Mark Twain

4 ways to tell if a candidate is being truthful

*SPOILER ALERT* It’s not often we spill the secrets to our successes but in this case we wanted to. After all, the most important thing for us is happy workplaces because happy workplaces tend to be,  growing workplaces!

In order to first get that ‘happy workplace’ status you need to first establish a ‘happy team’. If you decide to take it upon yourself to find the right candidate for a role, then here are 4 FREE TIPS to ensure someone is telling you the truth, and not telling you what they want you to hear.

In the 2015 Jobvite Job Seeker Nation survey of over 2,000 adults, 31% of respondents admitted to inflating their skills on Twitter, and 27% fabricated references on Facebook. That’s news no employer wants to hear.

  1. Spend more time reading CV’s.

Recruiting yourself can be daunting, where do you start? Well the first thing you will need to do is find time to thoroughly read through the CV’s of each candidate to for just one open position. Interestingly, in August 2015 a CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,500 HR and hiring managers found that 7 out of 10 spend less than 5 minutes looking at a CV.

There’s a tendency to use vague buzzwords in a CV in order to establish credibility, but knowing industry vocabulary isn’t enough. Look carefully at how candidates use buzzwords, and decide if it actually makes a clear point.

If a candidate says they “liaised with potential clients to foster new sales relationships,” it really means nothing. However, if it says they “developed new sales pitches that brought in 100 new clients,” they’ve got the evidence to back up the claim.

To double check the information that’s been given to you in a CV, cater your interview questions to the experience and skills each job candidate has. Ask them for stories of how they used or developed these skills to get a better idea of what their proficiency really is.

  1. Check out social media.

35% of the 2,175 HR and hiring managers surveyed in a May 2015 CareerBuilder survey said they had sent friend requests to or followed job candidates. If it’s already been established that job seekers can — and do — lie on social media, why would this be a good way to check out a potential employee?

The great thing about social networks is that they allow you to dig deeper. You can reach out to people who are professionally connected to job candidates, and ask them to verify information or give their opinions of a job seeker’s work ethics.

Also take a look at the types of posts a candidate is making, not to look for inappropriate behaviour, but to see their involvement in the industry. If a candidate claims to have 10 years of marketing experience, but follows no one else in the marketing world or never shares marketing related posts on Facebook, chances are they are not being completely truthful.

  1. Ask specific questions.

During an interview, hiring managers tend to ask broad, open-ended questions to get more than just a yes or no response. Starting out with “tell me about yourself” is fine, but there needs to be more specific follow-ups.

Ask for stories and examples about a candidate’s experience and skill levels, and listen for specific answers. The more details a job candidate gives you in their responses, the less likely it is that they’re exaggerating. Also, pay attention to whether candidates are just rehearsing their resumes to you word for word.

  1. Ask if they’re telling the truth.

Most of the time when a candidate is being dishonest, it’s only slight exaggerations. No one but a real brain surgeon is going to walk into a job interview and claim to be one. It’s more likely that a candidate rounded up their years of experience to five when it was really four years and three months.

So if after interviewing a great candidate you still suspect they’ve been less than 100% honest, ask them! Let them know that you plan to check out their CV’s and references and would like to know if there’s anything that may not add up. Giving candidates the opportunity to discuss any points that may have been left out first time, ensures you get the facts relating to their skills and experiences. It also shows that when it comes down to it, you can count on them to be truthful.

For more information on how to find the right candidate for your company contact us