Candidates Lie: 4 Tips To Get To The Truth

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Have you ever been lied to during an interview? If your answer is “No,” then odds are you have been lied to and you may not have even known it. It’s okay. Studies have found that 81% of applicants lie in job interviews.

Applicants are not trying to be malicious or grossly misrepresent themselves. They are trying to stand out from the crowd and appear the best fit for your open positions. A minor tweak to a title here. A little taking-personal-credit-for-team-results there. These lies can add up quickly!

How can you as a busy professional who needs talent now see through the fiction and find true talent?

Here are 4 tips for making better hires:

  1. Know The Role: Invest your time to identify the key traits and characteristics that lead to success in the new role. Create a comprehensive list of the responsibilities you anticipate being handled by the person in the position. Then craft a job description that includes only the most important tasks. Cutting out fluff forces both candidates to focus on what is important—allowing you to screen candidates more thoroughly.
  2. Know Your Team (and Yourself): We are naturally attracted to people who are ‘just like us’. Hiring based on who will ‘fit in’ with your team potentially opens you up to gaps in performance. If your team is comprised of highly extroverted salespeople, hiring an admin who is outgoing may make for great break room conversations. But if they are not particular about details, those fun lunches will soon pale in comparison to missed deadlines and unmet goals. Conduct an in-depth assessment of your current team, so you are aware of these biases and can more easily table your feelings. Hiring the RIGHT candidate is different from hiring the one most like you—or the one you like the most.
  3. Assess to Pre-Qualify: Use a pre-interview assessment to determine if your candidates are even in the ball park. Using a DISC profile can elicit deeply embedded character traits that will lead to an easier onboarding for a new employee. You will also find information that could hinder a new hire’s success. Think for a minute about the qualities you need for a sales role. You would want to know if someone is naturally extroverted. Many candidates can psych themselves up for an interview and pretend to be extroverted for a short time, but imagine how they may perform 3 weeks into the job. Using a validated assessment will dig deep towards the truth.
  4. Design a Strengths-Based Interview: Once you’ve qualified someone has the raw abilities you’re seeking, it’s time to think about how you will direct the interview. This is a critical error many first-time hiring manager make. Trusting yourself to remember all of the minute details you need to, while moving through a fluid interview process, can easily lead you to miss vital information in the interview. Go into the interview with a written plan of questions designed to determine strengths and potential weaknesses—and stick to it! Consistency in your questions is the only way to reasonable compare multiple high potential candidates, and know who is bending the truth.

Follow these 4 simple tips to make your next hire a great hire!


Ready to hire now?