3 Ways to Handle Candidates Who Lie About Their Background During Job Interviews

Nowadays, lying during job applications is something many people resort to in order to increase their chances of landing a position in their desired organization. This poses a challenge for HR professionals who seek employees with the right qualifications. In this article, we’ll discuss techniques for handling job applicant dishonesty, so you can recognize when a candidate is being untruthful.

Reasons for Job Applicant Dishonesty During Interviews:

In today’s competitive job market, especially with frequent job openings in various organizations, there may not be enough positions to accommodate all applicants. Intense competition can lead some candidates to resort to dishonesty during the application process, particularly by falsifying their backgrounds. This can include work history, educational background, and even criminal records, all to match the qualifications desired for the position or organization.

According to Daniel Disney, an online marketing expert, in an article on LinkedIn, research has revealed that up to 81% of job applicants lie during interviews. The majority of these lies begin with the resume, with approximately 40% of candidates exaggerating skills and experiences.

Thus, it presents a challenge for HR professionals to navigate applicant dishonesty and thoroughly verify qualifications to distinguish between truth and falsehood, ensuring organizations hire employees with the desired qualifications.

Common Lies Found During Job Interviews

Lies in job applications come in various forms, ranging from general background to education and work history. Common instances of deception in job applications include:

1.Educational Background:

Lying about one’s education history often stems from not meeting the qualifications required for the job. This can include claiming to have graduated in a field that the organization desires, even if it’s not true. Fabricating educational qualifications usually starts with the resume, where applicants might falsely claim to have completed certain degrees or majors.

False educational backgrounds, when discovered by HR personnel, can have consequences for the applicant. They may be blacklisted by HR departments of other organizations or, in extreme cases, face legal action for falsifying documents.

2.Employment History:

Many individuals lie about their work history because certain positions have age and experience requirements. While some may have relevant experience but fall short of the specified tenure, they might resort to falsifying their work history to meet the organization’s requirements.

HR professionals can verify employment histories by contacting previous employers. If discrepancies are found, it may result in the applicant being blacklisted, preventing them from applying to other organizations in the same field.

3.Previous Salary:

Salary expectations often influence job applications, with many candidates hoping for higher pay based on their experience. Some may lie about their previous salary to negotiate a higher one.

However, exaggerating previous salary expectations can make it easier for HR professionals to detect dishonesty, especially when compared to the candidate’s skills and abilities. This may result in their application being rejected before even reaching the interview stage.

4.Special Skills:

Apart from education and work history, special skills can make candidates more attractive to employers. Skills like language proficiency or computer programming are often embellished by some applicants.

While exaggerating special skills may increase job prospects, it can backfire if the candidate is unable to perform as claimed during employment. This could lead to performance issues or even termination during probation.

5.Criminal History:

Background checks for criminal records are now standard procedures for many organizations before hiring. This is to ensure that candidates have not engaged in criminal activities such as assault, drug offenses, or sexual misconduct.

Candidates with a criminal history may attempt to conceal it out of fear of rejection by the organization. However, HR professionals can now verify applicants’ criminal records through background checks, providing reliable information from trusted sources like national police agencies.

Methods to Detect Job Applicant Lies

For catching the deceitful applicants, HR personnel can observe various speech and body language cues during interviews:

1.Observation of Speech:

One of the initial ways for HR professionals to detect applicant dishonesty is through speech patterns. When individuals are not truthful, they often exhibit speech characteristics such as:

  • Delayed or hesitant responses to questions
  • Stuttering or stumbling while speaking
  • Overly assertive tone to affirm their statements
  • Lack of confidence when recounting work experiences

2.Observation of Body Language:

In addition to irregular speech patterns, applicants who are lying often display distinct body language cues because deceit typically leads to stress, triggering various involuntary physical responses:

  • Physical signs of stress, such as sweating, dry mouth, flushed face, or fidgeting
  • Avoiding eye contact or attempting to evade the interviewer’s gaze
  • Frequently touching their face or body, especially around the nose area

3.Utilizing Background Checker Services:

Sometimes, HR professionals may find it insufficient to rely solely on behavioral observations to determine if an applicant is lying. Therefore, background checker services come in handy. These services provide a comprehensive check of an applicant’s background, including education, personal status, and criminal history. This reduces the workload for HR personnel, streamlining the verification process.

For example, Appman Background Checker offers digital (E-KYC) employee background checks in an online format, ensuring quick results and minimizing paperwork, allowing organizations to hire qualified employees efficiently.

It’s evident that fabricating one’s background to secure a job is a common practice today. Therefore, HR personnel must remain vigilant and adept at handling such situations to ensure they select candidates who meet the organization’s requirements. This can be achieved through simple observations during interviews and utilizing background checker services, which enhance efficiency and convenience.

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