In a recent article on, Liz Ryan warns about some of the most common lies companies tell prospective employees they are trying to recruit. Whether it’s the false hope of software upgrades, or “we don’t know what the salary range for the job will be yet,” she explains how to tell whether human resources is lying, and just what those lies may mean.

We Found an Internal Candidate

If you’re told that you’re a finalist but that an internal candidate has come out of the company’s woodwork, they’re likely just stalling for time, says Ryan, since managers and recruiting partners have the responsibility to identify these people before promoting the job outside. “A last-minute internal candidate in the mix is a sign of a non-functional (or dysfunctional) talent engine,” she says.

This Recruiting Process Is Perfectly Normal

“Talent-aware employers don’t put their valued job candidates through hurdle after insulting hurdle,” says Ryan. If there are insulting and tedious hoops to be jumped through, really decide how badly you want this job, she suggests.

We Don’t Have a Firm Grasp on the Job Description

This phrase or any iteration thereof can mean there’s “dissension on the management team about just what the new person should do,” warns Ryan. She suggests telling them you’d like to hold off until more details are finalized.