (I interview people, not candidates or applicants) and seen thousands of resumes. Perhaps my situation is unusual but I have yet to have a single person miss a scheduled interview, regardless of cars and children. Overall this article leaves me feeling that the author should take a sabbatical.

  • MDShelest

    Imagine how hard it is for us perspective employee’s who are actually honest. You don’t believe us because it is like talking to a jaded police officer… you feel everyone is lying to you … even when the good ones aren’t. Perhaps you should call out the liars when it happens. Integrity is a lost concept in modern business, and thus we as a people perpetuate the systems as it stands – we’re trying to fit in. Our priority is to sustain our families and lives and the business priority is to make money. There is nothing ethical or honest about the way the system is to begin with. Change happens when people of position – such a HR reps, make the change. As an honest perspective employee who has been passed over time and time again by these liars, I can say I would really appreciate it if ya’ll took some criminal psychology courses so you can tell when someone is actually “the real deal”.

  • Mario D. La Gatto

    About candidates’ lies, some time ago a friend of mine who is director with a starch company heard the following piece while interviewing a candidate. Question: What do you think your weaknesses are? Answer: My only weakness is that I have no weaknesses. Can you believe this?

  • Mario D. La Gatto

    Regarding candidates’ lies about termination, it is a fact that prejudice is against them. Whenever an employee is fired, there is a tendency to think that it is his/her fault, and that the company is always right. There is no such thing. Corporations are not the best example of democratic organizations, and you can be fired for many different reasons other than performance alone. Years ago I was doing great with a company and all of a sudden I was fired. Why? Because one of the directory board members wanted my position for his nephew. To an inexperienced recruiter this will surely sound like a lie. Fact: your job doesn’t belong to you.

    • trothaar

      One time, I had a part-time job walking dogs. I loved the dogs, got along well with their owners, and thought I got along with my boss. He was always talking about how great an employee I was (he even posted about it on his Facebook business page).

      As far as “bad” jobs go, this was a good one. I loved the dogs and did not mind the work; I liked having the exercise.

      Then one day, he decided to make his live-in girlfriend walk dogs for him for free…and fired me.

      The only thing I could have done to prevent this would have been to never take that job to begin with.

  • Malba

    This is a rather immature article. I don’t like it. It doesn’t explain the reality of anything in the workplace. In fact, many companies fire very talented candidates, I’ve seen many be fired. Some companies and its employees do not like an employee so they look for reasons to fire, “lawfully,” that is.

    To say: It was a mutual decision that I left.” (“So, you both ‘mutually’ decided that you would no longer have a job?” is the question I always ask after this statement! Dear Candidates: this statement sounds as stupid as it reads.)

    This isn’t 100% the truth. I’ve had employees on provisionary periods who didn’t do well those first few weeks or 2 months and was terminated. But that didn’t necessarily mean the termination was due to out-right firing because the candidate was not good enough. In many cases, especially in cases of provisionary periods, employees don’t have time to resign.

    This is not as black/white as the author makes it.

  • Patrick

    Leaving a company can be a mutual decision. I was an intern at a company during my Ph.D. abroad. After my return, I realized I didn’t want to work at the company permanently but could make a useful contribution while looking for a permanent job. So my supervisor and I made a mutual decision that I would until at a certain date, so work could effectively be assigned to me.

  • Keltari

    Amusing article. But why not write an article about all the bad interviewers? I have been on countless interviews that were a complete waste of time. I have gone on interviews for IT positions where the interviewer obviously has no idea what to ask, since they are not technical. I have been on interviews where the interviewers obviously did not read my resume and were trying to fill a position I was not qualified for. I went to an interview where the interviewers didnt ask me any questions. They asked me some basic who are you questions, then I literally sat there, staring at two people staring back at me. I asked if they were going to ask me anything, they said no, so I left. And dont get me started on recruiting companies…

  • Van

    What a Snarky self promoting post. Many of these so called lies actually do happen to people. I am convinced that a large part of the unemployment problem in today;s economy is due to companies thinking that they even need a HR department. Ninety percent of the personnel in these departments have no business having a job themselves. “Those that can’t do, teach” has become “Those that can’t do, hire”

  • fopple

    I could write the same article about interviewers and companies… The first step of the recruiting process is always the same… this old TV commercial saying “we are the bests, we are looking for the bests and it seems that we’re meant to be together!”. Let’s go ahead and talk about the people who are actually judging your skills during a face to face interview. In other words, you’re future colleagues. And it’s kinda nasty as well…

    “You will have a lot of responsibilities”… well, I’m an engineer and they call us “developers”. I’m like a worker on a construction site. My role is not to think but to execute… Another one is “we have the best culture”… after the first meetings you already notice the tensions at a micro level. Who is against who… After a few months people start talking to you about others and how they suck. “We use the most recent technologies and we need the top-notch creative engineers to build crazy things”. Well, the product is always there… in %95 of the cases you work on an existing product. Meaning you have to deal with the existing crap that other people (workers) built prior to you joining the construction site. I mean the company.

    The list goes on but it’s Saturday morning and it’s the weekend. It’s time to turn off my muscles and turn on my brain. Have a great weekend guys.

  • I Remember You

    Where is the counterpart article that speaks to the massive lies that recruiters tell candidates?

  • Milco

    It is all over globe that people MUST to lie, sometimes, they overlie – and in the end, border of privacy is questionable.

    But, when thinking about myself, many time, when I say straight answers (no lie involved), result was same than if I say true fact.

    Big question stay – lie or not to lie – the question is now!

  • DoYourHomework

    Some 4 year degree programs do have two GPA’s, one constitutes all the hours taken at that university, the other is the total of every college you attended, every course you’ve ever taken whether it counted towards your degree or not. The cumulative hours on my undergrad transcript totaled 168 and spanned FIVE universities. I’d think someone in HR would be aware of the degrees offered to members of the US Armed Forces and government agencies? …and they do refer to it as core and cumulative.

  • Leon

    I am sure job candidates lie. So do recruiters. Here’s one I’ve heard 2-3 times. “I have a job, look at the description.” And it’s 100% for me, just perfect. I show up, and what do you know, it’s been filled. “But let is talk about what your goals are.” And, oh, “fill in this form” with your social security number and a whole bunch of other details recruiters doesn’t need to know (I don’t give them more than they already know, of course). And so a day is wasted. And I never hear from them again, of course, which is for the best.

  • amyinnh

    Oh yes, there are bad companies that fire for being in the hospital.

  • Sangameswaran Mohan

    I agree to this, well I have to experience all this in the mere future. I had a good learning from this post.

  • CR

    I found this topic to be very amusing moreover, one heavily needing to be addressed properly. What do you think?

    In a “perfect world” there would be no lying or lies. Clearly thats not the world in which we live in and share.

    The real way to over come that is simply by doing your job and finding out if what they say is true. And yes, everyone does have circumstances this is not unusual remember this is not a perfect world. Why not go the extra step and gather the correct questions prior to your setting the interview and base you own questions on your own research for those applicants you find interesting or feel they have potential. Here you will actually be doing your company a service by potentially hiring someone who is clearly the applicant you are really looking for. But, because you refuse to go that extra mile yourself you like others pass the buck and the blame on someone else simply because you are really not doing your own job. Find out, for example why didn’t they finish or what extenuating circumstances have blocked their completion?

    People are not perfect nor do they have perfect lives. Do you think you are? Those of you who responded about engineering jobs are missing the point.

    • MDShelest

      I didn’t bash anyone! Will you give me a job?

  • asdfg

    I almost was fired when my father was ill in 2005 and I only gave a weeks notice that I was going to see him. I didn’t ask a certain person’s “permission” -who was not my boss by the way-and he lobbied for me to be fired. If my father hadn’t DIED while I was visiting I’m sure I would have been canned.

  • alexj2346

    I wish I could remember all the lies that companies have told me about the job. But, the list that you have presented is pretty funny. I enjoyed reading it.

  • Tina

    I think the lies about graduating are misleading. I really did get through all my classes, but need one more to get my diploma. I could no longer afford $1000 per class and no longer had daycare for my kids. This should not be classified as a lie, since real issues do come up, and discredits those who are telling the truth.

