Detecting Deception & Lies In The Recruitment Process

By |2018-10-30T14:26:33+00:00November 30th, 2016|Interviews, Job Search, recruiting|

lies in the recruitment process

Recruiting can be tough. But it’s even tougher when you detect a red flag during your interactions with a candidate. This comprehensive guide will help you determine if a candidate you’re attempting to recruit might be fooling you.

Detecting Lies In The Recruitment Process

Zeroing In On Any Non-Specifics

As a general rule of thumb—and it may not directly point to lies in the recruitment process—but if a candidate does not provide very specific stories with details, you should remain skeptical. Does he or she talk in general platitudes or clichés? Is the candidate unable to recall specific stories or examples around their generalities? If the answers to both of those questions is “yes,” the candidate might simply be saying what he or she thinks the interviewer wants to hear, rather than truly backing it up with a memorable story.

Think about it. If someone were to ask you about some of your toughest moments, the things you are most proud of, your biggest learning lessons, you’d have some concrete examples. It may take you a second to remember, but if a candidate fails to recall specific examples or stories, it should make any recruiter nervous. This is not to say the candidate is definitely lying. However, it certainly raises a red flag.

Burned Bridges?

Furthermore, when a candidate is incredibly slow in delivering a list of references, it could be a cause for concern. This means he or she is unwilling to put you in touch with former supervisors or subordinates. “I don’t want you to talk to my boss, and I sure don’t want you to talk to people I’ve managed in the past.” Those are usually signs that the candidate might not prove as great of a fit as you might believe.

Body Language & Verbal Contradictions

Other forms of lies in the recruitment process might include nonverbal cues and contradictions when recounting stories. Contrary to popular belief, avoiding eye contact and fidgeting are not surefire signs of deception on the candidate’s part. However, you might take note of a candidate touching their face, crossing their arms or leaning away. Of course, many mannerisms stem from the pressure of an interview setting, but in recruitment, it’s smart to always be wary of these potential signs.

Another way to detect deception and lies in the recruitment process? Watch out for a candidate who delivers contradictions in his or her stories. This could clue you in on a candidate who’s describing things that may not have happened at all, or happened in a way other than the candidate describes.

Don’t be fooled during your next recruitment process! Do you have more questions regarding detecting deception and lies in the recruitment process, or do you need assistance finding the right people for your organization? Let us know!


Y Scouts is a leadership search firm that finds purpose-aligned and performance-proven leaders to help organizations achieve their missions faster. Ready to supercharge your leadership search and get the right person in your organization? Contact Y Scouts.