Fake Excuses

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The first advice we give to inexperienced people is not to think the experienced will not notice when they fake it. Experience makes HR specialists able to know what trainees hide through:

  • The body language,
  • The tone of the voice,
  • The way trainees speak,
  • The colors of their clothes,
  • The way they eat food,
  • How they deal with noise,
  • The type of eye contact they unconsciously make,
  • Handwriting.

Simply, they are likely to know much more than any trainee thinks he knows. It is their job to detect lies and decipher behaviors.

It is better to be yourself and avoid giving fake excuses when you deal with an expert whose job is to detect what is true or not.

According to my experience with trainees and with the students I used to teach at several schools, there is a limited number of excuses repeatedly used by most people who act as if they were “excuses machines”. They seem logical to them, due to the lack of experience. They are generally as follows:

  • The death of a relative,
  • Taking someone to the hospital,
  • Family emergencies,
  • A sick child,
  • Transportation,
  • Dangerous weather,
  • Forgetting keys and going back to find them,
  • Being sick.

Yet, before criticizing trainees for giving excuses, we need to know WHY they give excuses, instead of saying the truth and, simply, ‘SORRY’.

When children break something at home or do something their parents would not like, punishment is waiting for them. This is a leading factor that makes children look for a way to throw the burden of responsibility off their shoulders. I am not making a comparison between children and trainees, but the situation is likely to be looked at as:

father (judge) vs. child (mistake maker)

boss (judge) vs. trainee (mistake maker)

The thinking mechanism which makes the child look for excuses is the same as the one that makes the trainee say what is unacceptable by his boss or superior, or customer. Here, the trainee presents excuses without knowing that the kind of fear and stress which they are living makes them think, more or less, the same way. The issue is that most bosses know all those cases and are knowledgeable of what the trainee is likely to say or hide.

In general, trainees present excuses in order to:

  • Avoid that the boss ends the training,
  • Protect the job, if they are hired,
  • Keep their image unscratched,
  • Guarantee that colleagues respect them.

Fake excuses are never forgotten, especially if they are being used to the extent to label the trainee as a “liar”. Remember that the company has customers, and it is not good for it to keep someone who is known as a liar among its staff. You are there to add an extra value to the firm, and all you should do is to be yourself and as productive as possible.


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