There are a million ways you can eliminate your chances of selection like sitting across the hiring manager, unprepared or not asking the ‘right’ kind of questions when given an opportunity to or being over/under-confident or trying to become paly etc. Having said this, did you ever think your inability to maintain consistency throughout all rounds of interviews can totally rock your chances too? If not, then start thinking of it as a deal-breaker sorts.
Remember when back in the day, as a child to cover up for your sibling or yourself, you gave various versions of truth (or lies)? Sometimes you were caught red-handed while other days your parents let you off knowing it was a harmless lie? Cut to the adult world, you no longer risk exercising the liberty to come up with versions, whether in personal or professional life. Why? Easy. It is because it will put a question on your integrity. So, why is it that some people unthinkingly put jeopardize their interviews with pretty, little inconsistent lies?
Why is it that you must lie through your teeth about your past experience on your CV? Why must you assume that the untold truth will never be excavated from the mounds of fiction you present? Let’s take an example: while it is a good practice to tailor your resume according to the positions you apply to, but should you also twist reality? Is it fair to lie about your education or professional experience or both? Aren’t you aware of background checks that most organisations conduct? Or, you think they don’t know how to grill you with same questions asked in different ways? The kind of inconsistency that you exhibit proves you can’t be trusted and as a result you naturally get weeded out of the employment race.
Another way you become inconsistent is when you give different answers to different people interviewing you when you should be telling them the same thing. Simple questions like ‘why do you want to leave your current job’ or ‘what is it that makes you perfect fit for the role profile’ should have standard/same answers. There is no reason why you should present different reasons. You can’t tell one interviewer that ‘you hate your current boss’ and another that ‘you want a more challenging position’, or ‘you no longer do work you were hired for’. These different sets of answers don’t help push your case forward.
As a matter of fact, you should also be able to explain shifts in titles if you have been jumping from one department to another, cross-functionally. You may be extremely talented to don multiple hats in your career span, but remember that you will be asked questions that test your exposure and knowledge. If it’s the truth then there is nothing to worry, but if your claims are false then you are calling for trouble.
Towards the end, when the interviewers get together to share notes, you will across as someone who isn’t self-aware. Besides, you are a candidate who is indecisive and unsure of why he/she wants to be hired. In short, you lack clarity of thought, honesty and decisiveness which are exactly the qualities employers look for after sound professional expertise and experience. And, there is no reason why they should even consider your candidature. But, if you want to increase your chances of being hired and face rejection interview after interview then start showing that you can be trusted. Communicate your vision and prove that you bring your talent pool and are willing to learn and grow. Most importantly stop taking interviews lightly and absolutely abstain from giving contradictory answers. Follow the same plot from the word go.