Strange question. I had been contacted by a recruiter for a job. Tomorrow is my final round interview. I had been getting a strange feeling and today the recruiter basically told me that when I work for the company, they will rewrite my resume and I have to be ok with them lying on it (e.g. adding work experience where none actually exists). They asked me if I was ok with this, and they said I will be asked tomorrow in the interview to. The interview is by Skype. The company trains software developers and then gets them contracts with other companies.

2 questions:

  1. Is it illegal to lie in the interview? E.g., is it illegal to tell them that I am ok with them embellishing my resume, when in fact I am not and have no intention.

  2. If I did allow them to embellish my resume, would I be breaking the law?

At this point I'm just curious to see where things go, but I'm wondering is it legal for me to say "yes, you can fake information on my resume" as it could be a verbal agreement?

  • 3
    Everything in your question raises red flags about this company. No, it's not "illegal" to lie in an interview, and recording private conversations depends on the jurisdiction. Also, your questions may be best suited for Workplace.SE
    – Michael
    Commented May 24, 2017 at 21:40

2 Answers 2


There is no prohibition on lying in general.


If you misrepresent a fact and that misrepresentation is a material inducement to someone entering into a contract with you then there are a number of problems that follow:

  • The (mis)representation may become a term of the contract and if not complied with can allow the aggrieved party to either sue for damages or rescind the contract.
  • If the misrepresentation led to the contract being entered into by mistake then the contract is void for mistake
  • The misrepresentation may have become a collateral contract
  • an innocent or negligent misstatement may give rise to the tort of negligent misstatement
  • misrepresentation may put you in breach of trade practices statutes.


If you knowingly tell a lie with the intention of receiving a benefit then this is both the tort and crime of fraud.

You receiving employment or your company securing a contract probably qualifies as intending to receive a benefit.

  • 4
    Most jurisdictions preserve an absolute right to dismiss an employee without liability and for cause because they lied in an interview or on a resume even if the employee was hired much, much earlier, if the employer didn't previously know about it. It sounds like the recruiter may be trying to unfairly get more commissions and also to have a means by which to blackmail former clients with the risk of losing their jobs. Alternatively, the recruiter may be colluding with the employer to make it employment lawsuit proof.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 21:52

Generally there is no law against lying in an interview. An exception is if there is a federal connection, for instance if the company you interview with vets candidates with the US government for example as required by a federal contract, then there is 18 USC 1001 (see US v. Yermian for the point that it is not necessary to have actual knowledge of federal jurisdication). Assuming the position doesn't have anything to do with the government, the legal system doesn't directly sanction you for untruthfulness in this context. They can fire you and it may diminish your ability to sue the employer (even for unrelated actions): known as the After-Acquired Evidence doctrine.

Recording an interview requires consent of all parties being recorded, if any party is in an all-party jurisdiction (11 states in the US).

  • "Generally there is no law against lying in an interview" That looks dangerously wrong. While lying in general may not be illegal, if the lie leads to getting the job, that would probably be fraud, as explained in Dale M's answer.
    – sleske
    Commented Mar 30, 2023 at 8:40

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