Being the Lie Detector - Sensing Dishonesty in a Job Candidate

Association of Business Training
March 13, 2014 — 1,017 views  

One of the most common issues you may have faced when it comes to screening job candidates is that of exaggeration. Candidates often try to falsify their credentials on their job applications. While an embellished resume may not exactly amount to fraud, it certainly affects your hiring decision. A background check can be quite expensive in the case of small businesses. In such an environment, learning about the key areas where the candidates could be exaggerating could help you improve your chances of hiring the right person.

Dates of past employment

In many cases, you may find candidates who have stretched their dates of employment in their work history. This could be to cover up discrepancies or hide unwanted questions. Sometimes, it could also be an honest mistake. This could mean that a more experienced candidate may be overlooked. It is always very important to verify these dates as much as possible. A simple phone call to the previous employer in many cases solves the problem.


It is quite common for candidates to falsify the qualifications that they may have earned. The most common example would be suggesting that the candidate has received a degree in a particular area while they may have only taken classes relevant to the degree. Some may even exaggerate their grades to make them seem more suitable for the position. These issues can be easily identified by simply asking for the original documents regarding their qualifications.

Inflating compensation

Another common area where job candidates falsify records is when it comes to their job title and salary. Most candidates inflate details pertaining to their salary or job title in hopes of getting a better deal for themselves in the interview. This issue, however, can be easily verified by asking the candidate for an experience certificate or simply contacting the previous employers about the candidate's role in the company.

Criminal records and drug addiction

Identifying if a candidate has a hidden criminal record or a drug addiction is absolutely essential. Of course, you cannot directly ask the candidate about his or addictions personally. This is the most important reason why most companies carry out a comprehensive background check of their prospective employees. It could be an issue of compliance in certain industries such as finance and healthcare, where a criminal record can jeopardize the organization. The same is true about drug addiction as this could mean that the employee may be exercising a lack of judgment at the workplace.

Association of Business Training