Interviewing is in many ways like dating. You're presenting your best self to someone else, while minimizing any flaws. But like dating, at some point they will see your true self and that needs to match up with the interview.
Don't lie. Ever.
Without getting into a treatise on the importance of honesty and integrity, there are specific, tactical reasons not to do it as well.
- Whatever lie you tell may be found out. Don't rely on or assume that something can't be verified. Sometimes the lack of verification can be viewed in a negative light.
- Except for people who are dishonest as a matter of course (and sociopaths), every has tells when they lie. It's not necessarily a tangible act either. It could be certain mannerisms, the way and where you look or body language. It's entirely subconscious and to someone adept at detecting such things, it will betray you.
- If the interviewer thinks you're lying then you are, at least in his mind. So you must not only tell the truth, but you need to be credible while doing it.
- Exaggeration is lying, just to a lesser degree and it is fraught with the same problems as a complete fabrication.
What you can do.
Just because you're determined not to lie doesn't mean you need to sabotage the interview. There are things you can do to remain honest without giving reasons to eliminate you.
Focus on accomplishments
Every answer needs to have a success and you can do that without lying or exaggerating. No circumstance was universally horrible. Focus on the positive aspects of any response and then say what was positive about it and helped the company.
Don't bring up the bad stuff
We've all screwed up. That doesn't mean we volunteer it. Even in a train wreck of a job, find the parts where you helped and accentuate that by describing how it benefited your employer.
Minimize the bad stuff that does come up
They weren't there. They have to take your word for it mostly. So if you do have to go over something that was bad, it wasn't that bad and you learned something. Don't blame others, but don't fall on the sword either.
Anything can be positive
You gave the example of a person volunteering that they weren't good with details. Obviously, you don't want to volunteer your flaws. Unfortunately, it's very common for someone to want you to tell them what your flaws are. Even then you can make something positive about it. If your flaw is that you genuinely aren't good with details, say that but refer to it as something that you've dealt with. "In the past, I struggled with keeping up with details, but I've developed strategies to successfully handle them. I keep lists and I write everything down and at the end of the day I review what I've done and what still needs to be done and write that down as well"
Competence and confidence. That's what makes interviews successful. Don't exaggerate. Be believed because you told the truth. But don't sabotage the interview by telling truths they don't need to hear.