How to Tell if a Candidate is Lying to Get the Job

6645618-983286-edited.jpgll of us are lying in one way or another. We lie to ourselves, to our friends, and to our bosses. Each of our lies has its own consequence. When the lies that people tell might lead to positive outcomes, the stakes become higher, and the lies are most likely to be more frequent. Like lying to land a new job. 


As the hiring manager, you need to carefully select your employees. But as you are likely aware, many job applicants lie on their resume and in interviews. Consider the job interview should be designed to help you figure out whether an employee has sent you a fabricated or exaggerated resume. 


How to Avoid Being Lied To During the Interview Process

Here are a few tips to help you filter out what is real versus what is fake when it comes to interviewing your next potential hire.


Read the Entire Resume - Carefully

Don’t be the type of hiring manager who reads a resume for 6 seconds. That’s not nearly enough time to assess whether the applicant is a good fit for the position. 

For busy hiring managers, it pays to know where to look. The categories of education and employment are one of the most lied upon matters. Applicants usually lie about having professional certificates, their actual ranking positions within their previous companies, or some even go to the length of creating fake job references!


Analyze the Employee’s Social Media Presence

Most applicants will have a social media presence – whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. You can go through their profile(s) and assess whether the passions, interests, and implications of the employees fit with the person sitting in front of you during the interview.

“Many employers refuse to interview candidates that do not have a professional online presence. The reason is simple: they’re either hiding something or they’re not professional enough to develop a personal brand around their name”, states Gary Pennington, the HR Manager at Careers Booster.

 Ask Concise and Intelligent Questions During the Interview

Many employers and HR departments are addressing typical and general questions like “What are you good at” or “How can you help this company grow”. However, the answers to these questions can be easily improvised by any flexible employee. 

Ask more concise and intelligent questions. Address questions in such a way that employees who already lied in their resumes or during the interview will have trouble answering. Some examples might include: 

“What are the exact steps you took to solve X or Y need of your previous company?

“How did you come up with this or that accomplishment? What were the tools that you used?”

“Considering that you know French very well, could you speak fluently for 3 minutes during this interview?”


Pay Attention to Body Language

Now that you're asking the right questions as mentioned above, pay attention to the body language of your prospects. While you’re addressing smart questions, carefully observe the body language that they manifest. More than often, a person who doesn’t feel comfortable with an answer will become nervous or will show signs of odd behavior.

Eye contact is a big factor as well. There are suddle patterns to eye contact when someone is fibbing. This is not something to base your decisions, but it doesn't hurt to be aware.

 Just Ask If They’re Really Telling the Truth

Here’s one of the best things you can do: after your prospect answers your questions and you get a chance to witness his body language behavior, you can spice it all up by addressing him this simple question:

“Are you REALLY telling the truth?” Then you can follow up with something like “I want you to be truly honest, and I’m giving you a shot only”. When people are scared of screwing up, they’ll go into panic mode. You will be able to observe that through their body language.

Moreover, have a strong tone of voice while you’re addressing these questions. With luck, some will quit lying while some will act normally, which means that means that they have nothing to hide.


It's not easy, but filtering out the lies from your potential employees’ resumes is surely a smart action to take. By doing so, your company won’t have to suffer in the longer run. An employee that’s not productive or qualified in your company’s field is going to drag the business performance down. You always want to eliminate the “bad sheep”. However, if you pay attention in the first place, you will rarely have to deal with such issues.

Subscribe_to_Yoh_BlogsAbout the Author: Eva Wislow is a career advisor and HR expert from Pittsburgh. She is focusing on helping people break down their limits, find a dream job and achieve life and career success.

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