Anyone going for an interview would like to put his/her best foot forward and so in the process may withhold some information or even go to the extent of proving false information… or simply lying. Although the intention is to present oneself as a highly desirable and appropriate candidate for the job, the mode adopted i.e. of lying or providing wrong information is something I (or for that matter any other recruiter) would never accept. Over the years, I have identified some techniques, which help me to spot the ones who bluff… here are my top three. If you have also developed some techniques, please do share in the comment section.
#1 Preparation – A resume is a first and foremost way to get an idea about a candidate. Any unexplained gaps or mismatch in qualification dates should not be ignored. So I go through the resume very carefully, try to read between lines and look for any gaps and aberrations that may be there. This is followed by checking the candidate’s social media profile which offers a glimpse into what kind of a person he/she is. The type of social media posts made by a person can tell a lot about his personality and the same can be checked up during the interview.
#2 Observation – An interviewer’s job is to not only focus on what a candidate is saying but how is s/he said it. I often focus on on the candidate’s voice modulation, gestures and behavior as all these offer powerful signals about whether a person is simply nervous or lying. Compressed lips, fidgeting with pen or fingers or tie or a sigh of relief after answering a question may be signs of stress relating to lies. A candidate’s ability to speak or respond to various situations thrown up on him/her can be a good indicator of the truthfulness of claims made by him/her. Inconsistencies in the way answers come up are a not to be ignored sign and needs further investigation. In case a candidate is over emphasizing on a particular skill, again and again, I get doubtful and therefore I ask more questions to remove my doubts. Another thing I watch out for is how much of an eye contact does the candidate have with the interviewer.
#3 Interrogating – Interrogation does not mean the FBI style questioning but a coaxing method of seeking more & specific information from the candidate. This could be done by making a candidate comfortable via a smile in between, nodding of the head or soliciting more information via magic words like “And Then… ” / “So…” ”. I also assess the candidate’s ability to handle a particular project or deal with a particular situation using the STAR technique. I ask candidates regarding precarious situations they have been in, challenging tasks they were asked to complete, the actions they took and the results that followed.
In my experience, candidates do lie or in some cases talk about their views cannot be ignored and the key for the interviewer is Preparing, Observing and Interrogating… what is your experience? Do share in the comments.
About Paras Kaushik
Paras Kaushik has over 15 years of experience and has worked with organizations like Aditya Birla Group. Paras holds a PGDM HR from Symbiosis International University.