You Don’t Have to Lie About It

That’s it, I’ve had it! Credibility is a major priority with me, and when mine is challenged I feel really violated, especially if it’s because a candidate can’t keep track of which story was told to whom (candidate behavior never – never ceases to amaze me). Ok, it’s human nature to place a higher value on yourself than others might –  part of our value is tied to what we make at each job during our career. As far as your value (re: income) goes, it should be performance-based and tied to what you’re currently earning. Lying about salary to shortcut your way to higher earnings?  It’s not a very smart thing to do – it will catch up with you.

Believe it or not, salary/earnings is a subject we cover in detail during the candidate intake process, screenings and interviewing. And (drumroll please…) we take notes. Lots of notes! I just went through this sad phenomenon with a candidate for a senior-level role and the memory lingers.  This guy decided the best way to increase his market value was to over-inflate his salary information during the face-to-face interview with my client. Too bad for him that certain “facts” he’d told me about his salary had already been reported to the client – I guess he figured that sharing his salary information with me was “our little secret.” C’mon, are you kidding me?! The client called me to discuss the salary discrepency, the facts surfaced and it was obvious what had occurred. We had a liar in the mix. Not good.

Honesty is always the best policy. That goes double for what you say during an interview. Details about your title, role, responsibilities, accomplishments and – YES – your salary and bonus information need to be accurate. If you really want to move the needle on personal income then work for it – knock the cover off the ball every single day. Ask for more challenging assignments and step out of your comfort zone. Become your boss’ go-to-guy and make sure you’re in the top 10% of  your company’s employees. A very dear friend of mine used to say that you either create your value internally (with your current employer) or you create your value externally (by your reputation and good name).

Whatever you do, don’t try to increase your income by lying during an interview. You’ll be sorry you did when the only person who ends up getting cheated is you.

About the author


Tim Tolan

Tim Tolan is the Senior Partner of the Healthcare IT and Services Practice of Sanford Rose Associates. He has conducted searches for CEOs, presidents, senior vice presidents, vice presidents of business development, product development and sales. Tim is also the co-author of "The CEO’s Guide to Talent Acquisition – Finding Talent Your Competitors Overlook," available on Amazon.

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