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6 Ways to Avoid Appearing Untrustworthy to an Employer

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One of the most important things an interviewer will try to determine during the interview process is how trustworthy you are as a candidate. Before a potential interview even takes place, they will be looking for signs as to how reliable a candidate is. They may ask some questions directly aimed at finding that out, but there are also many indirect signals you’ll send that you may not be aware of that could give off the wrong impression.

Trust me. I'm an engineer

  1. Be consistent
    Make sure that all your documents are consistent. Your resume should match your LinkedIn profile and any other documents you’ve submitted, or have posted online. Double check that dates and other information match up. Although even minor inconsistencies may be completely unintentional on your part, they’ll send a signal to a recruiter or interviewer that your information can’t be trusted.
  2. Be on time
    Be respectful when it comes to time. Be a few minutes early for your interviews, and don’t cancel or no-show at the last minute. This will cause an inconvenience and send the signal that you can’t be trusted to keep your word.
  3. Be honest about what you know
    If you’re asked about your knowledge, and you don’t have the answer, it is okay to let the interviewer know that you don’t know the answer to that particular question, but that you know how to find it. Trying to make up answers is a risky game. If you make up an answer that’s clearly uneducated or blatantly false, you’ve most likely lost your credibility with the interviewer. You’re not expected to have all the answers. Admitting that there’s something you don’t know, and showing that you’re willing and able to learn new information and skills will make you look trustworthy. Of course, it also goes without saying that you should not make up skills on your resume that you don’t have.
  4. Be yourself
    During the interview, the interviewer may ask various questions designed to challenge you and show off the true you. It can be easy for some people to want to act conceited or even cocky in an effort to make themselves look good. Although it’s perfectly fine to be proud of, and share your accomplishments and achievements, also show compassion and humility in your answers and interactions. Was it really all thanks to you that the project you managed was successful? Or were you able to establish a great working relationship with your fellow project team members to accomplish your goals together? Showing that you can think well of others and don’t make yourself appear more important than everyone else will shine you in a good light.
  5. Body language
    Just like you should be observing the body language of the interviewer to determine how the interview is going, he or she will be observing yours. It’s normal to be a little bit nervous at the start of the interview. Once you get past the initial introductions you should both settle in and feel more comfortable as the conversation moves forward. Candidates who display signs of anxiety, agitated body language or other signs of being nervous may be perceived as having something to hide.
  6. Red flags in your background
    If you do have issues in your past that could raise a red flag with a recruiter or potential employer, it is better to be up front and honest about them from the start, rather than hoping they will fly under the radar. Most interviewers are more forgiving and understanding than you might think, but if they get surprised by finding out things about you in a simple background check or google search they will question why you were trying to hide the information in the first place, and what else you might not be telling them.


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