Getting a Job in Creative Industries: Should you lie in an interview?

Most recently in my CIU111 class we have been examining how to get into and find success in Creative Industries. We read a post by SAE about Secret Interview Techniques, describing the situations and circumstances that interviewees find themselves in during their job hunts. At many points in your creative life, you will be sitting in front of an interviewer trying to sell yourself. Selling yourself is key to winning the interview – but how do you step around inconvenient truths? How far can you bend the truth?

Mark Stevens, CEO of Marketing firm MSCO wrote to LinkedIn recommending that interviewers lie in response to personal questions as a means to sell themselves to the company. For example, if asked the question “why do you want to work for our company?” the obvious answer is that you need money, and likely are itching to leave your current employer. Problematically, this answer will lead to an immediate dismissal – no matter your skillsets or how well you’d do in the position. The best – or perhaps only – way is to lie; lie about the passions you share with the company, lie about your life goals, make up something about your life that convinces them you’re an asset to their company.

Robert DiGiacomo – a writer for – agrees. DiGiacomo recommends that you are forthcoming with your salary and benefit, but to stretch the truth with your passion for the industry and your title. The critical distinction here, is that DiGiacomo recommends that you do not lie about the people you know, and the career circumstances that resulted in you leaving your previous job – instead to keep the subject away and turned towards your future.

In the end, your interviewer wants to know as much about you in as little time as possible. Michael Neece – an interviewing expert, tells Pongo his criteria for a good interview. Neece said that the qualified candidate rarely gets the job, but rather a candidate that is prepared, honest and “fit” for the job will be more likely. Neece asserts that lying, padding unemployment dates and hiding employment gaps is dangerous territory (Neece, Unknown). Neece would prefer that his candidates are honestly and truthfully address the reasoning for unemployment.

Carole Martin, a writer for, in her piece Why Were You Fired? recommending what to say to an employer who asks why you were fired from your previous job. Martin stresses that you should not lie in your response, instead phrasing it to demonstrate your responsibility, humility, as well as communicate your strength and self-confidence.

Whether or not to lie in an interview is thin ice to be skating on. As a candidate, you want the best opportunity to get hired, but the risk may not be worth it. The key takeaway is to consider what the employer wants to hear, and phrase the truth in a way that they will like. People appreciate honesty, and a fully-qualified candidate that lies will not perform as well as the candidate with less skills, but can be honest and forthcoming.

Works Cited:

DiGiacomo, R. (2016). Lying During a Job Interview | Monster Career Advice. Retrieved 24 June 2016, from

Martin, C. (2016). Interview Questions: Why Were You Fired? | Monster Career Advice. Retrieved 24 June 2016, from

Neece, M. (2016). Interviewing Tips: What Hiring Managers Really Want From You | Pongo. Retrieved 24 June 2016, from

Stevens, M. (2016). Retrieved 24 June 2016, from

Week 4: Secret Interview Techniques — Self-Directed Practitioners. (2015). Medium. Retrieved 24 June 2016, from

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