The Haught guide to lying

Shark liar

There’s an old saying in the job interview game: ‘He who lies in afternoon gets the job in the morning.’

Lying during job interviews is now par for the course. Well, it might be par. It might also be an excellent sub par round, replete with stupendously stylish trousers and a hole-out eagle from a fairway bunker with a five iron. It might even be a round so bad you miss the metaphorical cut. It all depends on how well you fib. The point is, everyone does it.

I just did it at the start of this article, actually. That proverb was a complete fabrication, but because it was so carefully concocted and tactfully delivered, you wouldn’t have noticed unless I’d told you. The other reason you probably didn’t twig was because you couldn’t see my eyes as I said it.

Eyes, you see, are a window to the soul. That means that throughout any job interview they must remain like a shark’s: horrifyingly dead. As the well-worn job interview adage goes: ”big black lies require small black eyes”.

If you can’t do that at the very least be sure to avoid what poker players call ‘tells’.

Cartoonish darting eyes are the worst.


Crying is also quite a good indicator that you’re being dishonest.

Guilt cry

So is very hard blinking and an inability to look your interviewer in the eye, especially if he or she has just said ’Look me in the eye’.

No eye contact

Whichever way you do it, taking your soul windows out of the equation forces your interviewers into a dark room where your words of deceit are all they have to go by.



An edited version of this article first appeared in the MyCareer section of The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.

You can read the column – Benign to Five – in those papers every Saturday, and if you miss it, you can look it up online in the BusinessDay section of The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, The Canberra Times, WAToday and Brisbane Times. (I now wankishly call myself a “syndicated columnist” on my CV.)

Read more Haught newspaper columns

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