How to Tell if a Candidate is Lying

Given a limited time, hiring managers should have an efficient hiring process to get the best candidate fast. Since interviewing applicants is tedious, you don’t want to waste your precious time with those who just embellish their qualifications. So, you have to be keen in determining whether or not a candidate is a good fit. This includes being able to spot if an applicant is lying during a job interview. Otherwise, you might hire the wrong person.    

5 Signs a Candidate is Lying    

1. Their answers are vague   

When you ask a candidate about a specific situation, but he gives an irrelevant answer, either he doesn’t understand the question or just want to avoid the matter. He might hiding something. What you need to do is pause for a while after he gave his response. This can push him to talk more about it. So, you will have another chance to recognize the pattern and assess if it’s consistent.  

2. Their body language suddenly changed    

We can’t judge a person based on his body language. That might be his natural self. However, a sudden shift in an interviewee’s body language can give you a signal that something is wrong. For example, if he has been looking at his right side every once in a while since the start of the interview, but suddenly looked at his left side with a deviated eye expression while answering your question, then take note of it. That could be a sign that the candidate is fabricating a story.    

3. They focus on group accomplishments   

A candidate who is unsure of his answer might borrow someone else’s achievement just to cover up his inadequacies. Thus, he puts emphasis on group efforts so he can ride on their accomplishments. This gives the candidate a substitute for his incompetence. For you to know the truth, ask the applicant what specific role he did that contributed to the success of the team. If he was not an integral part of it, he would have trouble getting the words out to state what significant things he did.  

4. They get defensive

If you go deeper into a candidate’s professional background but he dismissed it, then chances are there’s something wrong with him. An applicant can do that by being defensive. He might say that there’s no need to ask about it and that you just need to focus on how he can contribute to the company. If he gets irritated with a professional question, chances are he is hiding something. So even if he answers it, that could be a lie.  

5. Their skills on the resume don’t match the evaluation result

This is a clear indicator. If they lied on their resume, they can also lie during a job interview. That’s why it’s important that you test the skills he stated on his profile either through the interview or a practical exam. If he fails to measure up to what’s written on his resume, chances are he is fond of exaggerating things which he can also do during interview.    

These signs are not set in stone. There are other factors why applicants behave in certain ways. The most common reason is nervousness. You just need to carefully assess the context.  

Your job hiring process will be easier if it’s streamlined. It involves the skills in detecting lies so you would be able to quickly separate liars from those genuine candidates. This allows you to avoid costly mistakes in your job hiring efforts. That is, having the wrong candidate signed the job contract. Don’t let this happen by considering the signs stated above so you can spot cheating applicants.  

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