Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
version 2, draft 2

Is the Candidate Lying to Your Face?

Being in charge of recruiting for an important position is pressurizing enough, but when you are faced with candidates who will willingly lie to your face in order to secure a job offer, you have to be part interviewer, part detective! You must employ investigative skills and be thorough in your questioning of a candidate to really test them in relation to the job requirements. If the candidate is lying, it should be easy enough to catch them out with the below tricks.

Check out these helpful tips and advice on spotting an interviewee who is lying to you:

#1 Nonverbal tells all!

In general, a liar will not over rehearse their body language or gestures in connection with the story they will tell an interviewer. This means that whilst the verbal element of the lie is practiced to perfection, the non verbal elements are not, giving you ample opportunity to observe their body language.

TIP If the interviewee’s upper body freezes, their voices takes on a lower tone, and their blinking rate slows, it could be a sign they are lying to you! Always look out for their eye contact as diversion of eye contact can mean the candidate is lying to you and thus does not want to look you in your eyes.

#2 Verbal observations

It is vital that you observe the candidate’s body language to assess the way they act when answering your questions. For example, if lying, the candidate is likely to use full/formal wording rather than relaxed language e.g. “I did not”, as opposed to saying “I didn’t”.

TIP Beware of them looking you in the eye too much, or staring at the ground. This is often a method adopted to help them fixate on something that makes them look engaging but really is used to help them remember their story! Reports suggest that people telling the truth will only look you in the eye 60% of the time!

#3 Beware of the story

When asking a question to a candidate, they should respond with an answer that is directly related to your question. If you find that they try to twist your question to match their ‘pre-rehearsed’ answer, you may find that they are lying to you.

TIP Ask the interview questions that they may not expect and get them to review their work history but not in chronological order; if they have lied about their experience, if should be easy enough to catch them out with this trick.

#3 Has the interviewee paused the interview flow?

If the interviewee asks you to repeat a question of to rephrase it, whilst they may simply not understand what you are asking, they could also be trying to use tactics in order to rethink their plan and formulate a new story that coincides with the question you are asking.

TIP If you are asked to rephrase the question, try to avoid giving the interview time to think; ask them what they do not understand and you can then reword it for them.

#4 Watch their reaction when the interview ends

When telling a lie, the person’s upper body tends to freeze and overall body movement is restricted whilst they concentrate on telling their fake story. At the end of the interview, watch how they react in terms of body language. If they are visibly relieved, they feel as though they have ‘passed the test’ and convinced you that everything they told you was true.

TIP If they look overly relieved, be wary. They may have convinced you that their stories were true!



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