Interviewer 1: Could you help us understand the two-year break in your resume?
Interviewee 1: I decided to work on my strengths and learn new skills. (Truth: I was suffering from depression. I didn’t feel like getting up from bed each morning, didn’t feel like eating, didn’t feel motivated so I took time off to focus on getting better. I went to therapy, I spent time with family, and I travelled.)
Interviewer 2: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Interviewee 2: My goal for the next five years is to master my position and advance into a managerial role within my department. (Truth: I have a disease which doesn’t guarantee I’ll even be around then. I would like very much to spend time with my family, watch my children grow and be happy, but hey, I need an income. I need to know my family will be taken care of.)
Why are we so afraid to answer these common interview questions honestly? Easy, it’s because we know it won’t get us hired. We know it’s not the candidate they are looking for. So, we lie. We tell them what they want to hear.
Interviews can provoke anxiety and at times be quite confusing. Has the entire process become too mechanical and cold?