  • Rob

    I have heard a few lies but some of the ones that you mention in your article are priceless. Thanks for sharing!

  • Dave

    Just a brief comment about the relevant subject. My opinion is that there is not only misinformation and bias’s on both sides of the fence, but so many assumptions are made, that most applicants fudge a little on their applications, and most recruiters become overzealous in their judgment of said applicants. (THAT is the slippery slope!) How about this . . . you find the most realistic applicant and apply what they do know to the most realistically researched position, and then both parties come up with a way to TRUST each other! Let’s not make this so difficult that the applicants end up feeling that they have to go to such great lengths to convince the recruiters they are the right person for the job, and the recruiters are making it so ridiculous for the applicants to apply, that they basically give up!

  • nbpt

    It works both ways, except I don’t have a Monday morning meeting about it . . . it would be fascinating to see how much work you could get done if you did your job rather than tell stories and waste the time and energy of people that apply for jobs at your company and expect feedback or communication in return, especially after you have requested a cover letter and resume. I’d love a website where I could post about the stories I have about how incompetent HR people can be. How they don’t call people back, how they’re unprepared for telephone interviews, how they lie when they say they will call or email you etc, etc, etc . . .

  • chris ludwig
  • fuckyou

    What a stupid fucking article. Complete shit.

  • Annette Segal

    Tim, I found this piece hard-hearted, ungenerous, un-kind and non-inspiring. You can do better!

  • Maria Waris

    Firing employees for not showing up to work who could not make it there ones in a blue moon, that is definitely wrong but if it has become chronic with the inclusion of idiotic excuses then I think it becomes must for HR department to take action because work gets affected and so does the efficiency.

  • Edward

    Years ago Robert Half used to write a column that ridiculed poorly written resumes. I read it once and found it offensive. Candidates who submit resumes (and submit to interviews) are vulnerable, exposing their lives and character flaws in an effort to better their lot in life. I find it obnoxious, unprofessional and perhaps even bullying for HR “professionals” to ridicule these poor candidates. As such I find this column to be Bush League.

  • Pontiac

    Absolutely agree with Annette Segal, since recession the job market is bad, and job seekers sometimes are desperate. But things can and have changed, so people should think twice before making any lists.

  • Azar G Aftimos

    Do not belittle a business degree. Think of it.

  • mtxa

    Recruiters and bosses lie too. I moved 300 miles for a job that I thought (based on the job descriptions, the interviews, and what I was told when I accepted the job) was just the type of work I was looking for to build my resume and career. Turns out that the job I ended up doing was nowhere near what was advertised. Basically, they had a crap job that they needed to lie to get someone in to. I was the perfect sucker because I spent the time, energy, and $ to move to a completely new place–they thought that would tie me to the thing and I’d be a “captive” worker for a while.
    So let’s be fair and talk about how candidates and workers are lied to and manipulated on a regular basis.

    • dfc

      I have had this experience more than once. Employers and temp firms lie a great deal to fill jobs. Then they fire you when they think you are not a good fit.

      • mtxa

        Yeah. I was conned by a total bait and switch. And, in reality, they were right….because I moved 300 miles for the job, I couldn’t just break my lease and leave. I did a year at that job. It really didn’t do anything to get my career going in the direction I wanted. It was a waste of my time and money to move there. And they had the nerve to be indignant that I “only” gave them a 2 week notice before I quit.

        There’s really nothing I could have done differently. I asked all the right questions about the job during interviews and negotiations. I probed. But I was lied to at every turn.

        Just goes to show, if you work for an honest, fair employer…appreciate it because they seem to be the exception rather than the rule.

        • trothaar

          If you post-stalk me, you can read my experience of being duped into accepting a job that, in reality, did not even resemble the one I allegedly interviewed for. Thankfully, I didn’t pick up and move for that job. If I had, I’d REALLY have been screwed. I lasted 33 days…and I sincerely do not feel I could have lasted a minute longer.

          Watch the old Twilight Zone episode “A Stop at Willoughby.” I called my husband the morning I walked out of that job, telling him that I could not bear to spend another minute there. When I did, I was every bit as distressed as the character in that episode (in fact, this occurred to me as I was making the call). NO JOB is worth that, in particular one that I would never have taken in the first place had I been told the truth about it.

  • mel

    Lies and super lies happen both ways….and many succeed…

  • Anonymous

    So, no joke, you had a former employee with what sounds like a textbook case of medically diagnosable an alcoholism (>14 drinks per week), that others, beside yourself, can recognize and you decided to use his story as an example? So, no joke, you’re not familiar with HIPAA?

    • chloe

      I’m pretty sure you need to identify the person somehow to violate HIPAA… sharing a story about an anonymous person is ok, isn’t it?

  • VPE

    After reading through all your points, one main component that is missing is that recruiters can also make mistakes and misinterpret what the candidates are actually saying. Most recruiters are also lacking the appropriate skills to select qualified people because they are using a template of questions and removing the human aspect of interviewing. People are not robots and they feel awkward in an interview process because it’s a very unnatural setting to begin with. Just my opinion that’s all..

    • mtxa

      Certainly, I can see that happening. But in my case, I was flat out deceived by a bogus job posting and bold-faced lies told to me about the job during interviews and acceptance negotiations.

  • Scott

    I can’t believe that llinked in brought me here.

    After reading an interesting article I find the comment section filled with the same level of conversation that I often find in you tube.

    “My blue truck is better than you red because…..”


    Is that what you came here for?

    Business and engineering are both fields that require problem solving. But then can you name a field that does not revolve around the managing of people, assets, resources, liabilities, and problem solving? Even Mcdonlds revolves around those principles….

    The only thing that is being accomplished in here is the stroking and protecting of your egos.

    If every person believe they are special then what is special about believe you are special?

    Comebacks, insults, slippery arguments, and tactical dialogue used to defeat verbal opponents do not change reality and will not improve our lives.

    How about we raise the level of conversation in here?

  • tvstreamjm
  • ColdWar Vet

    I had 142 hours of math, physics, EE and English/gen ed credits when I stopped going to school. Way over enough hours for a degree..just not the right groupings. I did go back 30 years later and finish a degree…but the “I have a ton of hours” comment is sometimes true. Was going to school, changed degree programs, got married, had kids, went to work….etc.

  • Mar

    Hmm so why is that? I have always wondered myself why good upstanding persons seem to get the shaft faster then the person described here…

  • dtropp

    Well, three of these “lies” below happen to be true for me. Had to asked for extensions from May to October to finish the work for my master’s degree at an unnamed Ivy League university 30 years ago following my dad’s death. Because I knew I wasn’t going to go through the commencement ceremony in May, did not fill out the form indicating how my name should be spelled in the diploma. In addition, my mother refused to help me pay my outstanding room and board bills, which took me about 2 years to pay back from my temp work. As a result, I was never included in the graduation rolls,and my folder was put into the so-called “dead pile”, even though I fulfilled the requirements for my degree on the time schedule I had anticipated. Didn’t realize this had happened until a HR person brought it to my attention five years later, and was nice enough not to rescind my job offer after she saw my official transcripts. I consequently looked into the situation, and resolved it to some degree (as in I am now formally listed as a graduate), but it lists me as having completed the degree five years later than I actually had, which is extremely annoying. (Reason given: “we can’t backdate degrees”) I have never given a penny to my graduate school alma mater for obvious reasons, and am disgusted at the flippant tone of this recruiter’s essay.
    I have all the credits, I just didn’t graduate.”
    “I did all the classes, I just need to pay the fees to graduate.” (So you spent four plus years going to school, got done, but that last couple of hundred dollars stopped you from graduating?)
    “I graduated from ‘State U’, but it was a long time ago, I’m not sure why they can’t verify my degree.”

