Half of applicants would lie to improve chances of getting a job

Half of UK workers would exaggerate when applying for a job, according to research commissioned by HR consultancy Water for Fish. 

The company surveyed 1,006 working adults across the UK, asking what they thought would be the most common reasons for people to exaggerate within their job applications. 

Respondents thought that people did it “to get noticed and impress” (65%), or because “they worry that they do not have enough of the right experience” (63%). 

More than one-third (37%) thought it was because everyone else was doing it, and one-fifth (20%) said it was because “people tell them they should”.

When asked what respondents might exaggerate about, the most common areas cited were personal interests (43%), reasons for leaving a job (38%), previous job responsibilities (38%) and previous pay (30%). 

Interestingly, some would even consider lying about their age (4%) and length of time in their previous job (10%) to try and influence the interviewer.

Nicola Mindell, director at Water for Fish, said: “There is an enormous amount of pressure on people applying for jobs, especially highly competitive ones, to make sure they stand out as the best person for the job. However, lying in interviews or giving false and misleading information are not the answers and will not, in the long run, benefit anyone.”

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