INTERVIEWS / FEB. 21, 2015
version 2, draft 2

How to Spot When a Candidate is Not Telling The Truth

Interviewers are wise to it; of course job interview candidates lie during an interview! It may be a small white lie or something more substantial, but either way, candidates tend to enhance the truth at least once during an interview in a bid to impress the interviewer and land the job. Competition for jobs is so high these days that candidates are doing everything it takes to secure employment.

It is important to be aware of the common lies that are told by candidates during an interview, and it is also important to spot the general signs that someone is lying.

Here are the top 5 lies commonly told by candidates during an interview:

  1.             “Salary isn’t important to me”
  2.             Their reason for leaving their previous position
  3.             Exaggerating their job title or level of seniority at their last job
  4.             “Yes, I am completely willing to relocate or travel for this job”
  5.             Exaggerating their salary figure at their previous job

While these are the most commonly lied about factors in an interview setting, it is important that you are able to pick up on the signs that someone is lying to you. They may lie about something they believe to be insignificant, but to you, it could be a deciding factor in whether you hire them or not, and so it is vital that you can spot these signs. Let’s take a look at the signs below according to businessinsider:

Pointing

Does the candidate point their finger a lot? This is a classic sign of a person who is lying because it tends to be an immediate physical reaction when they become defensive upon further probing.

Dry Mouth

Is the candidate finding it difficult to talk? By this, I mean are they suffering from a dry mouth? The dry mouth effect is a common side effect of someone who is feeling particularly stressed or under pressure, which again, is a sign that they could be lying.

Covering Up

Does the candidate cover their mouth, throat, chest, stomach or head with their hands/arms?  This is common when a liar feels exposed or when they become nervous. You will often see candidates crossing their arms over their stomach or instinctively touching their face in some way (maybe even touching their hair) when they are asked something in which they are lying about.

The Eye Stare

We know that candidates are fully aware of ‘looking at the interviewers in the eye’ when responding to interview questions because it is a sign of honesty, but it is those who are lying that tend to over compensate for this and stare too much. If the interviewee is staring at you without blinking or if you feel overall that their stare is not natural, then it is likely they are lying.

The Head Tilt

More often than not, when a candidate is responding to an interview question with a lie, they will typically tilt their head or even look to one side. If they move their head in a less than expected or less than natural manner, then it could be a sign they are about to respond with a lie.

Too Much Information

When you have asked the candidate a question and they go above and beyond what you expect in terms of information then it could be a sign they are fabricating the truth. Usually, when someone is lying, they will provide information in excess in a way of showing how open they are to providing information to you; however, this is a tactic and not a sign of the truth.

Have you come across someone doing these same signs who you knew was also lying to you? Do you know of any other signs that can be used as ways to determine if someone is lying or not? If so, add them to the comments section below. 

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