  • Paul Silko

    I LOVE this. What matters most is a candidates relevant skillset and personality. Everyone has skeletons in the closet, and depending on the level of technology available and used, you can find dirt on just about ANYONE, including recruiters that may place themselves above other folks. But, my favorite is how recruiters consistently lie in the course of doing their job!! Many recruiters for mid-level positions provide well over 50 resumes for a given position!!! Then they market the position to candidates as if “they are one of a select few candidates” and they market the position to their clients as if the recruiter did a thorough screening process, etc. This is neither a favor to the client nor the candidate. I’ve also seen on several occasions where a client makes an error (eg providing directions for an interview AND IN WRITING!), but recruiters consistently side with their paycheck and try to place blame on and even apologize for candidates to clients. Next, recruiter monkeys consistently have a hard and fast rule that the only candidates that cut the mustard have EXACTLY what is described by the client in their skillset. For example, Taqman skills might be described by the client, but gene expression is on the resume and the recruiter monkey misses it, BECAUSE THE RECRUITER IS NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE SKILLSET OF THE JOB IN QUESTION. There ARE a few good recruiters out there, but generally I’ve found them to be a scandalous, ignorant, and often unprofessional lot, and now with the advent of linked in allowing for folks to get their foot in the door in a large percentage of the hidden job market, recruiters are not needed quite so much by employers OR by job candidates. Perhaps we are heading towards Nirvana with a world that no longer HAS recruiters? There would be a loud Hosanna.

  • James

    I recently left my job and it was a mutual decision between my boss and I. Stupid article.

  • Holly

    Wouldn’t it be interesting if there were a direct correlation between interviewing and car failure and child illness? Not everyone is a liar who has these problems. It’s the ones who don’t show up anyway that are most likely the liars.

  • Parisa

    I can believe that bunch of adult professionals start acting so childish when it comes to leaving comments. The job market out there is garbage, no jobs push people to lie because you see people that have no clue of what they do after years working on that position. And believe me if you lie you will get the job, people dont look for experience they only look at bunch of gibberish


    When you said Java, I thought you meant experience making coffee.” HA GOOD ONE… THAT’S FUNNY

  • dtropp

    The brilliance of Tim Sackett’s insight on anything is neatly underscored by this outstanding statement extracted from another one of his recent blogs. Buddy, not only have these kinds of statistics been discredited a long time ago, but I dare you to find and post any statistical documentation that actually supports your conjecture below (because it doesn’t exist). Let me help you with some actual research (which looks at variables like education in addition to age):

    Starting to feel differently about dating? You should! Statically speaking, by 27-years-old every good potential married mate is already taken and you start to get into the idiots that got married at 21 and 22-years-old who are now getting divorced. Yuck! Who wants a used partner? Not you. Here’s a Pro Tip: Lower your standards. If you’re 25 and no one has popped the question yet, you’ve got some issues.

  • ank_bhatnagar

    “When you said Java, I thought you meant experience making coffee.” I doubt if this is a real experience, it sounds like it is made up or someone in recruitment goofed up big time. No individual, having anything to do with software (even if he has no knowledge of Java language), will mix up between Java being a coffee or a programming language.

    • trothaar

      I agree. Just by virtue of having a Math/CIS degree, I know that AJAX is not cleanser, even though I can’t program in it, heh.

      This was either a fabrication/severe exaggeration, OR the employer was expecting, like, a $7.25/hour receptionist to know how to write code. In the latter case, that’s just not a reasonable expectation.

  • interesting

    wow you mean people are human sometimes?

  • Melinda Piette

    Oh also—-you must primarily recent graduates. No one cares about your grades once you have actual experience. And as for school, unless it’s a job that requires a degree or licensing, no one cares about that, either. It’s precisely why most recruitment ads now read “or equivalent experience”.

  • Ben

    Let me lay these recruiter dishonesty accusations to rest. If I do a bad job screening a candidate, I look like an idiot. If I send a candidate over to a client and he ends up being a horse’s ass, the client will not even want to look at the next resume I have. Making ONE BAD PLACEMENT is enough to lose that client’s business forever. For that reason, it behooves all recruiters to do a good job and not be deceitful to candidates because if we don’t deliver for our clients, they will not give us repeat business and we will go broke. If that sounds familiar, it’s because THAT IS HOW EVERY BUSINESS WORKS. There are scumbag headhunters just like there are scumbag insurance agents who chase their next commission check, that doesn’t mean all of us are bad or that we couldn’t get “real jobs” (that comment cracked me up, by the way). For a thread supposedly consisting of adults, there is a whole lot of shit talking going on here. Grow up, stop being butt-hurt, and enjoy the rest of your weekend so that like me, you’ll be rested before work on Monday.

    • Melinda Piette

      Really? Then please explain why recruiters always send me out on jobs that are such a terrible fit for my background?

    • Schmevin

      Then, Ben, please explain to me why LaSalle Network has called me with jobs in the last few months and nothing comes through for me? A week ago, they presented a job to me that sounded great! I asked them to present me to the client. Received an email that the client wants to interview me. That was last Wednesday. I followed up twice and haven’t heard a word back from the recruiter. This isn’t the first time it’s happened with these folks.

  • Harv

    What I got from this article: everybody lies
    What I got from the comment section: some business and engineering graduates REALLY need their egos stroked by strangers on the internet

    I may find Tim Sackett arrogant and condescending a lot of the time, but wow a lot of the commenters on this article are even more arrogant and condescending than Tim on his snarkiest.

    Yes, loads of jobseekers spew lies all the time, and yes, sometimes those that sound like lies might actually be true. And yes, there are definitely companies out there that are really bad, there are recruiters out the that are really bad, there are jobseekers that are really bad, heck, there are doctors/lawyers/engineers out there that are really bad, but that’s no reason to generalize an entire group of people just so you could vent out your bitterness about a particular experience.

  • trothaar

    I noticed quite a few people claiming that a company would never fire someone without just cause, because “HR” and the “legal dept.” would never allow it.

    None of you are considering that most businesses in America are not large enough to HAVE HR and legal departments…or any departments at all. The dog walker I worked for had…himself, operating from his house, with myself and two other people walking dogs for him (on a purely contract basis). That was it. No HR people. No legal team. Not even a secretary. Same for the guy who lied to me to get me to take a sales job. His company consisted of himself and 5-6 employees, from a size perspective not much larger than the dog walking guy.

    These are typical American work environments. Most people do not work for huge mega-corporations. They work for small companies like the ones I described.

    Even those who work for large companies can fall prey to low-level managers who, frankly, ignore the rules set forth by HR and Legal. Most of the time, they get away with it. Do any of you really think that Wal-Mart is aware of the doings of every little $10.00/hour department manager in every one of its stores? That’s where the trouble usually occurs: when a low-level “manager” with no education and little or no training is given more power than they can handle.

  • Iskandar Sanusie

    How are we to know that they are lying, so that we have a strategy to deal with it?

  • Andrew L.

    I’ve got a big problem, as some other people do, with some of these “lies”.

    “I did all the classes, I just need to pay the fees to graduate.” – As a recruiter, you don’t know and ought not to be privy to the financials of a candidate. While its understandable that someone who says this might be lazy, HR shouldn’t put the “ass” in assumption, and presume that this lie isn’t true. Financial hardship can happen at any time, and there might be a more personal reason, HR doesn’t know about, and the candidate doesn’t want to say.

    “I had a 3.0 GPA in my ‘core’ classes, but a 1.9 GPA overall…” – This isn’t a lie! If anything, the candidate is being honest. As a student, I was terrible at math and english, and those classes were worse off than my political science classes, which was my major, and which I cared more about excelling in over gen ed classes. I still did well though. This is a bad thing to call a “lie”.

    “They told me in court that never would be on my file, so I didn’t think I needed to tell you.” – This is a tricky one, but as a candidate, who is told that by an official office that x or y is not on an official record or file, could rightly claim that an employer doesn’t need to know this.

    “I was a part of the ‘leadership’ team that was responsible for that implementation.” – This, if backed up with an example, wouldn’t be a lie. And I don’t read this as the author did. Instead, this appears that this candidate was involved with the project, not merely aware of its existence.

    “I (or any family member) was in a bad accident and in the hospital, so they fired me for not showing up to work.” – This happened to a former co-worker of mine. She had to take medical leave for 5 weeks, and she was fired for needing that time off. This is just another bad example of what HR calls a “lie”.

    If this is the sort of crap that HR thinks, its no wonder I’m unemployed after applying to a variety and multitude of jobs over the last 8 months. And I’ve never said anything quoted in the article!

    To all the cynics who commented, I think you’re justified.

