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The 5 Most Common Lies, Youve Probably Been Told By Job Candidates

The 8 Most Common Lies Youve Probably Been Told By Job Candidates

Are you a suspicious hiring manager?Do you ever think that the people you are interviewing are lying to you?AKA

Figures Show

Of jobseekers admit to lying on their CV

They probably (definitely) are.50%

But do not fear!

Today, were revealing the 8 most common lies youll come across

1. Employment dates

Employment gaps look terrible on a CVOr so jobseekers are told on a daily basis.

People with gaps that arent easy to explain are left with two choices

Trying to tell the truth in a more appealing way on their CVand possibly not even getting a call-back for jobs ORRisking it, lying and hoping you wont find out

What should you do?If something looks a bit off, clarify dates with your job candidate in interview. So you worked at [Company Name] for how many months?Probing them further may reveal more information.

What should you do?Or when you send off for references, ask the candidates past employers for their start and end dates and contractual hours.


But its a bit late then?This lie is the hardest one to confront, because you cant speak to a candidates referee until youve made an offer.If you do find out they lied, what happens next is up to you

is it a big enough deal to make you withdraw the offer?

Recruiter Pro Tip.Dont immediately write off a candidate with unexplained unemployment gaps on their CV

There could be a variety of personal and professional reasons why theyvenot been in work

Instead, schedule a telephone call and ask specific and investigative questions to find out more

2. Education

No one would have the audacity to fabricate an entire degree on their CV would they?

Youd be surprised.

Studies have revealed that

20% of candidates lie about education on their CV!

What should you do?

Ask for certificates from your job candidates.

Be wary, this can slow down the process and candidates might drop out from the sheer hassle

(Do you still have a record of your GCSE results?)

3. Skills

Of job candidates57%embellish their skill set

What should you do?

Set up some kind of skills test during the interview


Ask their references

4. Salary

Candidates often feel the need to inflate their salary

This will put them in a better situation to negotiate for a higher rate with you.

What should you do?Ask for the candidates salary from their previous or current employers (they dont have to tell you)ORCheck their last payslip on arrival (if you really want to know.)

Again, both of these tactics are probably a bit too little, too late so it might be worth warning your candidate during the interview:We would need one of your previous payslips when you started, would that be OK?

5. Weakness

Whats your greatest weakness?Youre bound to get some awful reply along the lines of well, Im a bit of a perfectionist.


Not only predictable, its also probably a lie.

What should you do?

Dont ask it in the first place.

Make thequestion harder, for example, what would your referee say is your biggest weakness?

Or be upfront:

Thats not really a weakness is it? Could you give us another answer?

6. Relationships

No one wants to come across like an unmanageable or unsociable worker

So candidates will lie, if they didnt particularly get on with co-workers or managers

Although, some bosses are just genuinely horrible!

What should you do?

If anything went ridiculously awry, it should come up in their reference.

OtherwiseUse your initiative, ask investigative questions, to find out why theyre leaving the company

Candidates who badmouth their boss & colleagues could be trouble-makers.

7. Interests

What do you do in your spare time?What they say:

I play the violin, am training to run a marathon, host charity events, read industry news

What do you do in your spare time?What they do:

I get home from work, whack on somejoggersand havea 6hr marathon of Walking Dead

What should you do?Test them! Ask investigative questions.So tell us some more about your charity events

How long can they keep up the conversation?

You could also be really mean and test them to prove it.

For example:

If they say they speak German, ask for a demonstration!

8. References

Studies show1 in 5 smaller businesses have received fake references from candidates!

So, when you think youre receiving a glowing reference from the Head of Sales, you could bespeaking to Mike, from down the pub.

What should I do?Google the company in question and look for their main number.

Call that directly and ask to speak to the referee in question. If they dont exist, then you have your answer.


Everybody lies.Honestly,(pretty much) every jobseeker will lie about something.

Whether they merely exaggerate their profile for your benefit or completely fabricate an entire degree, the lies are there.

Whats important is that YOU can recognisethe difference between a little white lie andone that could genuinely affect their ability to do the job.

That bits down to you!

If you would like to discover more great interview questionsandinsider recruitment secrets, Check out our HR bloghere.