“Two truths and a lie” has a more important purpose than a fun party game for friends or an icebreaker. Some interviewers also use it as a job interview question to learn more about the candidate.
You may wonder how to answer when an interviewer asks for two truths and a lie about yourself.
Don’t worry – Once you learn how to answer this common interview question, you will impress the hiring manager with your seamless response.
You may know it’s vital to show up on time and dress the right way, but there’s so much more to the perfect interview. Read on to learn more about why interviewers ask for two truths and a lie and how you can craft the perfect answer.
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Why Do Interviewers Ask “Two Truths and a Lie”?
Interviewers ask for two truths and a lie because they want to learn more about the candidate in a creative way that keeps them on their toes.
Very few candidates expect to hear “two truths and a lie” in the hiring process because it is more of an ice breaker for new hires in the office.
The unexpectedness makes it perfect for interviewers to use since most candidates have well-crafted default answers for prompts such as “tell me about yourself.”
“Two truths and a lie” is a more candid prompt, and interviewees may give more honest answers.
What Is the Interviewer Looking For?
Depending on the interview type, when the interviewer asks you to provide “two truths and a lie,” they may want to assess one or more specific things about you.
- How well you know yourself: Your answer to this question will demonstrate how well you know yourself. If you provide vague, boring answers, such as “I have two siblings” or “I graduated college,” the interviewer might assume that you don’t know enough about yourself to provide exciting answers that will stand out from other candidates.
- Your creativity: The answer to this question also demonstrates your level of creativity. In addition to sharing two truthful things about yourself, you also have to come up with a lie on the spot, which requires creative and quick thinking.
- Your communication skills: Selecting the right words is critical when answering this prompt. You don’t want to use terminology that gives away the lie or sounds too rehearsed. Being able to think of something quickly while communicating it well will earn you some points in your interview.
How To Answer “Two Truths and a Lie”
Now that you understand why the interviewer is asking for two truths and a lie, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to answer this question.
1. Think of three interesting facts about yourself.
2. Choose one and find a way to change it into a lie.
Alternatively, you can think of a complete lie, but we find that picking something close to the truth is the easiest way to come up with this lie.
If you likely find it challenging to come up with these facts on the spot, then you can always prepare beforehand to have some answers ready to go in case your interviewer asks this question.
What to Focus on When Answering This Question
Here are some key points to consider before answering two truths and a lie.
- Keep it interesting: When you’re brainstorming facts about yourself, ensure the two truths aren’t too bland. You want your answers to stand out and your lie to not be so obvious.
- Pick a good lie: It’s usually best to pick one that seems least believable but would still be plausible, such as “I ran three marathons in one month.”
- Keep it relevant: Your two truths and your lie should be relevant to the job you’re interviewing for. For example, if you are applying for a teaching job, your two facts should be somewhat related to teaching or working with children.
Otherwise, the truths should at least demonstrate specific relevant skills, such as communication, organization, or teamwork.
What To Avoid When Answering This Question
A few things to avoid when answering this question in an interview.
- Don’t be generic: As mentioned, it’s important not to give boring, generic answers to this fun, interesting question. If your truths aren’t fascinating, you won’t stand out from the pool of candidates.
- Don’t be too specific with your facts: If you provide more specificity and details for your truths than you do with your lie, it’ll be obvious to the interviewer what the lie is.
- Don’t choose inappropriate answers: Although it might seem like a game, providing unprofessional answers (e.g., about drugs, alcohol, sexual activities, etc.) is unsuitable for the workplace. Keep it interesting without being lewd or vulgar.
Example Answers to Consider
It may be helpful to review some example answers to two truths and a lie, so we provided some for your reference below.
Example Answer 1
Truth: I climbed Kilimanjaro.
Truth: I am a trained pastry chef.
Lie: My mother was an astronaut
Why This Answer Works
This answer stands out from other answers because all three points are relatively interesting.
