7 Lies Employers Tell Employees and How to Spot Them

Joining a new company is exciting but how do you identify the fake promises? Here are some sugar-coated lies companies tell and how you can spot them.

5 min read
7 Lies Employers Tell Employees and How to Spot Them

Working in a new company always brings excitement.

The thrill of taking on a new project, collaborating with new people and you know, all that jazz!

But sometimes the grass seems greener on the other side.

A company is composed of people and let’s be honest, people are not always honest.

They may make big promises at the time of your interview, and even put a positive spin on things that are not exactly positive just to get you on board.

But when you finally start your work, you may find yourself in a drastically different situation.

Some companies keep telling you lies even after you’ve started working for them.

Here are some of those sugar-coated lies that companies tell their employees and how you can spot them.

We will be using Reverse Behavioral Interviewing techniques to help you spot these lies.

Behavioral Interviewing is a proven technique used by recruiters to assess the personality, aptitude and experience of candidates.

These open-ended questions give recruiters insights in uncovering the hidden traits of candidates.

We will be using the same techniques to uncover their truths.

Let’s dig in!

1. There are huge opportunities for promotions

This is typical of a company to lure you to their organization by promising you opportunities to grow within the company.

If you have a considerable amount of work experience and have given enough interviews, you must’ve come across this statement or something in the same vicinity.

They tell you this because they like your profile and want you to join the team.

Take it as a compliment but don’t be fooled at the same time.

Now, some companies may genuinely say this to you, but others may not.

As this statement is said during the time of the interview, you can still dodge this bullet of lies.

How to spot this lie?

To find out whether they’re being genuine or not, you can ask them a very valid open-ended question while wrapping up your interview.

Can you give me an example of someone who was hired recently within the last few years who has been promoted? Someone with a profile similar to mine? And also what did he/she did to accomplish that?

Asking such an open-ended and valid question will help in revealing the true self of the company and whether there is an opportunity for promotion or is it all just a facade.

2. You will have complete ownership of the project

Another alluring lie that works wonders on people who like to express their creativity at work.

Independent and self-driven employees like to take ownership of projects and want to add their ingenuity to it; for the better.

Let’s be honest, nobody likes to be micromanaged.

Although tempting, this statement may not be true.

Regardless of the project or your designation, a certain level of supervision from the employer is always there.

And more the supervision, the more you’ll feel cheated.

Thankfully, there’s a way you can see through this deceit.

How to spot this lie?

Ask your employer simple questions on the lines of these:

Can you elaborate when you say ‘complete ownership’? Also, can you give me an example from your current team members who have full ownership of projects? And what kind of projects are they?

Their answer to these questions will instantly reveal whether they really trust their employees with complete ownership or is it just hocus pocus.

3. Don’t worry, annual bonuses will easily double your income

“Double my income?”

Repeating that to yourself may instantly put you in dreamland.

But the reality, unfortunately, might be too dreamy as well.

While some fortune 500 companies or other companies with a similar stature may offer big bonuses, they'll never use it to get you signed up.

For them, it’s just their normal bonus structure. They may mention it but if they’re trying to negotiate your salary with this statement…

Hmm… something might be fishy.

How to spot this lie?

A clear and easy way to find out if this is a lie or not is by asking to meet an employee who has achieved such a bonus.

Oh wow! That’s wonderful! May I meet someone who has earned such a bonus? I would like to know how they accomplish that.

4. You’ll have work flexibility and occasional work from home is allowed

Flexible work timings or scheduling is something every employee may desire.

On top of that work from home is a modern luxury we all wish to have.

Typically, this is done to make their company a more attractive option than any other organization.

Some companies may offer either flexibility or work from home, very rarely they offer both.

Either way, you can confirm whether a company is lying about it or not.

How to spot this lie?

You can uncover the truth by asking a simple question like this:

How do employees apply for work from home? Is it for limited days? How is flexibility managed at your company? Is there someone I can speak to who can guide me how they meet company goals while keeping work flexibility?  

5. Salary is based on your experience

This one is a classic!

You see it on job postings and hear during telephonic conversations.

“Salary no bar for the right candidate” is another synonym used by employers to attract the most skillful workforce.

But is it true?

While for some high positions it may hold true to a certain extent, but for the rest, it is generally not true.

The salary for a position is generally based on the budget allocation, job requirement and workforce present.

The salary bar is decided even before the job is posted.

So, how to confirm whether a company is lying about it or not?

How to spot this lie?

The best way to find out the truth is by knowing the average pay of the designation and company you’re applying for.

Fortunately, you can see salaries based on designations and companies at AmbitionBox.

Read the salaries shared by employees for their respective designations and companies.

By knowing the salaries, you can know for sure if they give out the salaries based on experience or is it just a tactic to attract skilled employees.

6. You’ll get the chance to work on great projects in the future

Employees are either motivated by well-paid salaries, growth or learning opportunities.

Employers know it very well and they use it to lure employees.

Not all companies lie but they may throw this statement even if there aren’t any concrete plans for the future.

This is generally done to keep you working hard and stay put in your current job.

How to spot this lie?

If you want to be sure whether they have exciting projects for you in the future, you should ask about it the right way.

Can you give me some examples of employees who have got the opportunity to work on different projects later in their career? What did they exactly do to be allowed to work on different projects?

7. We’ll hire you some help when the time comes

So your soon to be employers tell you the project is big and you’ll be handling it alone.

For now.

But they will get you a team once the project is in motion.

You believe them and sign up only to realize you’re doing the work and that right time to hire help never comes.

This can not only put you in stress but also make you feel deceived.

So, how to be sure that you’ll get the help you need for the project?

How to spot this lie?

The simple way to reveal the truth is by asking them if they have done something similar in the past.

Have you hired such help for some of your existing team members before?


What is the process of identifying and budgeting additional workforce?

In conclusion, there are certain lies that companies tell employees to hire the most skilled workforce they can find for their companies.

Sometimes these are not lies but are not fulfilled due to external factors.

However, for you as a potential employee, it will always seem like lies if the promise is not delivered.

So, it is better to use Reverse Behavioral Interviewing to find the truth for yourself and make the right decision for your career, future and peace of mind.

Good luck!