Honesty is a virtue prized by recruiters. But does that mean telling them the whole truth and nothing but the truth? I’m not so sure. Here are 10 innocuous little adjustments to reality that can give us a leg up in interviews.
1. “I am applying out of love for this company.”
What attracts us above all is the advantageous salary or the easy access to public transportation? However, it is better to put our interest in the position on the strengths of the organization: its values, its performance, and what is stimulating about joining its ranks. “It’s especially important in the letter,” says Sophie Grenache, CHRP, co-owner of the firm Libera HR. In an interview, we can add (without insisting) on working conditions,” says the human resources consultant.
2. “The reason I left this job…”
Conflict with a supervisor who is deemed incompetent? Even if this is true, denigrating our former work environment may have a negative effect on our candidacy. To motivate the desire to change jobs, it is best to talk about yourself. Saying that you are looking for new challenges is perfectly acceptable, according to Sophie Grenache. However, you have to be prepared to explain the kind of challenges you are looking for.
3. “My greatest fault…”
Without falling into clichés (“I’m a perfectionist”, “I work too hard”), we can draw attention here to a trait that is not our main flaw and whose impact on the position we want will be negligible. A pitiful sense of direction in a translator, for example. We also take care to include in the explanation the efforts we are making to remedy it.
4. “Trilingual French/English/Spanish.
The degree of mastery of a language is partly subjective. You can therefore slightly inflate your proficiency in English or another language relevant to the job,” says Grenache. But be careful not to go too far: language proficiency is easy to assess and the recruiter is likely to test that skill.
5. Ongoing studies
We dropped out halfway through our BBA? Letting people think they’ve graduated would be unacceptable, but you can write “in progress” on your résumé and explain in an interview why you put your studies aside for a laudable reason. For example, in order to fully commit to a professional project.
6. Expected salary
Since negotiation risks dragging compensation down, a good approach is to first ask for an amount slightly higher than our actual target: 10 to 20% more, according to the co-owner of Libera RH. The ideal is to give a range of salaries, with our current salary as a minimum,” says Grenache. That way, we show flexibility, which is much appreciated by recruiters. »
7. 7. “Have (another) child? It’s not part of my plans. »
If you’re in your 20s or 30s, especially if you’re a woman, it’s probably on the mind of your potential employer. They may even ask it, even though discrimination on that basis is illegal. It is therefore legitimate to conceal our intentions in this regard.
8. To overlook certain positions
The career is getting longer and so is the resume? There’s no harm in overlooking distant or irrelevant job experiences. That said, the information provided on those that are brought to the forefront, especially dates and responsibilities, must be accurate.
9. Lathering up some achievements
“If they were part of a team that successfully completed a project, I have no problem with the candidates promoting it, even if their contribution was minimal,” says the co-owner of Libera RH.
10. “In five years, I see myself…”
So many events can change the course of our trajectory between now and then! Sophie Grenache advises to modulate the answer to this kind of question according to the type of company. If it’s a large organization, you can admit to a career progression objective, such as holding a management position. In a small company, however, the opportunities for advancement will be more limited. The key is to focus the answer on our intention to continue to make the organization excel.
In short, there is nothing wrong with a job seeker presenting himself or herself in the best possible light. The trick is not to misrepresent yourself.