Beware of These 8 Lies From the Interviewer

John Krautzel
Posted by in Career Advice


During the interview, the words the interviewer uses can be very telling. Often, interviewers tell job candidates things that aren't entirely true. It's important that you recognize these statements for what they are, so you don't get a false sense of hope. Take these seven phrases with the proverbial grain of salt.

1. You Have Our Ideal Qualifications

If you've made it to the interview stage, it's likely because you fit many or all of the qualifications the employer is seeking. The same goes for every other candidate interviewing for the position, so don't pat yourself on the back yet just because the interviewer confirms your qualifications.

2. We Provide Salary Based on Work Experience

Interviewers love to say this to avoid talking about salary during the interview, but the statement isn't entirely true. While your past work experience undoubtedly makes a difference, most employers already know what they plan to offer for an open position. At the very least, they have a range. It's your responsibility to research thoroughly prior to the interview so that you have a good idea of where to start with negotiations.

3. We Offer a Great Benefits Package

"Great" is a highly subjective word; one person's definition of a great benefits package may differ significantly from another's, so get some details if you can. Ask about the benefits that are of most importance to you, such as a retirement plan, medical coverage or corporate discounts.

4. This Would Be Your Workspace

Interviewers often include a tour of the company building as a standard part of the interview process. Don't get carried away when the interviewer says something like, "This will be your desk," because you can bet that each and every candidate after you is hearing those same words.

5. You May Be Right for Another Position

The interviewer may be looking for a gentle way to let you down if you're not the right fit for the position you're interviewing for. If there actually is another position or project you might be considered for, it probably won't live up to the same expectations you had for the first job.

6. You're Great But We Still Need to Interview More People

If they were truly impressed with you, there'd be no need to interview more candidates after you. The hiring process takes time, energy and money, and most employers want it over with as quickly as possible.

7. We Will Get Back to You

This is often a standard phrase said at the end of many an interview. It doesn't always necessarily mean the interviewer is going to get back to you; rather, it is a polite way to end the interview while giving you some sliver of hope for a callback.

8. We Should Have a Decision Next Week

Don't assume you will receive a callback after the interview. It is your job to follow up with the hiring manager to get a timeline on next steps.

Many interviewers use vague wording and half-truths to speed the hiring process along. It's important to separate the fluff from the truth; after the interview, be sure to follow up with the hiring manager with a thank-you note and a call to action. If you don't hear back within a reasonable amount of time, move on.



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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks @Kristina T and @Linda C for your comments. I do agree with the spelling and grammatical errors. Sometimes, though, it's hard for a person to see them. Sometimes they just need someone to point them out to them. After you have looked at and read your resume so many times, you no longer see the errors. It's always a good idea to have a trusted friend or family member read your resume and give their feedback. Barring that, read it out loud. When you do that, you will be able to hear if there are any issues. It is also true that there is a lack of professionalism out there today. In the past, if you submitted a resume, you got an email back that they received it. Then, usually in a few days, you would either get an email or phone call to follow up, if interested. Otherwise they would send you an email thanking you for your application but.... At least this way you could deleted it from your list of possibilities and move on. Thanks again for the comments. All the best on your job search.

  • Kristina T.
    Kristina T.

    I just have to point out the multiple spelling and grammatical errors I'm seeing in the negative posts. Spelling and grammar may not be everything, but it does look unprofessional to mess it up, especially if it is showing up on your resume. Or maybe a potential employer is on the fence between you and someone else, amd it's a deciding factor when your post interview thank you email is riddled with these errors. Some examples I've noticed here: it's EOE not EEO, apostrophes denote contractions or possession not pluralization, missing words in sentences, wrong verb tenses, and smashing words together (e.g. afterall is not a word). Hope this helps someone.

  • Kristina T.
    Kristina T.

    I wouldn't so much call these lies. It's more like a list of common phrases that can mislead the naive and/or desperate, especially the first five. For example... 1. I see this statement as an invitation to prove that statement true. I might ask which qualifications they are most looking for and then elaborate on how I have them. 2. The interview isn't the right time to discuss salary anyway. Sometimes the hiring manager isn't even involved because that's one of HR's functions. 3. Of course everything is subjective, and (hopefully) they are trying to make a good impression just as much as you are. 4. "Would" being the operarive word. Of course it's all based on if you get the job. Same thing the interviewee is doing when they describe how good they'd be in the position. And etc, etc down the line.

  • Linda C.
    Linda C.

    Yes its best to continue job seeking when coming across these situations. From my past experiences the employer will not be straight forward with you after hiring either,and more than likely miscommunications will hinder the employer/employee relationship while working for the company. Its a lack of professionalism and experience on the part of that hiring manager,take it as a sign and move on is right.

