A career coach went viral after she revealed the top five things a person should lie about during a job interview.
TikTok user Anna Papalia (@anna..papalia) mainly posts content about career advice. She shared the video with her 124,000 followers on Feb. 6. Within 24 hours, the video received 991,000 views.
“You asked for it. Here are five things that you can and should lie about in the interview process,” Papalia said to start the video.
Coming in at number five, Papalia said prospective employees should “lie about where you see yourself in five years.” According to her, no employer wants to hear you say that you see yourself “in grad school or getting married and having babies.” Employers want to hear you say that you see yourself “here, at this organization.”
Number four is to “lie about why you’re looking” for a job. Papalia said employers don’t want to hear that you “hate the culture of your current company.” Instead, they want to hear how you’ve “outgrown” your current position and are seeking “a new challenge.”
Lying about your true feelings for your boss and co-workers takes the third spot.
“I don’t care if you work for the worst, most micromanagy boss in the world,” Papalia said. “We don’t want to hear you talk about that in an interview, especially if you’re being interviewed by someone who might be your prospective boss.”
Papalia’s number two suggestion is for job seekers to lie about their hobbies. She pleaded with people to pick hobbies that sound “professional and interesting” because recruiters don’t want to hear that “all you do outside of work is watch Netflix.”
Last but not least, Papalia said you could “embellish” your job description and title. She especially recommends doing this if you have been “working above and beyond your job description, and you haven’t been getting paid for it.”
In the comments section, many viewers critiqued the fact that lying is such an expected part of the recruitment process.
“Honestly if I have to lie to get a job, that’s the wrong place, wrong people, wrong moment, wrong system, ALL [WRONG]!” one viewer wrote.
“Having to lie like this just teaches u how sick corporate jobs are but its true,” a second commented.
“Corporate America is absolutely insufferable,” another stated.
Several questioned why interviewers inquire about a candidate’s hobbies.
“If you don’t want to know what my actual hobbies are then why ask the question?” one user asked.
“Why do you ask these kind of questions? Especially about my hobbies why?” a second echoed.
“Why does it matter what my hobby’s are? If I perform good at my job then it shouldn’t matter if I nap at home,” another wrote.
In response to such questions, Papalia commented that employers ask about hobbies “To get to know you , to see if we like you, if you’ll be a good fit at the company etc etc.”
Other viewers shared some of the lies they told in job interviews.
“I lie about having kids and having all 4 grandparents alive,” one viewer commented.
“I said one time that ‘I want the challenge’ and she laughed at me and said ‘You’re here because you need the money,’” a second wrote.
“I lied about working under pressure, got the job, and I had to quit in a week,” another shared.
The Daily Dot reached out to Anna Papalia via email and TikTok comment.
Update 11:42am CT, Feb. 11, 2023: During an interview with the Daily Dot, Paplia shared how she’s worked as a career coach for 12 years and was the director of Talent Acquisition. She has been working as an interviewer for 20 years. Over the years, she said she’s learned the dos and don’ts of interviewing.
“You can’t lie about your experience, education, how bilingual you are, how proficient you are in a software but you can lie about where you see yourself in 5 years- no one wants to hear you say you see yourself traveling the world or going back to grad school,” she shared with the Daily Dot via email.