  • nspctrjm

    How do you address the candidate who is telling the whole truth, which some of you, who are cynical and jaded believe is a lie, only to find out you screwed a guy who was an exceptional candidate?
    If I posted a blog article about all of the lies told to QC about why the codes, standards, and procedures weren’t followed I would never find another job in my field.
    I find this article and it’s posting in a professional forum deplorable and highly unprofessional. Some of us take the higher road.

  • Tim Sackett

    The Vast Majority of Applicants/Candidates Lie in Job Interviews…from Harvard Business Review.

    • Andrew L

      There’s a difference between lying and plausible truths. Your article doesn’t distinguish between those.

      • Andrew L

        The article’s source is also paywalled, so it is impossible to verify the claim via the source paper.

        • jhollon

          This is from the HBR blog’s Daily Stat, published back in early June 2013. It says:

          “81% of people in a study lied about themselves during job interviews, with the more extroverted being more apt to tell untruths, say Brent Weiss and Robert S. Feldman of the University of Massachusetts. When the job requirements were more technical, deception increased, probably because applicants were trying to compensate for their lack of job-required skills. Participants in the study told an average of 2.19 lies per 15-minute interview.”

          It links to a research article that you have to pay for that was published by Wiley. You an find that here —

  • Karen

    So sad I have heard most of these excuses. I was just discussing excuses last week with a client and he said the same thing about people calling out. (Either through some fantastic wrinkle in space, or a gigantic amount of lying, candidates have more car trouble per capita than anyone else in the world who has ever driven a car.) He and I agreed it would be best to never be a temp as it surely meant perpetual car troubles and family in tragic car accidents.

    • Tim Sackett

      The numbers don’t lie Karen! It’s an epidemic.

  • Dave t

    My 2 cents
    I hate the way recruiters play god!
    I have recently become unemployed and have to laugh at the “desirable” skills required for positions that can only have come from “cut and paste” adds
    Site supervisors needing advanced computer skills and a truck licence for example….. Shame on you laughing at people’s misfortune,
    Try and conduct yourself in a professional manner when you might be facing losing your house

  • Dorcas

    sometimes the crazier the story, the truer it is. lol!

  • ATTH

    I’m waiting for the article that exposes all the ways in which recruiters and employers misrepresent jobs in order to fill them. If it’s pithy and cynical, all the better. Employers routinely put “lipstick on the pig” in their job adds to fill crap positions.
    Sometimes they flat-out lie to reel people in.
    I moved several hundred miles for a job that was sold to me as a research assistant position (gathering data, doing interviews, writing and editing papers, developing surveys)–just where I wanted to take my career.
    The minute I started the job I saw I was going to be a secretary (admin dredge work, scheduling travel for researchers, handling calendars).
    The job I ended up doing was not at all what was represented in the job posting, interviews, or in the acceptance negotiations. People hated that work so much, and they had such a high turnover, that they had to lie to reel someone in. I was the perfect dupe because I moved hundreds of miles and signed a one year lease

  • TexE

    Sure. Some candidates lie. Many don’t. Just like many companies treat their people poorly, and some don’t. But articles like these do honest candidates a disservice.

  • mt

    I’m waiting for the article that exposes all the ways in which recruiters and employers misrepresent jobs in order to fill them. If it’s pithy and cynical, all the better. Employers routinely put “lipstick on the pig” in their job adds to fill crap positions.

    Sometimes they flat-out lie to reel people in.

    I moved several hundred miles for a job that was sold to me as a research assistant position (gathering data, managing databases, doing interviews, writing and editing, developing surveys)–just where I wanted to take my career.

    The minute I started the job I saw I was going to be a secretary (admin dredge work, scheduling travel for researchers, handling calendars), and with a massive workload. I was doing at least a 2 person job.

    The job I ended up doing was not at all what was represented in the job posting, interviews, or in the acceptance negotiations. People hated that job so much, and they had such a high turnover, that they had to lie to reel someone in. I was the perfect dupe because I moved hundreds of miles and signed a one year lease, making me a “captive” audience so to speak.

  • nanheyangrouchuan

    To be honest, you HR people are your company’s worst enemies. You love a slick pitch, the “image” of perfection and the seemingly “perfect” employee instead of people who are hard working, talented and human.

    You are the only department that is a red line on the balance sheet and yet do the least to justify your existence.

    Oh, I know how HR will solve this, wait until Congress opens the H1B floodgates.

    Everyone in a company has a talent, except HR.

  • Maher

    One company i used to work for FIRED one lady because she was soon to delivery her baby!!! i mean how do you explain this Mr recruiter? Any ways i would be glad to have an interview with a person who’s thoughts are similar as yours and then turn me down, why? because it would save me from working with a person who’s mind is narrow. I am very sure of my capabilities having pursued Engineering & MBA degrees and handling high level position in my current company when i am just 26 years old. When i attend Job interviews and the interviewer doesn’t show the interest in me and doesn’t call back, i actually become happy because i know a just passed a bad company.

  • Art

    How about this lie? “I will share your great background and my notes with the hiring manager and get back to you as soon as I hear something” says any assortment of recruiters or HR specialists, only to never be heard from again.

  • Audrina

    Don’t forget the car accident on the way to the interview or the “call from the hospital” after they miss the interview.

  • Tzctplus –

    Hmmm… I have all the credits, I just didn’t graduate.

    dotcom bubble: they poached me before I could even start my thesis, I needed the money, then I started working internationally and going back home to complete a degree that looked increasingly unnecessary wasn’t feasible…. But maybe the individual that wrote the article will say I am lying about this as well. Whatever.

    Blanket statements of this nature just highlight how lazy some recruiters can be, each individual’s case is different, the recruiters job is to get a truthful picture of the person in front of him not to disregard him a priori (specially if the judgements are passed based on a very poor blog post),.

  • Rebecca B.

    What happened to hiring real honest people? They worked so hard to succeed and graduate. They are hard-working and honest people. They deserve a chance to be hired..

  • Rebecca B.

    I worked so hard to improve my cumulative GPA to 3.333. I still haven’t had a success at getting a summer internship last year and this year. I am still looking for a fall internship this year. I deserve to have this after working so hard to succeed in college. Also, am very oriented and hard-worker. Why is it that they hire people who lies? It is ridiculous.

  • Guest

    I’ve seen people hired who are totally incompetent, unintelligent, lazy, cretins who lied convincingly enough about their experience and skills to get jobs. My former boss is a good example. I could tell after 5 minutes of talking to the woman that she was a peabrain, total IQ at room temp., and she did not have alot of the experience that she said she did. She could not do her job. Yet, she made it through the interview and hiring process–so the people doing the screening must not have been any smarter than her.

  • Paul M

    Another category.. “Attempting to share the glory”

    The following phrases mean that the person didn’t actually do much or any of the work

    “worked with the team”
    “assisted the person”
    “helped with”
    “was involved with”

    I have seen these phrases on resumes/CVs a number of times and when questioned it becomes apparent the candidate is padding their CV with buzzwords.

  • Iain58

    I am a Wheelchair user and have turned up for a job interview and could not access the building. Great Equal opportunities.

  • My Joblist

    Sham on you liars!

    My Joblist

  • Darrell

    My favourite experience lie: I get a resume and it has “Programming Languages: Java, C/C++, Python, Ruby”. During the interview I ask him Java questions. His response is, “Oh, I don’t program Java. I just worked at a company where they used Java.”

    • Tim Sackett


  • Eric

    “I (or any family member) was in a bad accident and in the hospital, so they fired me for not showing up to work.” (No they didn’t – there are some bad companies out there, but no company does this.)

    Well, actually, They do exist. I saw it happen. Coworker got fired to taking too much time off to visit his dying wife in hospital and care for their child.

    Don’t make sweeping statements like this based on your assumptions. It belies your own ignorance.

