3 Tempting Lies to Tell in Job Interviews

by Ruaidhri Horan, Marketing Manager, Abrivia Recruitment


Three of the most tempting lies to tell in a job interview relate to gaps in your CV, previous salary levels and educational achievements.

Lie 1: Filling in Gaps on your CV

There is huge temptation to remove actual gaps in your CV by simply changing the start and finish dates of your previous jobs. A few quick adjustments to dates and voilà, gap gone and no discrepancies to be seen. However, a quick reference check with your previous employer will quickly ascertain this lie, which could potentially put a job offer in jeopardy as you have breached the trust of your potential new employer. So, filling in gaps by changing dates, although tempting, is best avoided.

Lie 2: Exaggerating your previous salary

Typically, your previous salary won’t appear on your CV, but during your interview, chances are your interviewer will be interested in how much you will cost their organisation. There is a huge temptation to bump up your previous salary so your new employer will at least have to match this larger amount or give you extra in order to ensure you leave your current employer. However, this can be easily confirmed by a quick phone call to your previous employer or by an astute accountant in your new employment who will have access to your P60 tax return statement. You may even be asked to provide an old payslip to your new employer. This is when things can get awkward.

Lie 3: Exaggerating Educational Achievements

You have worked hard in college and obtained a second class honours degree. However, the job specification of your dream role says they would prefer if you had a first class honours degree. So, you decide to change the grade to make yourself more appealing. What could go wrong? If educational qualifications are specified in a job advertisement you can rest assured that a good recruitment consultant will ask for copies of your qualifications and even check with the college registrar that everything is in order.


Lying is a major risk in a job interview. You may even forget the details of the lie, get confused, raise suspicions – all of which can have a detrimental effect on your overall performance. Most employers and recruitment companies request references from previous employers and will have what you stated in your interview on a notebook in front of them to validate your claims.