Common lies during an interview
Posted on September 19, 2019
Recruiters worldwide are often at the receiving end of many lies in the recruitment process.
In a bid to clinch the job, prospective employees often go to great lengths to present a good picture. Annoying to say the least, such dishonest means are unethical as well, and companies are always on the lookout to nip the same in the bud.
Lies feature prominently in job interviews. More rampant than we imagine, lies and deceptions can do a lot of harm if they go undetected.
Wasting much of the time and money of the organization that they step into, such candidates can even do irreparable damage to the company’s reputation in the long run.
What are the top lies recruiters are told?
Generally, in a face-to-face interview, a candidate is likeliest to lie about all or any of the following:
- The salary last drawn
- Reasons for quitting their previous job
- The experience or skill level that they possess
Much of the misinformation willfully supplied by candidates at the time of an interview usually falls under one of the abovementioned categories.
Nevertheless, recruiters usually use some proven strategies for sifting facts from fiction.
[I] During the Interview:
There is a lot that can be done for unearthing falsehood and false information, both during the interview as well as after the interview is over.
Strategies during the interview include:
Putting skills to the test:
A properly conducted interview can reveal a lot about the candidate under consideration.
A good way is to have a subject-matter expert join in at the time of the interview and take an active part in the process. Competency-based interviewing is a proven way to unearth exaggeration as well as talent. While some might boast and lie, there can also be some candidates that undervalue themselves, unknowingly promising below par than what they can actually deliver.
With a subject-matter expert asking leading questions built around the skill that the candidate purports to have, it is not long before the façade falls off.
Keep in mind that any inconsistencies – either deliberately or inadvertently – between your claims and the facts of the matter shall go against you at the time of recruitment.
Currently, a common practice among recruiters is of cross-checking all the information supplied by prospective employees. In the age of digitalization and social media, information is just a click of the mouse button away anyway.
Any candidate found to be deliberately withholding information or misrepresenting facts is often immediately disqualified if in the process of being recruited and terminated if already hired.
Setting the right tone for truth:
To catch you off-guard, recruiters have developed a penchant for commencing with an interview by asking straight up if there was anything in the application submitted that you would wish to alter. Given the option to make amends, at times candidates have been seen to voluntarily accept where they had misquoted or gone overboard in their application.
Honesty is indeed the best policy. If you have lied in your application form for any reason, it would definitely be appreciated if you were to come clean at the time of the interview.
Do keep in mind that even your references might be mentioned during the interview. Do keep in mind as to what would you answer if your interviewer were to ask suddenly “and what would your referee say to this?”. A phone call might also be placed to your reference right there in your presence. So choose accordingly. Only supply those names as references that are genuine and are those that you can trust as well as rely on.
Setting the groundwork for the truth from the very beginning is important. However, honesty works best when it is mutual. With the organization transparently acknowledging any challenges that it might be facing, a truth-telling environment is created. With authenticity and genuineness from both sides, a truthful environment is set from the outset itself.
Backing-up instincts with facts:
Objective thinking is required at the time of conducting interviews. If something does not appear right, many companies, especially multinationals, dig around by asking pointed questions rather than letting it go. HR teams are well-experienced in drilling down further to unearth facts. Never relying on instinct alone, your recruiters will get to the truth somehow. Eventually maybe, but they will get there.
Be honest from the beginning. After all, when you are forthrightly honest, you can be yourself. Liars have often been seen to end up forgetting the lies that they might have told in the past, backtracking on or diverging from their own statements.
[II] After the Interview:
There is much more to the recruitment process than an interview alone:
Before drawing conclusions:
While the temptation to jump to conclusions is always there when data is collated from the application form and the interview process, recruiters often step back and ponder. The aim of the hiring process should be to get down to information that is useful as well as truthful.
The interview should have well-planned questions that promote an open two-way discussion. Rather than an interrogation, an ideal interview should resemble an open discussion with a covert aim.
Interviewers prefer it when candidates are open and honest with them. If you changed your mind somewhere between applying for the job and appearing for the interview, and would rather not work with the company interviewing you, the best practice would be to admit the same honestly, walking out straightaway.
Any recruitment process takes a lot of preparation and effort. Do not make anyone regret the time and energy spent on you.
Social Media profiling:
With everything out on the Internet today, often recruiters will go through a candidate’s social media profile as well. In case of any discrepancy between the facts stated in the application and those available online, the recruiter can follow up with the candidate for further clarification.
While useful, social media should be used with caution. In some cases, it can make the recruiter’s task much harder instead of any easier.
Keep in mind that companies might check on your social media profile as well. If the American administration can demand social media details from visa applicants, the least that any company can do is to simply browse. Take care of what you post or share.
Checking out the references:
An important part of the follow-up process post-interview is conducting a thorough background check with the references nominated by the candidate. Leading questions can be put by the subject matter expert to the referee to see if the claims made by the candidate in the application or the interview check out against the facts.
Referees nominated by the candidate will be asked questions regarding:
- Dates of employment
- Assigned tasks
- Companies worked for
- Salary drawn
- Reason for leaving
Cross-checking facts with the referees are an essential follow-up measure after the interview process.
There is much that goes into the recruitment process. Lies and deception do not make the task of the recruiters any easier.
Lies, even if mere fibs, are still a distortion of the truth.
All things said and done, with falsehood being a commonly noticed practice with applicants that approach companies worldwide, more weight age is given to facts that do check out. Be honest. Be clear. Don’t sabotage your own career by faking it.
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