Look, nabbing a 10/10 job is never easy. We know. We also know that fudging your resume just a teeeeny bit is a common way of making yourself look just that little bit more legit. But what do you do when you’re invited for an interview and it turns out you’re actually not the world renowned expert in marine technology that you chucked in for the lols?
You’ve gotten yourself into a tricky lil’ situation where you either ‘fess up to lying, bail on the interview entirely or do some learning, quick smart. Depending on how obvious your lie (‘coz you’re probs gonna find it hard to learn an entire doctorate worth of neuroscience in a few days, and we doubt you can verify being a masked vigilante), the last option is the one that gives you the most likely chance of still scoring the gig.
Just to be clear, we’re not endorsing lying, but you got yourself into this mess and we wanna help you get out. So here’s how you can upskill ASAP and save yourself the mental anguish that occurs when your new boss introduces you to a VIP French client under the belief that you’re totally fluent.
Listen to a podcast
You needa learn something and you needa learn it quick. Lying brain, meet podcasts. You’re about to be the best of pals. Podcasts are a really easy way of getting knowledge in various fields as you go about your day. It’s as simple as swapping out your reg playlist for some educational content – trust me, it’s better than waffling through your interview. They’re actually pretty entertaining if you find the right one.
There are a bunch of specialist podcasts catering to different areas and skill sets, so you can learn basic Mandarin while you’re getting the washing done or brush up on coding while you’re chowing down on some leftover pizza.
Take a short course
The only legit way to learn something is, well, to straight up learn it. If you’ve got an interview scheduled in a week or two, a crash course is your best bet for actually knowing what you’re talking about in a short time. Say you’ve claimed that you’re an expert in UX design, but the only thing you know is that those letters are separated by V in the alphabet (thank you, kindergarten).
Pop in to a one-day course at General Assembly and you’ll be given a rundown about what you need to know in time to knock your interviewer’s socks right off their stinkin’ feet. There’s enough variety in the course selection that you can make it work no matter what ridiculous lie you’ve chucked on your resume.
Find an actual expert
This one’s for the folk who’ve claimed that they’re swimming in practical experience within an area they’re lucky to have dipped a single, solitary pinky toe in. Your best bet to get an understanding of what day-to-day life is like in a certain field is to go direct to the source and shadow someone who already works in it.
If you’re a keen programmer but you’ve only ever worked from the confines of your childhood bedroom, reach out to a nearby professional and see if they’re open to letting you come in and observe for a day. If that’s too much to ask, see if they’d be keen for you to shout them some caffeine and pick their brain. It’s hard to say no to free coffee, friends.
Cover the basics
Sometimes your white lies might actually be too tricky to cover for in just a couple of days. You really got yourself in a pickle here, and it’s a hellhole of your own making. Shame. But rest assured, you can still bluff your way through if you’re committed to properly learning what you’ve claimed after the interview. So all you need to do is make it through that hour or so.
It’s pretty unlikely that your interviewer will ask you anything too specific in the interview itself – for the most part they just need to know you have a solid understanding. Read up on the foundations of whatever you’ve claimed to be an expert in and make sure you know the key terminology. Then afterwards, STUDY IT PROPERLY.
Quit making ridic claims
Ultimately, you know you shouldn’t fudge your resume – even if you do really want a job, it’s best to do it properly. So lay off the lying and focus on getting yourself ready for a gig that you’ll really enjoy. A gig you’ll have earned.
Before you go for your next interview, brush up on all the skills you wish you COULD put on your resume with a sweet 50% off General Assembly Classes and Workshops for two whole weeks. Just pick from these classes and chuck in the code Pedestrian50 to score yourself some sick skills ASAP.