  • JC

    Dear all, i can share my recent with recruiters and ins’t good at all. Firs most of them aren’t at all professional. i have had recently a case with one of the biggest head hunter companies in Europe, where i have applied for a position meeting 99% of requirements and 5 minutes later i received a standard email from recruiter expressing apologies but i didn’t had experience for the Job. Immediately i called him back and question him why he did send me that email, the conclusion of this phone call was that he didn’t had a look on the CV. We agreed later for a personal interview and finally my application was included in the short list of candidates. With another head hunter company just last week i went for an interview and for the time i had to wait in the reception i notice that the receptionist was at the same time answering the phone calls and doing CV selection. I can say that in the 10 minutes i waited in the reception i has seen around 100 CV in the midlle of 3-4 phone calls.
    This two cases are real examples for the lack of professionalism and the reason i don’t believe at all in recruiting process by these companies. These days i rely on my contacts to get a new position.

  • Fed Up With Recruiters

    Wow – Tim, you must not have children. It CAN happen that your child just might get sick when you are scheduled for an interview. If/when it happens, the job-looker gets a horrible feeling in his/her gut because he/she just knows that the idiot recruiter is not going to believe it. I know plenty of people that have had a child get sick and be completely stuck and not able to go to the interview. Some people might lie about it but how dare you assume everyone is?? It’s a dare to karma if someone actually tells a lie about their child and something bad happening to him/her so I would never lie about my kid being sick.

    • Tim Sackett

      Fed-Up –

      I have 3 sons and they are sick as much as any other child. I don’t say in the article that every candidate lies about every excuse – but there is a high correlation with amount and type of excuses and missed interviews! Sorry, but 20 years in HR has proven this out.

      Also, I’ve never missed an interview do to one of my 3 sick children. If they would have been sick, I wouldn’t not show up and call later to tell the recruiter this. I would call as soon as I felt their might be a problem and work with the recruiter to reschedule or let everyone know we’ll have to play by ear.


      • Alan

        Tim –

        “Also, I’ve never missed an interview do to one of my 3 sick children.” Do to? 20 years in HR and you have the grammar of a middle school child. I’ll bet that’s just the type of mistake in a cover letter that would get you guys chuckling at your wonderfully productive HR meetings. You’ll have to forgive my angry tone, but you people come across as such uneducated hypocrites. You make awful grammatical mistakes like that yet you toss a resume in the trash for a misplaced comma. You also constantly contradict one another…

  • Rajan

    at the other end of the spectrum the recruiter lies about the job & package to attract the victim.

    the candidate is trying to make a best impression and he will try his best to sell himself to the best of his ability. Of course there should be a bit of honesty in what he is trying to sell.

    To me, the sales person doing the sales talk, the companies website boasting about what they do, the politicians election campaign talks are all white lies and we keep believing that again and again.

    Just evaluate if the candidate has clear criminal history and he has skill to do the job. If he is not having that skill, evaluate if he has that spark to learn and shine.

  • rootin tootin

    So then what if you really Were part of the leadership team responsible for the implementation? no one will believe it? lol …seriously, i stopped lying on applications when i finally turned 18….many years ago now, but its heartbreaking when you have the experience, many years of it, but lack a degree (because i was busy Getting the experience!) and still dont get the job! All because companies want to boast about having degreed employees?? Good for them that mommy & dad put them thru college, or maybe they earned scholarships but I was busy working for a living at the time…

  • David

    I read over almost everyone comments up here. Most of you guys have excellent idea’s an actually know what your talking about. Meanwhile some of you guys sound like my two kids fighting over a better made sandwich. ( I am only kidding )! Look I am just a regular guy and also and I.T. Technician with many skills under my belt. I got fired from my job not to long ago. The reason for my termination was because I broke one of the company policies. Not saying the company was wrong for terminating me, but when you are making a decision between supporting your family and going back to the job you also love and don’t make much money. You have to make an decision on what’s more important to you in life. And for me it’s my family! I was completely honest with the company I was working for in the pass.( Honesty sometimes is not enough)! ( It’s been proven ). So before you guys start feeling like you are safe in your position think twice about that. Sometimes life throw you some curve balls an it’s depending on you how you hit them and where. (Cause remember if you didn’t hire yourself and Nobody in the company can fire you) there’s nothing to worry about. But if none of that apply’s to you then anybody can do your job! Maybe with more skills then you, faster learner then you, More motivated then you, and more ambitions then you and etc. I am a hard worker, very professional, Open minded to new skills and also taken on new projects, team player, think outside the box when it comes to problem solving. I am on the job market now as we speak. Looking to stay in the same career field I.T. Technician. If anyone has anyone have any opening positions with-in the NEW YORK City area please forward them to my e-mail address ( ) I really would appreciated. Thank you…..Have a bless day!

  • rob

    I’m sorry people but this discussion went way out of topic, I do and I don’t agree with this post.
    1. I agree because we all lie about something when we go to an interview, we can’t say all the truth. because if we do, then they will not hire you.

    2. I do not agree because recruiters encourage and demand us to lie about our previews experience and skills. Recruiters hire the people that know how to lie best, it doesn’t matter if the candidate was actually qualified for the position. if the candidate knew how to convince the recruiter with good lies then he gets a job.

    I have a clean background, several years of experience, excellent GPA, attending graduate school but a few recruiters did not hire me because i got a little nervous in the interview and did not lie enough.

    Perfect example is the recruiter from Wells Fargo, they usually do a group interview and in that interview you get to hear other candidates answer questions. You can tell right away when an answer is made up or a lie, but if they know how to convince the recruiters then they are most likely to get the job.

  • Rachel

    Wow. Which company do you work for again. Just so I know never to apply to work there. Because I don’t work for needy jerks that treat every interaction with other human being with skepticism and paranoia.

  • Dan

    ….what about the lies from recruiters for not giving the job.

  • Parviz Zarei

    Hi, to lie detection, you can use IM – Impression Management – some of psychometric tests such as: Focus 20 and Orpheus have a good IM for lie detection. I used them for several years in assessment & interview session and result is very good. Please feel free to contact me to know further about psychometric testing.

  • graham

    Totally agree with you Rachel look for the best in your staff if they know you are looking they are more likely to show you there best side, distrust can destroy

  • Modupe Olasengbe Sarratt

    I love the termination lies, it was mutual,
    and that will never be the case. However, I do admit employer can let go of an
    employee with no cause for layoffs or to downsize. In that case, the
    termination is mutual, because an employee has no bargain power to keep

  • OneVoiceSays

    Agreed that you cannot assume that they are lies. I read the letter received by a friend, “We are sorry that you are still hospitalized, but we need someone who can be at work every day. When you recover, you may apply to work here again if we have any openings.”

  • Jack White

    Well, it was an Engineering/Business degree.”

    Why not? My degree was in business management and I knew several engineering majors who minored in business or economics or a business-related area.

  • Network News

    It’s hard out there and I was employed by two bad bosses in a row. i had moved across country and my first job after being employed for years was working for a pig – a screamer and perpetually condescending man. I resigned to take another job that I thought would be much better. On the interview for my new job, I told them I had outpatient surgery scheduled and would need to be out on a specific day.

    A few days after the surgery, I noticed I was bleeding and went for a follow up with my doctor. He told me it was imperative to take two days of bed rest. It was a Wednesday and I called my office to explain the situation. They said okay and asked if I’d be in Monday. I came in Monday and they fired me, no reason given. Since it was a firm under 15 employees, they could fire me for any reason, including illness. Plus, I’m black and do believe that my race factors in to how I’m regarded on the job and in interviews.

    These types of experiences are very uncomfortable to explain to a new employer, especially a panel interview of 3 or 4 people. I may have 3 excellent references but it doesn’t seem to matter if there’s a gap or any kind of negative experience.

  • Leo Mc O’Six

    “We (HR) also perpetuate this problem by hiring the folks who give you the crappy lie, but don’t hire the folks who come clean and tell you the truth” – Completely your fault, guys! Yes it is! Yes you absolutely do!

    That’s why we lie! And how many articles on the Net, from so-called HR’s, do provoke masquerade the truth under special terms to emphasize our strengths and flexibility and other HR’s crap!

    Shame on you the fifth column of Job Search!

  • Lisa Chase

    Of course candidates lie, and some of them are funny, sad, dumb or all three. Luckily recruiters have the ever popular “thank you for your time. We have selected someone who more closely meets our needs, etc. etc. to fall back on. For a change of pace next time you interview for a job be sure you know the mission, vision and values, major initiatives, and the past years performance of the organization. When you get to the part where you get to ask questions, ask about these items. It is amusing to watch the stumbles, jaw drops, fabrications, watch checking and rapid end to the interview. The result will most likely be the same but at least you’ll get a laugh.