  • william rogers
    william rogers

    But yet it still goes on in the industries

  • Aman Khawaja
    Aman Khawaja

    I see this all the time, vague wordings - I consider it to be wishy washy conversation, should the hiring manager be upfront and let the candidate know what he is up to. By not doing this keeps the applicant in limbo and frustrated, specially when a professional is looking for the opportunity for a while, and has years of experience in his field.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Elaina Hannaford thanks for your comment and congrats on the new position! It is so true. Companies want to know that you want to work for THEM - not just for anybody. They want to see that you have done your homework prior to submitting your application. That shows them that you are really interested. All the best in your new position!

  • Elaina Hannaford
    Elaina Hannaford

    I have been brushing up on my interview skills, especially the first official one, the phone interview. I have noticed that this method is basically a "deal or no deal " situation. Luckily, I had done my homework on the company's outlook, beliefs and objectives. After reciting this information, I was immediately asked for an in-person interview for the following day. I again (obviously) impressed the Manager and GM during their individual interviews, and received the position! Knowledge about the company is key for sure. Whether you read about it before the interview, or ask about it during. Companies want to see your enthusiasm.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Lois K thanks for your comment. Certainly you can find real jobs via the Internet. Actually that's pretty much the only way to find a job today. That and recruiters or temp agencies. Don't discount those, either. You can find a fabulous job by going through an agency or a recruiter. As for online, make sure that you read the job description in its entirety and then modify your information to fit it when you apply. Make sure that you follow up, if you can. Are you getting any interviews? If not, maybe you need to have an outsider - someone who is not that familiar with you - to review your resume. If you went to college/university, you might be able to use their career services office to help you create an awesome resume plus they can help with interviewing, too. The jobs are there. I was just listening to a segment on one of the news stations who said that there were 6 million jobs going unfilled! Wishing you all the best.

  • Lois K.
    Lois K.

    I am beginning to think that you cannot find a real job over the internet. where do you look?

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Lori Teague - thanks for your comment. You should prescreen the job before you even talk about setting up an interview. We are sometimes so desperate for a job that we are willing to accept anything - do anything just to get the job. Then, once we get in the door, we realize - uh oh - this is certainly not for me. As for salary, do your due diligence ahead of time - not while sitting in the interview. Check out sites like salary.com to find out a salary range for the position. If it's not where you want it to me, move on. @Lori is right - don't waste their time or yours. Both are valuable.

  • Lori Teague
    Lori Teague

    Thanks, I have also learn to pre-screen the job when they call to set up an interview.. And word to the wise, if they say the words, when you ask the questions about salary and hours, and they say "that will be discussed at the time of the interview" do not water your time or gas.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for the great comments. @Linda C - I also went through that, thinking that it was legit until I started asking some off the wall questions - like what color is your shirt. The bot didn't know how to answer and the interview was over as they blocked me. (LOL) I loved it. Another one tried to suck my daughter in. We researched them and ended up turning all of their info over the real company for prosecution. We all need to heed this - can't be sure that it's legit until you take it for a spin and ask silly questions. I wish I knew for sure why companies call in older candidates if they know ahead of time that they won't be hiring us. Maybe they do it to meet the EEO requirements - not sure. I do know that, before they bring you in for an interview, they already know your age and many other things about you because they found you on some social media site - or they simply did a google search on you. @Amelia A sure do hear your pain. Are you trying to go through a Recruiter who specializes in your trade? It might be worth it. They already know how old you are and what the company is looking for so they shouldn't send you on bad interviews. The questions he asked are SO illegal. Question for you - are you sure that you were speaking to a real person? @Dianne B. interviewers always ask - "do you have anymore questions for me?" at the end of the interview. If they have answered all of your questions then you tell them that. But, if you can, have some questions remaining at the end of the interview. Write them down ahead of time or jot something down during the interview as it's always best to have at least one question left. If nothing else, ask for the next steps. And, after the interview, always send a thank you note - even if you know there's no way that you are going to get the job. Handwritten - sent by snail mail is the best way as it shows that you really care that you took the time to do it. Sounds silly, doesn't it but it works. About 10 years ago I had an interview for a position with a small but growing company. I found it through a recruiter. Well, after the interview, I left and then sat in my car to write up the thank you note - while everything was still fresh in my mind. I put it in the mailbox right in front of the building. A few days later I received a call from the recruiter that the company wants to extend an offer. When I asked why me - she told me that it was between me and another person but the thank you note took me over the top. Just a little things really but it made all of the difference. Just a little tip from me to you.

