Don’t do it. Instead, learn it when possible and as you move along interview process, perhaps other skills or your shiny personality will more than make up for whatever may be lacking. Or they may discover you’re perfect for a completely different position. Or you may propose something they hadn’t considered before. But that can only be done if you stay far away from the towering pile of No’s.
If the skill is something you can acquire quickly: ie: Excel, Word proficiency, familiarity with AdWords, I stand by my line: LIE.
You can easily brush up on the basics and inform the employer or client you’re a bit rusty, out of shape, or familiar, yet new to the industry.
If you’re not proficient in Portuguese and need to be, well, duh. Or orthopaedic surgery or investment banking or small engine repair. But if it’s your realm of possible knowledge to learn quickly and accurately, then by all means lie.
Don’t Give Reasons to be Rejected
With the ga-billions unemployed all applying for the exact same job you want, why would you further alienate yourself from the Yes, Maybe, or Has Potential pile and securely align yourself with the No‘s by admitting to lack of knowledge?
A sexist component to the honesty factor
When rehearsing a marketing campaign pitch recently to a mock audience of enthused husbands, my female partner and I replied to questions regarding additional services with a friendly, “No, we can’t but we’ll look into it.”
“Why would you ever say NO to more business??”
Severely reprimanded by the disgusted men in the room, we were informed they would never do that. “We’re yes-men, all the way. You should always say ‘Yes, that can be done, no problem,’ and figure it out later,” they agreed uniformly. “Lie if you have to. Always say yes to accommodate a client’s needs, no matter what. How to achieve it can be solved later, out of client earshot.”
What’s up with the lonely X chromosome that limits our response? It had never occurred to me to lie or fabricate or fib. But they’re absolutely right. Whatever the request, I now have my answer down pat now: “Sure, that can be done.” Then I begin to figure out how.