Top 10 Common Exaggerations Employers Tell in a Job Interview


It’s not only job candidates who lie during interviews. In an attempt to attract the best talent, employers will sugar-coat reality to entice the brightest candidates and convince them that as prospective hires, they will work at a well-known and highly reputable company.

So which are the biggest embellishments that employers resorted to during job interviews?

I uncover the most common exaggerations that employers tell in a job interview, according to Quora users…

1. “We are like a startup inside of a big company”

That’s rarely the case according to Michael Wolfe, entrepreneur and CEO of Pipewise . “It typically means that that the group is successfully staying under the radar or is such a rounding error or so non-strategic that no one notices they are there”.

2. “We believe in work-life balance for our employees”

Even companies who share this principle in their mission or vision don’t actually mean it. They get away with employees’ work-life balance by turning employees into contractors so that they are not held responsible for special benefits that contribute to the overall work-life balance and healthy personal life of an employee.

3. “We only hire the best”

How many times have you heard this promise from companies? This is definitely not true because they are usually hiring the best people who are willing to work for them, not necessarily “the best” in the market.

4. “We have an open door policy here”

If you think the CEO will have the time and the will to sit with you and listen to your problems – especially if you work in a big company – be prepared for a long wait.

5. “We have a hands-off management style”

As an anonymous Quora user humorously put it “the only thing that we ’don’t’ do (yet) is monitor how many squares of toilet paper each employee uses, but that’s because we don’t want to look like total jerks (but in all honesty, we do - we just dock it out of your pay if you use too much).”

6. “We give you opportunities to travel”

If your potential employer deems a travel opportunity, going from the office to a customer who is literally 4 blocks away, then don’t even think about considering this company. If the travel perks do not involve a fully paid business class ticket to an exotic destination and first-class accomodation, then the interviewer is probably fooling around with you.

7. “We lead our industry in technology”

Absolutely! That’s why according to Marie Stein, “the branded pens she was given on the first day didn’t work, and why every 6-man team worked a different system that would not work with each other, and required lots of work for a consolidated view”.

8. “We have an openfloor plan”

That’s because we can’t afford buying cubicles since we have spent all our money on fancy hardware or investing in an area with humongous rent.

9. “Everyone here is a coder”

Yes, even the cleaning lady knows how to program in at least six programming languages, so don’t feel stupid if you know only Java or C++ in the best case scenario.   

10. “We have a casual dress code here”

Yes, the dress code is so relaxed that you could see the CEO walking around in his jammies, bathrobe and ninja turtles slippers!

Well, I hope these funny whoppers have made your day, but on a serious note, its not a far cry from what employers really say and do. Be careful though not to burst into laughter when you hear any of these exaggerations in your next job interview!