  • Joe

    Pulling into work at 6 am I hit a pot hole and was pretty sure I got a flat. I had an interview for a new job at 1 pm. I spent the entire morning planning when I would need to leave so I could fix the flat, change and not get sweaty before my meeting. So I really did have car trouble, but I made the interview, didn’t tell them, and got the job.

  • Tariq A

    This article covers only 0.01% of job seekers who really really know how to get resume read by unqualified recruiters.

  • Jim

    now lets talk about all the lies the company tells the guy that is applying for the job. Do you talk about them? can you write out a list of them for me or do you want me to do that. trust me it goes both ways. I could give you a huge list.

  • Jim

    talking about recruiters O my God….. Aerotek is the worst of the bunch. the interviewed me and told me that my osha was out of date by a month and that they would give me the class and take it out of my pay but I had to take the 40 hour class not the refresher, they then had a job for me and told me to meet them down thr dtreet from the place and told me what to say, the company told me that they paid 40 cent a mile but when I asked the aeroteck recruiter about it after the interview with the company he told me no money per mile. I signed the contract for $13.00 per hour at the tampa office and as soon as I got home he called me and told me that I had made a mistake on the paper work and emailed me another contract and told me to sign it and send it back asap, not thinking I would read it. he changed the $13.00 per hour to $8.00 per hour. so from lakeland to brooks-ville at $8.00 per hr paying for all my own gas and working just part time 4 hrs per day for just the week ends I would have been working for free. I tell everyone about Aerotek.

  • Jim

    Now a days a collage degree don’t matter. At 49 years of age I went and got me a bo·na fide degree in Criminal investigations and I have a 3.8 GPA, it don’t mean a thing, all it means is that I have student loans to pay with no hope of landing a job. What a wast of money and time. so I pulled my son out of collage and he landed a great job and my daughter, I also pulled out and she has a great job, but my oldest daughter that got a 4 year degree is now working at walmart as a check out person. Like I tell everyone, If you have been to prison for murder, rape. or any other felon you can be vice president of a huge corporation, Government tax breaks will see to that. My father lied to me, he said work hard and be honest and do your job right and you will go far. BS dad it got me laid off and no chance of finding another job due to my age and due to the fact have a lot of experience which = more pay. they want know nothings so they can pay them nothing now days.

  • Greg Basham

    Although there is nothing new in the way of lies candidates tell prospective employers in this list this articles is an important admonition to firms hiring that this stuff is going on all the time and is not called.

    We did a survey in 2007 of university grads including MBAs and 66% admitted to exaggerating their resumes and 33% said they did this “a great amount.” When asked why, they responded that those who were hired by these same firms they are lying to told them that is how they got their jobs. And by the way, the majority of the survey respondents were in jobs.

    The second reason they gave for lying in their resumes and work histories was to level the playing field and get to an interview where their training in interviewing skills and research work into these firms “top questions” would carry the day. The predominant view was if they didn’t lie they’d not get an interview.

    I spoke to 23 global firms’ senior HR folks last year in Hong Kong. That morning we Googled 13 of them for their “top 50 questions” etc and found 100% of them out there not the internet with not only the questions but in some cases – best practice answers! I would have got 23/23 but we ran out of time with doing just the 13.

    When I asked if any of the audience were aware of this or knew sites like Glassdoor not a single hand went up.

    One of the most polished and professional websites with advice for job candidates are these guys who not only provide the top 50 questions for Informatica, they will sell you the Master Informatica Question Answer set™ for USD$29.

    Combine this with courses in resume writing, interviewing and impression management you will see why candidates can pull the wool over the recruiters’ eyes quite easily and get away with lies.

    It is ironic that there is not a lot new in the list of the best lies, yet these same folks will continue to seek out those employers who they know won’t check.

  • Lisa Mac

    I think a good barometer is body language. If a candidate fidgets, can’t make eye contact and squirms when answering questions, that’s a pretty good indication he/she has integrity issues. Now, just maybe the recruiter is disengaged as well or doesn’t possess the ability to set a candidate at ease in the first 10 minutes or so of the interview. I think it’s luck of the draw if you get the opportunity to interview with a qualified, compassionate and enthusiastic recruiter that can successfully match the candidate to the job. When I read comments about recruiters doing phone interviews for jobs that don’t exist only to “hit their numbers” it makes you question the process and motive. I personally have never been exposed to this, that I was aware, but it does lend food for thought. I still believe if it is meant to be, all the obstacles will be overcome.

  • Lowana S Dumas

    Hmmm…an interesting premise, no doubt; but maybe the author should have looked (as in, through case law) before he lept (into inaccuracies). In fact, I know of someone who was fired for hospitalization which was required to treat a work-induced injury. When she served a notice of intent, they brought her back to work and reduced her hours to 20 (minimum wage, mind you) and they are now busily coming up with an excuse to tell the judge. So, think again; there are some companies that really are “that bad”.

  • Helping People Work

    “I (or any family member) was in a bad accident and in the hospital, so they fired me for not showing up to work.” (No they didn’t – there are some bad companies out there, but no company does this.)
    This is sadly fairly common.There are a number of companies that do this or similar actions on a regular basis. I work at an employment office and have also been engaged in worker advocacy programs. Sure there are a number of exagerations and outright lies, but I often find that “truth” is not a simple matter. Employers often cite fear of having to deal with future medical costs/absences etc. when challenged in court on the medical issue. But there are other issues at work here as well. Many employers fail to communicate clearly the terms of separation, eligibility for unemployment, and how they will respond to reference checks. Rarely is this information documented and shared with the former employee.

    • Schmevin

      I know I’m responding to a 3 year old post, but I need to get this off my chest and maybe others will read this. I was let go from a job after being there for two years. My mother was diagnosed with cancer 6 weeks after I started the job. I was told to take as much time as I needed for her appointments, etc. I rarely did because I knew when the time came, I’d need to take off a boat load of time to be with her and after she died, I’d need time off. I took a week off after she died. When the month anniversary of her death came, I took another week off. When I returned, my boss appeared very understanding and told me, “If you need more time, please let me know. Perhaps you should take a leave of absence.” I told him that I didn’t need to do that. At the two month anniversary of her death, I took another week off. When I returned, they terminated me. No discussion, no write-up, no probation, nothing. YOU’RE GONE! They gave me severance and sent me on my way. I feel that it was cruel.

      Two months later, a friend of mine had the exact same thing happen to her at a different company in another state. We both had awesome reviews in the past, our bosses loved us, and we were stellar employees. Funny, but a year later, they have not replaced either one of us.

  • Lisa Lyons

    Actually, I have been in a mutual agreement situation, it really CAN happen. In a previous life, I had a good job, with a clearly defined role, responsibilities etc. Slowly, and without changes to my contract, they whittled away at the responsibilities, and finally said ‘well, you can do xyz job’ (which at the time was a demotion). Someone on the board of directors then came to me and offered a sizeable severance (not true redundancy) with the understanding I’d never malign the company in question, and that I could leave under my own terms, but as a mutual contract termination.

    It was actually a nice way to end it and I still have some dear and fond memories of working there.

  • krishna

    Hi. Most of the cases discussed here on lier candidates are all because of HR’s fault, I believe. HR management should look for talent. You test the abilities of a job seeker for a position you are expected to hire and give more weightage to the personal/ technical abilities that suit to your requirements. You may of course verify jobseeker’s experience but you make sure do not play with his/ her little inefficiencies. Try out how better you could help him/ her after you are satisfied with his performance in an interview. It is because you don’t have patience in recruiting and you have FULL pressure from your management, many HR executives hardly spend time to pick-up the right talent. Only in these situations fake job seekers take advantage over the right talent who eagerly wait for a best job. They spend their valuable time in searching for a the best job only to have BIG GAP in their career. But they do not know that the control of recruitment process is in the hands of a MACHINE which randomly picks up the resumes and later in the hands of BUSIEST HR TEAMS who decide a candidate’s future in nanoseconds (faster than any MACHINE!!!)
    I wonder why is this situation especially in a country like India??? Is this a result of population or this situation is also common in other major countries? Guys, let me know.

