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I wrote this awhile ago after having a really bizarre interview experience. Now seems like as good a time as any to hit publish.

Something happened to me a while ago — something that I had never, not even in my wildest dreams, considered:

I was accused of lying on my resume.

Of course, the accuser in question didn’t come right out and say that he thought I was lying on my resume, but I knew that he did. There were too many red underlines and giant question marks and he tore me apart about the veracity of my claims. To say that I was shocked and a little put off would be a (generous) understatement.

I am many things, but a liar isn’t one of them.

Now that I’ve gotten a little distance on the situation (Isn’t that a great buzzphrase? We should use it more often), I understand that I didn’t react the way that I should have. I should have defended myself. Instead, I sat there and yammered on and on about my experience and the reasons why my resume language might not match up with his expectations. It was not a positive experience at all. In the end, I was actually a little relieved that I didn’t get the job — who would want to work for someone that thinks you’re a liar, right?

Still, since I tend to fixate on things (and because it that seems accusing someone of lying is a thing that people do these days in interviews) I turned to my friends, siblings and associates for advice on what I should have done (or should do in the future).

The Brother:

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Good advice, but I’m not sure I’m assertive enough to follow up afterwards.

Andy, the friend and colleague:

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Andy had some great practical advice for ways to address the accusation during the interview. And, as a cradle Catholic,I’m totally copacetic with various ways to make other people feel guilty.

Lisa, the former supervisor:

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Full disclosure: Lisa is one of my top 10 people who I don’t want mad at me ever. Seriously, the woman gets stuff done. Honestly, of all the advice I got, Lisa’s is probably the one that I would be most likely to execute. I really like the idea that we should “clear up any misunderstanding.”

Julian, the current work bestie:

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One of the things I most admire about Julian is the fact that he tends towards a really philosophical/fatalist approach to these kinds of things. Even though I know myself well enough to know that I would never be able to pull this off, if it ever happens again, I’ll keep this in mind.

How about you all? Has anyone ever accused you of lying on your resume or in an interview? How did/would you handle that?

 

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