The two truths demonstrate the candidate’s experiences and skills, while the lie seems almost believable but unlikely.
More specifically, a physical feat like climbing Kilimanjaro demonstrates a person’s persistence and mental strength, while pastry chef training shows their dedication to their craft.
All of these qualities are well sought after in many job interviews.
Example Answer 2
Truth: I’m an avid reader and own over 500 books.
Truth: I speak four languages fluently and three conversationally.
Lie: I once swam across the Atlantic Ocean.
Why This Answer Works
This answer is clever because all three answers are seemingly impossible. All the answers are memorable and creative, which will help the candidate stand out from other interviewees.
Additionally, the truths speak to qualities that might be beneficial in the role that the interviewer is applying for.
If the position is suitable for a multilingual person or a well-read person, these truths are helpful for the interviewer to know.
Example Answer 3
Truth: I was born in Hong Kong.
Truth: I am a three-time National Scrabble Champion.
Lie: I’ve visited every continent on Earth.
Why This Answer Works
In this example, all three answers are interesting enough to stand out from the applicant crowd and make the candidate memorable to the interviewer.
The two truths are a mix of personal information (birthplace) and skill-based knowledge (Scrabble champion).
The lie is plausible, but it would probably surprise the interviewer if the candidate had actually done it.
Additional Tips for Two Truths and a Lie Impressing an Interviewer
To ensure that your two truths and a lie truly impress the interviewer, keep these tips in mind:
- Keep it short: Although long-winded stories may make your answers more specific and intriguing to some extent, it’s better to keep your answers brief and concise.
- Provide relevant information: As mentioned, you should somehow relate the truths to the job and the skills needed to excel in it. They don’t have to be directly related, but the interviewer should be able to draw a clear connection from your answer to a valuable skill for the role.
- Show off your creativity: This is an opportunity to show off some of your creative thinking, so come up with clever and interesting answers to separate yourself from the competition.
- Be confident: Make sure you share your answers with confidence and enthusiasm. This attitude helps to show that you believe in your answers and is more likely to make the “game” fun for the interview and leave a positive impression on the interviewer.
Additional Questions to Be Aware Of
“Two truths and a lie” isn’t the only striking question your interviewer might ask you.
In order to feel even more well-equipped for the big day, you can also prepare for these other common interview questions:
- What Does Integrity Mean to You?: The interviewer asks this to see how honest and reliable the candidate is.
- What Motivates You To Do a Good Job?: An interviewer may use this question to gauge the candidate’s drive and commitment to succeed and see if that drive is sustainable.
- What Does Customer Service Mean to You?: The interviewer wants to know how passionate the candidate is about serving customers and how resilient they might be when there are customer complaints.
- Tell Me About a Time You Failed: This question allows the interviewer to predict how the candidate copes with failure and how they use lessons from perceived failure constructively.
- Tell Me About a Time You Made a Mistake: The interviewer wants to know what the candidate perceives as a mistake as well as how the candidate corrects and learns from their mistakes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you still wondering how to best answer “two truths and a lie” in an interview setting?
If so, our answers to the following two frequently asked questions may be able to help you out.
What are the two types of lies?
There are two types of lies. One type is a white lie, which is harmless. Sometimes people tell white lies to avoid hurting someone’s feelings or as a part of a game. The second type is a malicious lie, which is told to deceive or manipulate someone.
In the instance of “two truths and a lie,” the answerer is free to tell a lie as a harmless “white lie,” as the asker is expecting them to tell a lie as a part of the game.
You should now have a comprehensive understanding of the “two truths and a lie” prompt, what the interviewer is looking for, and how you can provide an exceptional, stand-out answer.
At the end of the day, two truths and a lie can be a fantastic opportunity to show off your skills and make yourself shine in an interview, as well as share a few laughs with your interviewer and create a human connection.
We hope this article helped you prepare for your next interview and feel ready to answer this and other tricky interview questions.