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Coaching Experience By Martin 02.08.13 To Be Honest

Coaching Experience By Martin 02.08.13 To Be Honest

Coaching Experience – “To be honest”

“To be honest, I’ve been a bit lazy” was the words I heard in one coaching session this week.  “I signed up 2 years ago” she said, “but haven’t really done much until now.”

Many of you have probably heard me give the advice that when you say the words “to be honest” you should immediately shut your mouth and think carefully about what you want to say.

Of course in this instance it didn’t matter that this candidate confessed to being lazy to me, but in an interview saying a phrase like this could be interview suicide.

This is something I learnt while working at the Jobcentre.  Every day I had to interview people about their benefits claims.  If they told me certain things I had no choice (if I wanted to be someone with professional integrity) but to report these and they may lose their benefits!

“To be honest, I did a bit of work for a mate this week.”

“To be honest, I haven’t had the time to do much job searching because…”

And there are many more.  I realised that in interviews when people say, “to be honest” the next words they say are almost always words they shouldn’t say.  Imagine the interviewer:

“It says here you developed leadership skills and organised many events” he asks questioning you.

“To be honest,” you say, “I just had to put on Facebook which pub and at what time.”

In another situation the interviewer says: “You said in your application you have excellent team working skills, tell me a time you found it really hard to meet a goal as part of a team?”

You panic.  You can’t think.  “To be honest,” you gulp, “I’ve never been in a situation like that, all my team working experience went quite well.”  Bad answer.

At the end of the day, if you’re only being honest when you say that phrase then what were you doing before?

To tell the truth, there are other variations of this phrase too.  Basically, you’ve got to be careful.  I have to say, avoid them altogether!

Martin Archer

2nd August 2013