A career coach has shared what he thinks people ‘have to lie’ about in interviews

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A career coach has shared what he thinks people ‘have to lie’ about in interviews



  • Career coach Anna Papalia shared five things she said viewers “should lie about” in interviews.
  • Papalia told TikTokers to lie about their hobbies, future plans and criticism of their previous role.
  • Commenters joked about the “professional hobbies” and expressed frustration with the interview process.

A career coach with more than 15 years of experience in corporate recruiting shares five things she believes candidates “can and should lie about” during their job interviews on the now-viral TikTok, which has garnered more than 1.6 million views .

Career coach Anna Papalia is the founder and CEO of Shift Profile, a consulting firm that provides corporate recruiting, talent acquisition and training.

Papalia advises candidates to lie when asked where they see themselves in five years.

“No one wants to hear you say you’re seeing each other in grad school or getting married or having babies,” she told viewers in the Feb. 7 video. “What we want to hear you say is: I see myself here in this organization.”

She also advises applicants to lie about why they’re looking for a new job and any criticisms they may have of their last job. “We don’t want to hear that you’re looking because you hate the culture of your current company,” she said. Instead, Papalia recommended that viewers tell interviewers that they’ve simply outgrown their position and are looking for a new challenge.

The same goes for criticism of your last boss, Papalia said — especially if your interview is with a future boss. “Lie about how you feel about your current boss or your current co-workers,” she told viewers. “I don’t care if you work for the worst, most micromanaging boss in the world. We don’t want to hear you talk about it in an interview.”

Papalia advised viewers to pay attention to honesty and play up the relevance of their personal hobbies. “Please – choose hobbies that sound professional and interesting. Don’t tell me all you do outside of work is watch Netflix.”

Finally, Papalia told viewers to “lie” and “embellish” their job description and title, especially if they “worked above and beyond your job description and you didn’t get paid for it.”

However, not everyone agrees. Career strategist Michelle Matthews previously told Insider that “embellishment is like lying in some people’s eyes, and you’re compromising the integrity of your character.”

While smaller companies may not have the resources to do a comprehensive background check, many larger companies do. “Bigger companies do due diligence. At some point, you’re going to be exposed,” Kelly Hrivnak, a digital marketing and technical recruiter, previously told Insider.

While many leading comments agreed with Papalia or thanked her for her insight, others jokingly asked what, besides “doing my taxes, being a good employee,” qualifies as an interesting and professional hobby. Others expressed irritation at the “big, ridiculous theatrics” of the interviews or, as one commentator put it, at the “outdated song and dance that reveals nothing”.

“Yes…I’m a robot, I have no personal dreams and goals, just work and I love work,” commented one user.

Some told Papalia that the questions she brought up were exactly the culturally appropriate topics they were most transparent about: “It’s the thing I’m MOST honest about because I want a workplace that accepts me for who I am im like a human,” one commenter wrote.

Other commentators called lying in an interview “a sign of weakness.”

Robert Kelly, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, previously told Insider that job applicants who feel the urge to lie in general should first try introspection — asking what about themselves seems so lacking. that they would have to lie.

Papalia is clear that one should not lie about everything. In a separate video, she recommended a few things prospective employees should never lie about in interviews, “jokingly in honor of George Santos.” Papalia advises applicants not to lie about second language proficiency, degrees, previous employment and whether they’ve been laid off or laid off.


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