    • MT

      In many ways
      this is a big bummer for HR people too. I have read countess cool
      articles on how to source for talent, look for talent first they say, if you
      run into someone awesome just hire them! If only it were that easy.
      But we just can’t! We have to post the positions for a designated
      period of time for all candidates, we have to post a job description with
      specific requirements that was developed for that job, we have to post these
      positions with state employment agencies, and we have to ensure we conduct
      outreach to a diverse network. Then, we
      have to screen candidates that apply after that deadline using a specific
      guideline is the applicant pools becomes super large. So let’s say for
      example that I ran into you on the street and thought you were super talented
      (I’m sure you are). Let’s say that I knew of a position that you could be
      a fit for and asked you to apply – you would then need to be fairly selected out of the other
      jobseekers based on the qualifications listed in the description of the role. Let’s say 300 people apply – the Department of Labor
      has provided guidance to employers in how to manage large candidate pools, and
      example of data management might be to open the first 25 and if no viable
      candidates, the next 25 and so on, or open every other application, etc. But
      what if 5 of the 300 applicants have more experience than you, or what if 10 of
      the 300 performed that exact role in the past and also have stellar references.
      Now what do I do? What if you were there 201st person to
      apply and because of the formula we used, I never got to your application, even
      though I ran into you on the street, loved you and handed you my card. Because
      the 10th person to apply according to the job description had all the right
      credentials and great references. And remember, I can’t just look for
      your name amid the 300 other candidates and pick you for the interview and get
      hired. That is a major no-no. The other 300 people can now have a
      case against the company…. “I know I was qualified but the company hired
      someone else, it must be because that person was young or of this race, etc.” My
      answer in an audit for hiring you versus a person that appears more qualified
      can’t be – “I met her and she has raw talent. I knew she was the perfect fit
      for the role. I look for great talent and bring them into the company.” I would need to be able to show that I reviewed
      other candidates who met the minimum qualifications; according to our policy of
      data management and that all things considered you were the most qualified of

  • Lee

    Recruitment is a job for habitual liars, people with no moral code and people who can’t really get anything else. I feel sorry for some of them.

    Should have listened in school guys! It must be degrading to be the most hated people in industry.

    It’s an embarrassing job title to have no doubt.

  • Rahul

    So I do not have any of the above lies and I am still not getting interview calls at first place. I have all the degrees, certificates and 8 years of experience but companies do not even call or have discussion on the profile. Though my profile matches 90 percent of the requirements, still get auto notifications after a month that profile didn’t match and we will keep the resume on file ….. Fcuk managers and garbage interviewers

  • Guest

    My god, there is absolutely no way to be civil in response to this drivel. You sir are a ghoul I both message and tone. My business degree tells me to avoid “you” language as it can be taken as adversarial but this posting looks like something from a burned out disgruntled drunken bender. How very nice that your world works in such perfect time and synchronicity. Oh how can someone not have their degree due to not paying fees. Guess what, it does happen. Ever heard of the University of Phoenix? They actually got hauled into court over it about 10 years ago. You want to “call” candidates on their “lies” What are you a prosecuting attorney? From experience I can tell you that at least 70% of the “recruiters” I’ve dealt with have actually ENCOURAGED embellishment if not outright lies to try to cinch a contract deal. Most in your industry are lucky to stay a year at one agency because it’s so cutthroat. Your double standard is salve for your own inadequacies in the field. If you’ve got a good candidate you’re not going to waste time “calling them out.” Do us all a favor and either seek professional help for your obvious psychiatric condition or leave the industry. You’re not helping anyone.

  • James Walker

    My god, there is absolutely no way to be civil in response to this drivel. You sir are a ghoul In both message and tone. My business degree tells me to avoid “you” language as it can be taken as adversarial but this posting looks like something from a burned out, disgruntled, drunken bender. How very nice that your world works in such perfect time and synchronicity. Oh how can someone not have their degree due to not paying fees. Guess what, it does happen. Ever heard of the University of Phoenix? They actually got hauled into court over it about 10 years ago. You want to “call” candidates on their “lies” What are you a prosecuting attorney? From experience I can tell you that at least 70% of the “recruiters” I’ve dealt with have actually ENCOURAGED embellishment if not outright lies to try to cinch a contract deal. Most in your industry are lucky to stay a year at one agency because it’s so cutthroat. Your double standard is salve for your own inadequacies in the field. If you’ve got a good candidate you’re not going to waste time “calling them out.” Do us all a favor and either seek professional help for your obvious psychiatric condition or leave the industry. You’re not helping anyone.

  • minne

    I know about the lie game people play. But right before my job interview my car really did break down. I did not lie about it. The fact many of you said it is a lie is not true with every one. And that other time my dad really did end up in the Hospital. Am a single mom my kids never had a father why would someone like me pass up any job in the first place. Why are most think every one lies . This is why i have to prove my self all the time. Not every one lies.

  • petepaul

    I couldn’t agree more with that last sentence. HR people value candidates that lie the best and punish the ones that are honest and show integrity. I know people who have gotten fired for the worst infractions and found jobs less than two weeks later because they were the best liars.

  • Nivia Taboas

    I try not to generalize about anything or anyone. While there may be individuals that are probably not qualified to decide who is selected as the most suitable employee; I rather think that most of them are professionals. I am not a recruiter, but it was a task I assumed with my former employer; I always gave the applicant the benefit of a doubt, most of the time I was correct with determining who would be the most suitable candidate for a specific department. This is not to say that the opposite can’t occur as I have been the recipient of such tactics.

  • Kate

    How about posting all the lies recruiters tell?? Then make a list of the lies that the hiring manager tells on top, then we’ll have a list!!!

  • Foxymcgee

    I have to agree with Timago. Yes, there are terrible companies out there that WOULD fire you for having to attend to a family member in serious condition. There are people who own companies who are not mentally sound. In fact, the worst interview I ever went on started with the owner lying to me about their company, who they are and his name, then he locked me in their office with no explanation. I was expected to take 3 tests, they wouldn’t tell me what softwares they used that I’d be using to do my job, if I accepted, they didn’t want me to know ANYTHING about the company. They refused to answer any of my questions in the interview, and they didn’t allow for any time off…none…no vacation time…ZERO. In fact they told me, that the fired someone for showing up 5 minutes late because the person had to take their dog to the vet to be put down. They thought that was an inexcusable offense, great enough to be fired over. Everyone there looked miserable. So, yes…these employers DO exist dear author. You just have never come across them before.

  • Alan

    Since when “recruiting” is a real job?! Ridiculous article. One of the biggest problems for job seekers are idiots like YOU in a powerful position.

  • Essu Daru

    “She told me she was 18” has happened so often, especially to soldiers, sailors and marines – that the military started giving Other Then Honorable discharges so the servicemen didn’t get double punishment.

    personally is someone I was looking to hire had a statutory sex offense, i would ignore it completely….

    • ParmalatHarlot

      Perhaps consider the personality of the individual before assuming all young girls are liars…

      • orineu

        If you find a 14 year old in a 18-up club, what do you expect? It’s not like Sailors and Marines go hunting for dates at the local high school.

  • Enna

    Seriously? Hahaha…. This reminds me of ..’i have a bigger house then you do and therefore you are not valid in my opinion’

    🙂 we are all complete and intelligent creatures with amazing brains of which we use what? a couple of percentages? The tools are there, how we use them and to build what is up to us really (and our bank balance) 😛

  • Ann

    But I really did leave my job on a mutual decision. They also believed the position wasn’t well thought out, and they didn’t have much work for me to do.

  • Mayor McCheese

    Employers lie more than prospective employees from my personal life experience.

  • Lee

    I have a sister who lies so much on her LinkedIn that it’s even almost comical, except that she has over 500+ people who seem to believe her. Even the times overlap. She never graduated college (or went except for one or two courses) but she’s got a load of stuff on that. She’s created jobs and skills she’s never had. The entire thing except just a few things are totally false. I wish LinkedIn had some system to verify, since this is their reputation, too. My sister is also a psychopathic liar, which should be no surprise, but people who read it don’t know. Is this something you can report?

