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3 Tell-Tale Signs Your Candidate Is Lying

Do you ever find yourself in the midst of interviewing a candidate and you hear something that doesn’t quite ring true?

We all know that a lie detector would make our hiring process a whole lot easier and hassle-free, but you cannot just strap your candidates up to a machine (or can you?). For starters, knowing the warning signs and what to do in these situations can help you better control an interview and ultimately make good hiring decisions.

Find out these dead giveaways of a lying interviewee truth-stretcher and how to call someone’s bluff.

A Possible Loafer On The Team

Yes, yes, yes. Teamwork makes the dream work.

But you ought to keep your eyes peeled for interviewees who only toot their horns about tasks accomplished as a group. One of the purposes of an interview is to assess which talents stand out from the crowd.

Don’t let impressive team achievements sway your judgement without digging a little deeper. The freeloader effect is common in every kind of group work, wouldn’t you agree?

If they mention a group project or stressed a little too often on the phrase ‘team effort’, try probing them about the role they played in the team. Maybe even share with you something else they did entirely on their own.

Remember,you’re hiring this talent, not the entire team he/she worked in.

Being Vague On Purpose

The fact that people who tell the truth speak differently from those who lie is not new.

When someone tends to speak in generalities without giving the specifics, its one of the biggest linguistical tips offs that he/she may not be telling the truth.

Duringinterviews, you would usually ask candidates about situational experiences, and they should respond with an answer about ‘a time when this happened’.

The response you should be expecting is one filled with specifics: How the interviewee thought/felt at that point of time, how the interviewee overcame the challenge or what the interviewee learned from that experience.

Too-Good-To-Be-True Skill Sets

It’s common knowledge that most people often stretch the truth on their resumes in an attempt to land a job. From hard skills like Microsoft Excel to soft skills like Leadership or communication skills, the list is endless.

An example would be someone who claims to be proficient/expert in a particular skill set. Try asking this simple interview question: ‘Share with me the most complex thing you’ve ever done with [insert skill set].”

Not only is it straightforward enough to answer, but it also gives your talent a chance to upsell and boast about their experience (that is if the skill were to be true). On the other hand, if any talent fumbles through this simple question, it should be easy for you to hear those warning bells ringing.

Sure, you can always gauge their proficiency through a test, but sometimes it isn’t enough. Back when you were a student, how often have you memorised a textbook answer to a question without fully understanding the why part? It is crucial that the talent you’rehiringhas and understands the skill sets needed for the job.


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