Younger people are more prone to bending the truth in job interviews.
Younger people are more prone to bending the truth in job interviews.

Why more jobseekers are lying in interviews

YOUNG men are the most likely jobseekers to lie in an interview, bending or concealing the truth to give themselves an edge over the competition.

New research from SEEK reveals almost half of men (48 per cent) believe it is acceptable to lie in a job interview compared to about a third of women (32 per cent).

Younger people are also more comfortable embellishing the facts when talking to a potential new employer.

Younger people often take the advice of their parents to “fake it ‘til you make it”.
Younger people often take the advice of their parents to “fake it ‘til you make it”.

More than half (54 per cent) of people aged 18 to 24 believe it is acceptable, but this drops to 36 per cent among those aged 35 to 54, and 24 per cent for those aged 55 to 64.

Career Development Association of Australia national executive committee member Rebecca Fraser says she is not surprised by the statistics.

"Women naturally undersell themselves any way," she said.

"They typically don't talk to their capabilities even if they are truthful."

Young  men are the most likely jobseekers to lie in an interview, research has found.
Young men are the most likely jobseekers to lie in an interview, research has found.

Meanwhile, Fraser says younger people often take the advice of their parents to "fake it 'til you make it".

"A lot of younger people feel they just need to get their first opportunity and feel if they are judged just on their capabilities they won't get a foot in the door," she said.

Overall, SEEK survey respondents say the point of the interview in which it is most acceptable to fudge the facts is when they are asked "why are you looking for another job?".

Women naturally undersell themselves, says expert Rebecca Fraser.
Women naturally undersell themselves, says expert Rebecca Fraser.

Almost one in five (18 per cent) believe it is OK to not be entirely truthful.

"We are always going to falsify information around why we are leaving a job because we want to demonstrate our character," Fraser said.

"We don't want to say 'because our manager is an idiot'."

When a jobseeker is asked about the salary of their most recent role, another 18 per cent of men and 12 per cent of women are willing to lie - as are 23 per cent of those aged 18 to 34.

"The challenge is if you are caught out in a lie it can be a criminal charge," Fraser said.

"It depends on the organisation but there are legal implications you have to be wary of."

She says jobseekers who come up against a question that does not have a favourable truthful answer should be honest but make sure their answer remains positive.

"If you don't have experience in an area, tell them that but talk to the other benefits you bring," she said.

"You've got think about whether your reputation is worth the lie."


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