To lie or not to lie

When I was recruiting during my MBA at Wharton, people said that if an interviewer asks whether you have other job offers, always say ‘yes.’

The logic is that if other companies have offered you jobs, then it shows that you are a strong candidate.

But I was very uncomfortable with this idea. Why should I have to lie to get a job?

If a company seeks validation from another company’s hiring decision, why have its own interview process? And if a company doesn’t trust its own recruiting process, is it even the right place for you?

It was not a moral stance since you have no obligation to answer this question in the first place. But I decided to tell the truth instead of having a heavy heart.

So when McKinsey’s HR asked me if I had other job offers, I said ‘no.’ Again, during the interviews, when a senior partner asked me, I said ‘No, I don’t have any other offers.’

I assumed that this wouldn’t impact the hiring decision, and I was right — I did get the offer.

What if I hadn’t gotten the offer? I would have tried elsewhere and gone where life took me — I was at peace with my decision.

If you have to lie to get into a company, is it even worth it? There is no right answer — we have to decide for ourselves.

– Rajan

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