  • Annie Tesla

    The one about a family member getting in a car accident and getting fired to go see said family member is true. it happened to my brother, my sister was hit by a drunk driver and my brother called in telling his boss he’d be late because he was going to see her she was in the emergency room for sergury. his car ended up braking down on the way to the hospital. My sister almost died and lost her baby his boss called him a lier and fired him. So it’s true and it happened.

  • ParmalatHarlot

    I feel a bit akward, having defended some lies here but, my point is that everything is not so black and white. You may be wrongfully assuming someone is lying, just because you don’t want to believe them… Of course they could be lying but, they might be telling the truth from time to time.

    Not been my issue but, I can believe someone who is unemployed does not have enough money to maintain or afford a reliable vehicle.

    Kids get sick all the time and, get their parents sick.

    I’ve been lost and late, called for directions and, still make it to the interview… Being anxious and panicking at having made myself look like an inconsiderate idiot before ever walking in the door… No. I didn’t get those jobs.

    Educational institutions don’t always keep the best records. I’ve had problems getting my own transcripts and been denied graduation TWICE (for two different degrees) due to changes in standards that did not apply to my progran. I had to push back to get the diploma but, I got it. I know plenty of people who misled by advisors and been urged to take unnecessary classes which frittered away their scholarship, loans, or prepaid college funds.

    Unlike others, I pride myself on learning to navigate thick bullshit… Like college administration, student loan debt, insurance, medical bills and scam debt collectors.

    I have a degree in studio art, not in graphic design. I took and passed all the course curricula for GD but failed the program ENTRY portfolio review…. ironically based on studio art.

    “Experience Lies”
    1 could be a joke
    2 is middle management…

    Yes, there are employers who would fire someone for being in the hospital. I worked with a woman who totalled her car, got a concussion, black eye, broke her wrist, thigh and two ribs two days after the accident… Because she didn’t want to be fired over the absence occurances. The accident was in the news and had happened right next to the job site. She was hit by a meth trafficker who had been leading cops on a chase for 10 miles and jumped the ramp. Stories that sound too crazy to be true but are. It didn’t matter that she was crippled or in pain. It mattered that she was present…

    That same employer gave me a “mutual termination.” I found another job and gave 2 weeks notice. They told me I would have to stay until they found someone to replace me… I mentioned the temp our team had been training for over a year. They told me they weren’t sure if she was right for it or, would take the job… She had already told me she was offered and accepted the position…

    They said I would abide by their terms or, forfeit my sick and vacation time. I could work until they say I can quit with benefits or, be fired right now and lose everything. It wasn’t in the handbook. It was just, “how we do things.” I was too happy with my new job to bother taking their crap or, retaliating with litigation over thr constant manipulation and abuse of all employees… I really should have… Would have ruined my background check but, posdibly helped 30 other employees be treated better. The company had just cut pay in manufacturing across the board and implemented BS certifications, impossible to get approved, even for the employees who had been there doing the job for 15 years and, in charge of certifying other employees in the task!

    Maybe she did say she was 18. (sometimes it’s legit) When I was 11, a friend was an early bloomer. DDs. She was 12 but regailed me about the soldiers to whom she claimed she was 18… I’m 30. I can’t tell the mental difference between a 12 and 18 year old girl anymore and, no 18-21 year old man probably can’t either… Especially when presented with very large breasts. Kids can do anything without parents present. Actually, that’s a product of absent parents…

    I pity the couples between 14-17 where the parents can’t wait for the SO to turn 18 and press charges. Yes, it happens. Often. Take a scroll through the sex offenders databases.

    That’s all I got… Thanks for listening.

  • meecepeece

    Or maybe stop expecting employees to be perfect and accept faults, stop treating people who use alcohol or drugs badly, if the use doesnt effect the work or job they do its none of your business what the person does. It ONLY should matter at all if they mess up their job. Also, people really actually DO have car trouble. Just because you are the boss and can afford to ownan expensive car that never breaks down, does NOT MEAN potential workers can afford it. Poor folks have bad cars that need repairs they cant afford UNLESS you HIRE them! The failed car thing is most likely all true and youre just judgemental. The interviewers lie a lot, so they, as liars assume we are all liars too. In fact most ppl are honest and if they are lying its on YOU for expecting too much and causing someone to feel they had to lie. I blame none of the potential employees, and rather blame job interviews for being stupid stuffy ritualistic nonsense that MUST change!! If I ever get my business off the ground I will be the start of change myself, hire people based on the right reasons like need of job, not based on BS such as whether or not they took some stupid class because anyone is able to learn new things. If they lack some knowledge, hire them then let them learn it. Better yet show them how to do the job right, and they either will do it right, or you fire them. A person who desperately needs a job most, will do that job well in effort to keep said job. Thats the reason to hire a person, because they need the job. I dont care if they were fired before, because every situations different! Maybe their last employer was a jerk. I believe that above it being their fault, in todays society of power tripping nonsense.

    • Schmevin

      Agree totally! I wish that I could tell the truth in an interview and say that my last boss was a total racist lying piece of crap who didn’t know her butt from a whole in the ground. But, I can’t. We have to be professional and make it sound as if everything was a bed of roses. I’d love to have my own business and hire people who really need a job and not go through this nonsense of making them do the stupidest tests. I mean, come on…..for an executive secretary, you’re going to make them do algebra and calculus tests? Shame on you, recruiters!

  • Frank R

    If you lie and get caught, then so what? That hiring manager who rejected you because he caught you lying wouldn’t have even given you the interview in the first place if you had told the truth. If they refuse to hire you just say thank you, walk out the door and try it again somewhere else and hope that they don’t check.

    • Schmevin

      Agreed! And if they find out you lied after you’ve been on the job for a few months and proven yourself to be an outstanding employee, what are they going to do then? I’d call them out on it and say, “If I hadn’t lied, you wouldn’t have had the greatest employee you’ve ever had in your life!!!”

  • Theresa Addison

    I never knew people still have powers and make things happen this way. My name is Theresa Addison my Husband Alexandra left me for another girl for three months ever since then my life have been filled with pains sorrow and heart break because he was my first love, A friend of mine Stephanie told me she saw some testimonies of this Great Prophet Akeem Spell Temple that he can bring back my lover within some few days, i laugh it out and said i am not interested but because of the love my friend had for me, She consulted the great priest on my behalf and to my greatest surprise after three days my Husband called me for the very first time after three months that he is missing me and that he is so sorry for everything he made me pass through. i still can’t believe it,because it’s highly unbelievable it just too real to be real.Thank you Prophet Akeem for bringing back my Husband and also to my lovely friend who interceded on my behalf, for anyone who might need the help of this great priest you can contact the great Herbalist and a spell caster on,for more info view his Website:

  • Schmevin

    The reason candidates lie is because H/R recruiters don’t believe the truth! I know several people who have been working retail jobs because they cannot get a professional job like they once had 5-6 years ago!!! These folks go on interviews and their current retail jobs are glossed over as if they don’t even matter. The same thing happens to me. I am an administrative professional and have been doing temp work the last several months after being let go from my job for taking too much time off after my mother died. YES, THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS! The recruiters gloss over the temporary assignments as if they don’t exist and immediately go into what I did at my last perm job.

    Best thing to do is put a fake job on your resume so it looks like you’ve been working and don’t even have one month of a job gap, because God forbid if you decide to take off time in between jobs to enjoy life for awhile.

  • ParmalatHarlot

    “I (or any family member) was in a bad accident and in the hospital, so they fired me for not showing up to work.” (No they didn’t – there are some bad companies out there, but no company does this.)

    I didn’t think so before I began working for a $100B massive mega big box corporation. I haven’t had to deal personally but, I know others have.

    We also have such gem policies as needing a doctor’s note for taking any sick time because your uninsured ass should subsidize a $200 doctor visit with $40 in sick hours and the rest of your week’s paycheck, to prove you couldnt physically come to work. The best is, if you don’t have sick time, a doctor’s note doesn’t help. If you are sick for 3 days without accrued sick time, even if you call, you’ll get fired for abandoning your job.