Articles From the Team
How honest should I be at interview?
From childhood we’re taught that honesty is always the best policy. Whether in personal or professional settings, if you can be honest then you should be honest, even if honesty might result in upset or disappointment.
Applying this to personal circumstances is easy; we’ve all been in that situation where a lie is the easiest option with the best intentions to not cause pain or heartache to someone you care about, but ultimately that lie could make the situation worse so it’s best to be honest and deal with the situation head on.
Applying this principle to professional settings should also be easy, but sometimes we discover that it isn’t. As specialist legal recruiters we help our candidates prepare for interviews and this often means dealing with difficult questions. Not of a personal nature, but around subjects that you might not be 100% confident or comfortable speaking about. This is where it’s incredibly important to remember to be honest.
Candidates have (on occasion) very convincingly talked up their experience. Given their enthusiastic, articulate, and personable nature this has sold very well. Be wary of doing this; we’re all partial to a touch of hyperbole and embellishing one’s achievements or attributes is a natural touch of egotism that nobody will begrudge you for, so long as honesty prevails.
You can also be too honest. I was once asked what I consider to be the stupidest thing I’d ever done, and telling the interviewer that I’ve accidentally set myself on fire on three separate occasions didn’t go down well. Apparently they questioned my judgment.
So, in answer to the question; you should absolutely be honest about yourself, your skills, your experience etc. for the job. It is also ok not to tell your interviewer about stupid things you did in your youth.