Your top candidate is impressive by every measure. The candidate’s resume is packed with relevant experience and concrete achievements. During the interview, they give every answer you’ve ever dreamed you’d hear from a candidate.
In fact, the candidate sounds a bit too good to be true. Could they be fudging the facts?
At times it can be difficult to tell whether a candidate’s version of events matches the reality of their experience. Here’s how to conduct an interview that helps you determine which answers are realistic and which are overstated.
Ask for Details
Ask questions about the candidate’s most impressive accomplishments. For instance, if the candidate claims to have improved sales in their department by 70 percent, ask questions like “What new processes did you implement to improve sales?” or “What was the problem you addressed in order to improve sales?”
Candidates who did the work they claim will be able – and often enthusiastic – to talk about the details of their work. Those who become vague or change the subject, however, may be overstating their role in the achievement.
Probe Deeper Into Group Work
A candidate who leans heavily on group work to demonstrate their skills and achievements may be using others’ successes to bolster their own resume.
Common signs that a candidate is reaching for group successes include the overuse of pronouns like “we” and “they,” rather than “I” or “mine.” If the candidate appears to be talking too much about the group, ask what the candidate contributed individually to the project. Ask them to discuss what might have happened if their work hadn’t been finished properly.
Watch for Changes in Nonverbal Cues
Because nonverbal cues like posture, movement, eye contact, and tone differ from person to person, memorizing a single set of these cues in order to detect lying is often counterproductive, and it may actually cause interviewers to exclude truthful candidates.
However, most candidates do have one nonverbal trait in common: When they start to fudge the truth, their nonverbal cues change.
Watch for sudden changes in the candidate’s posture or eye contact, as well as changes in their tone of voice. For instance, a candidate who was sitting still may begin to fidget, or a candidate who has not made much eye contact may begin to stare you down. These changes are often indications that the candidate isn’t entirely comfortable with the version of events they are reciting.
Work With The Right Staff!
At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our recruiters help our clients connect to candidates with strong skills and a high degree of integrity. To learn more, contact us today.