Five Ways to Spot a Liar In an Interview

Think job candidates rarely lie? Think again.  According to a study from CareerBuilder, 75 percent of employers say they have caught job applicants lying on their resumes or in job interviews. The good news is, you can learn to spot a liar in an interview if you know what to look for.

Ask The Same Questions in Different Ways

Liars struggle to keep their stories straight. A good way to weed out fibbers and fakers is to ask the same question multiple times and in different ways to see if you get the same answer each time.

Beware of Perfection

If every anecdote the candidate tells paints them in a shining light, if they are the only hero of every story and if their stories seem too good to be true, they are probably stretching the truth or flat-out lying. No one is perfect, everyone has weaknesses, and no one can be the hero 100 percent of the time.

Study Body Language

Body language can be interpreted in many ways – and not always accurate ways. Fidgeting is often a sign someone is hiding something, but not always.  A perfectly honest person could fidget just because they are nervous, and a liar could sit perfectly still in an effort to maintain control.

Don’t judge overall body language. Instead, pay close attention to body language when candidates are answering potentially sensitive questions like, “Why did you leave your last employer,” or, “May we call your last boss for a recommendation?”  Hesitation, fidgeting, looking away, etc. when answering these questions could be indications the candidate is hiding something.

Too Much Detail Should Raise Red Flags

Liars tend to overcompensate on details. For example, when someone calls off sick they typically say, “I won’t be in today, I have a fever and I think I might have the flu,” or something similar. When someone calls off to play hooky, you can usually spot a lie if the person gives you extensive details about the timing of their symptoms, severity, precise temperature readings, what they had to eat the night before, etc. etc.

Similarly, someone who gives a five-minute answer to a straightforward interview question is probably telling a lie. Liars tend to offer too much detail in an attempt to sound genuine, or to distract from the actual truth.

Trust Your Gut

At the end of the day, if you feel like someone is lying to you, trust your gut feeling. If you’d be hesitant to lend the candidate $20 then you probably don’t need that person on your team.

If you are looking for more tips on improving your hiring process, or if you are seeking A-level sales and marketing talent for your ag business, contact the expert recruiters at Morris Bixby today. Our process is streamlined, accurate and efficient to ensure you have access to the skilled, well-matched professionals you need.


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