A while ago I went for an interview and talked about my actual previous work experience, not realizing that the interviewer was having a slightly different version in her hand. When I got back home, I logged into my account in the company's website and discovered to my horror of horrors this was indeed the case. Now, the interviewing manager messaged she would like to talk to me over the phone about my application - she didn't indicate about what. I'm pretty certain it's to clarify things that I alluded to during the interview that didn't align with my resume.

Now, the backstory to the mystery of the incorrect resume is that I was going a bad phase, out of job for a year and submitting 100s of applications with not a single call back. So I decided to get a little creative with one of my previous jobs and put in stuff that I had some idea about but didn't actually do (IT job). I used this for other jobs but didn't intend to use for this one - as I personally know this interviewing manager.

So my question to all you good folks is what should I tell the interviewer if I'm asked to clarify the inconsistencies? Is it a good idea to come clean? I could still try and salvage the situation by taking a middle of the road approach - by saying I worked in the said job on the resume for 3-4 months before moving on to another project - by partly owning up to my mistake.

Some things to consider here:

  1. I recently got a job in my field of work with a slightly lower salary, about 15% to 20%. I like the company culture and the management. The job is like any other IT job with fast paced deadlines etc. I'm sure the job I'm interviewing for would be no different. I will consider the new job only if they offer me 15-20% more than my current salary.
  2. I applied for this job before I started my current job.
  3. I personally know this manager from a previous job though we haven't worked directly. She knows my performance and contribution at that company was much appreciated by everyone above me. From my side, I have a positive opinion about her from speaking with former co-workers and have no reason to think that she will be a terrible boss to work with.
  4. Finally, I'm from a smallish city where it might (a little exaggerated maybe) spell doom for my career if word gets around that I embellished my resume. Almost all my references are very, very close to this manager - personally and professionally. Though I don't think she is the type of person who would take pleasure in someone's downfall, there is always the chance that she might mention this in passing, say at a BBQ with friends.

Thanks much for reading!

1 Answer 1


Honesty is the best approach here. Explain to the hiring manager that you listed skills on your resume that you learned on your own and not on the job and/or you listed skills and you realize that you didn't have a deep enough understanding to be tested on in an interview. Acknowledge it was a rookie mistake and you're sorry it created confusion for the interviewers.

In the future, always bring copies of your latest resume (or email a copy to the recruiter or coordinator in advance of the interview) so that the interviewers will always have the more recent copy.

  • Thank you. I think this is the best way forward, regardless of the consequences.
    – user104858
    May 20, 2019 at 15:59

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