First, I would like to state that I am going to attempt not to rant too much. Secondly, please forgive me if I fail on the former…
It all started this morning when I scrolled through recent articles and/or potentially interesting things to read right after my alarm clock rang. It’s a kind of a waking up period when my brain is happy to function, but my body demands a few extra minutes in bed, so I like to use the time to read something. While doing that I came across the following title: “Why You Must Lie On Job Interviews And What You Must Lie About“.
Now, for context, I don’t normally click on links that seem sensationalist and/or merely attention grabbing—but this time I clicked it because curiosity took the best of me and I wanted to know what this person thought was “acceptable” to lie about. I wasn’t exactly shocked that some people think that’s the way to go, I was more disappointed at humanity than anything else, but I was indeed curious about what were the circumstances we should all be aware of that we must lie on.
The thing is… I really don’t like lying and I do not believe it should ever be used to advance yourself in any way or context. If you take it to another level, we can even say that it’s fraud. In the context of the article’s title, you’d be defrauding someone’s expectations to say the least. When I read through the article I realised this was, to no surprise, some sort of attempt to get people’s attention. That, in itself, is fair enough, I guess. However, it wasn’t at all about why people should lie. Sure, that’s what it said. But in reality I felt it was more about how this particular person thought that because some systems are broken, we should all just lie and be done with it, instead of making them better. It also struck me as coming from someone who’d perceived they’d been unjustly treated by some HR department (or person).
Some companies having broken recruiting processes and/or poorly trained people doing it shouldn’t mean that the logical step to take is to lie your way in. More serious than that is that this idea (that something is broken but instead of fixing it we should break something else) is what gets us, as a little cohesive group we call humanity, into some awkward situations at times.
cold hard truth
I remember getting my job as Happiness Officer and telling my friends about it. The ones from University, in particular, were quite stunned at the fact that it seemed, indeed, that some companies hire people to do this job that so many of us study and know is worthwhile, but that ends up being like a never-fulfilled promise. A few years later I am still the only one from my University year that has a job of the kind. Some others end up in… HR.
Many people are actually really good at it and consider it to be a sound career choice. It’s not really my thing, especially if we consider HR to be what 9 out of 10 companies do—what the author of that post seems to think it is. It can be much more, but sadly there are too many companies where HR is just a bureaucratic role, where you’re asked to follow procedures that don’t add value at all. Those are also the companies where the situations described by the author are more likely to occur: interviews where there’s a standard script to follow, that allows for no creativity, originality or adjustment pending on meeting the candidate (or worse, that don’t change depending on the role they’re hiring for).
Don’t get me wrong… I’m aware that several companies do HR right, but I’m still convinced they’re a minority and that HR itself isn’t the problem. It’s a bigger issue that stems from above, and around. I take issue, mainly, with the fact that people take no action to change things and choose to ignore it—closely linked to that “broken systems and no one changes them” point. We all do it with certain aspects of our lives at one point or another. If a certain event is threatening in some way, we may attempt to blame others for it, instead of looking for ways to improve our situation or assume it’s our own doing. This, paired with another well known phenomenon: diffusion of responsibility leads many people to think that:
- it’s not their fault;
- it’s not their responsibility;
- there’s nothing they can do about it;
- it justifies actions they wouldn’t otherwise take.
just admit it
Raise your hand if you’ve ever realised that you had been blaming others for something you could change.
The reason why the article saddened me (more than anything else) was that so many people think lying is fair game. This, to me, shows that they’re willing to lie to themselves, too. Why would you even want to work somewhere where you’re not allowed to be all the things that make you, you? And why don’t people, sometimes, realise that they do this in more circumstances other than a job interview? Like always, it’s easier to spot when others are doing it than when we’re the ones lying to ourselves, but we eventually have to face it. If we lie our way through anything we will eventually find ourselves unhappy. We don’t all need to enjoy the same things, be good fits for the same jobs or have fun doing the same activities.
Working here and giving my best to make sure no one feels like they should lie about things has made a huge impact in me. I mean… I get to work on things I deeply believe in! How cool is that?! It’s a challenge. The first being understanding (no, I mean, really understand it, not just saying you do) that what you believe in can dramatically differ from what someone else does, but no one is necessarily wrong.
Here, we strive to make sure everyone can be themselves and be comfortable enough to speak their minds. It’s hard. Not many people like doing that… because it’s easier to not face the truth, after all. But it’s worth it! That’s why our recruiting process is its own quirky interesting little thing. To put it in the words of Jamie, back from before he first applied, he was surprised that “it seems we’re hiring humans, unlike other companies”.
So… NO! I don’t believe you should ever have to lie in an interview. If you do, it’s not the place for you. If you’re wondering whether MetaBroadcast may be the place for you, do check our open positions 🙂