  • Linda C.
    Linda C.

    And then there's the text contact from a male or female, usually with spelling or grammatical errors, telling you you've been selected off Indeed or ZipRecruiter for a job (I only use Indeed or ZipRecruiter ) interview. The job seems legit until the pay offered is some outrageous amount, nice, but outrageous. And, the big giveaway is the interview is to be held via Google Hangouts. ..I've had 2 interviews this way, both were fraudulent. I no longer accept offers for interviews that want to go the Hangout route.

  • Sandra G.
    Sandra G.

    Good to know. This is very helpful.

  • Peter L.
    Peter L.

    Thank you for the article. One observation: many of the commenters need to learn to think positively. Use each interview as a learning experience. Maybe it wasn't the job for you! A friend of mine said it this way: when you're looking for work, looking for work is your work! Don't get bitter - the interviewers don't owe you a job, and they don't have it easy, either.

  • Amelia A.
    Amelia A.

    Age discrimination does exist still in today's world! I have to dozen's of interview's and nothing. Over the phone I sound really young and am excited when I am asked to go in for a interview but once I get there the HR or department manager or supervisor that I'm meeting with does not pay any attention to me. I can tell by their body language that they are not interested in me. Why does still happen?? I need a job and Unemployment benefits are about to run out. I am in my 50's and am Hispanic. One day I had this temp agency guy call me-You could tell by his accent that he was from India. He wanted to know why I have been having a hard time finding work so he can help me better. He asked me if I was over 40 and I said YES. Then he asked me if I was Hispanic and I said YES. Then he asked me if I was female and I said YES. Then he tells me that I had three strikes against me. I was sooo mad at what he said that I hug up on him.. How dare he tell me that! And I'm a US born citizen -Doesn't that count anymore? I would like to start a company that caters' to older worker's some day. Maybe there is a company that is doing this now -if there is one maybe they can hire me...Just don't know what else to do.... Thank You for letting me air out my issues!!

  • James B.
    James B.

    Think outside the box, is either a recruiters phrase or actual interviewer prompt. In today's world, it is who one knows, who one "socializes with (on social media)" and "things mundane." The lowest possibly qualified candidate is preferred for hire: 1)cheaper, 2) has a GED or High School certificate and can "10 key" with 50 strokes per minute. Next on this ladder of preferences is a CSR...call center familiarity. Work endless hours for $12 dollars an hour, but plenty of overtime. Next on this ladder of insane opportunity, the "assistant manager" or glorified "indentured servant." Your Body is Mine, mantra. Top of this ladder is the "will work for food" mantra. A "Johnny (or Rosie) on the spot," do anything Executive Assistant. Businesses today have one and only one mantra,"chew new hires up and spit out." There's a huge "pool" to "fish from." Sad.

  • Joyce Y.
    Joyce Y.

    My past experiences were these companies called you for an interview was to satisfy the EEO requirement.

  • Adra Y.
    Adra Y.

    Solid advice

  • Dianne B.
    Dianne B.

    Also why do they ask if you have any questions when they've informed you of everything you wanted to know to start with?????

  • Dianne B.
    Dianne B.

    My contact is with a recruiter, so what do you suggest? Afterall am limited on what I'm permitted to discuss at an interview.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Patricia Q thanks for your comment. Frustrating I know. Are you contacting them at least once a week? Don't wait for them. Take the bull by the horns so to speak. And, if you can, find some temp work while you are waiting. The sad truth is that recruiters seem to contact those who are current working than those who are not. Companies believe that you are losing your skills every day you are not working so they turn away. I know it's not fair and I don't agree either but it has been, and still is, my experience. Anyone else experience this?

  • PATRICIA Q.
    PATRICIA Q.

    What about you go through all the paces for the recruiter than crickets, after they contacted you.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for the comments. @Lydia Wood it is true. Common courtesy should prevail but it went out the window ten or more years ago. It used to be, back in the old days, that you would hear back immediately whenever you submitted a resume. That way, at least you knew that they had received your resume. Today, your resume goes through applicant tracking software and, if it doesn't meet their preconceived qualifications, game over as the saying goes. @Donna Macey so sorry that happened to you. Having an interview is tough enough without knowing that the hiring manager is watching the clock instead of really tuning in to what you have to say. @LLMSW V congrats on the master's degree! That's a lot of hard work - I know. Question back at you - is there a recruiter in your area who specializes in placing social workers? I would be looking around for someone like that to represent me. That way the companies know that you are new to the field, with limited exposure, prior to the interview. All the best.