Question designed by Tommy Lau from the Noun Project

Have you ever lied during an interview? If you’ve ever pretended to know something that you don’t, you’re hardly alone – up to 70 percent of people have suffered from impostor syndrome at some point in their lives. 

Jason Freedman of 42 Floors told a story about a hiring process where his openness about not knowing an answer sold a candidate. Here’s why:

When people say I don’t know, it lends credibility to everything else that they’ve said.

He further explains:

Saying I don’t know… turns a question into a homework assignment.  As long as I follow up with the answer later, they never mind. And it’s 1000x better than bullshitting a half answer.

Rather than nodding your head when you don’t know what someone is talking about, or blindly guessing an answer (only to be proven wrong), give yourself permission to not know it all. Simply admit that you don’t know the answer, while adding that you’re happy to find out and tell them the answer later. Not only will you save yourself from potential embarrassment, you’ll be perceived as more reliable and trustworthy.


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