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How To Verify Honesty In Your Candidate’s Interview

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Hiring managers need to go back to the basics to determine a candidate's honesty during an interview.

When it comes to evaluating a candidate's honestly, it may be time to go back to the basics. A quick trip on a person's social media doesn't reveal the insights it used to; according to a Jobvite survey, 31 percent of job seekers embellish their skill sets on Twitter, while 27 percent concoct imaginary references on Facebook. What's more, people with post-graduate experience were twice as likely as people with a high school education to lie about their qualifications online. One can only imagine the number of people with master's degrees being liberal with their qualifications on LinkedIn.

Without the internet as a reliable source, hiring managers must resort once again to the interview as the primary way to sniff out dishonest applicants during the beginning of the hiring process. Below are some tips and tricks for finding candidates with integrity:

Tailor your interview questions

After whittling down your pool of applicants, scrutinize each remaining resume for specific details. Ask definitive questions about these particulars and have interviewees elaborate as much as possible. You can even question them on experiences unrelated to the job at hand, like their time in college or their training with their current employer. The more information a person can provide, the less likely it is they are lying or embellishing.

blog.jpgAsk questions that directly reference the candidate’s resume.

Describe your company culture, including ethical standards

Detailing company values during the interview, especially if they include honesty, makes applicants question if they really want to lie. Their job in the interview is to sell themselves, and they'll wonder whether it's worth it to risk getting caught in a lie. You can incorporate these descriptions into your questions if you want. Ask something like, "At our company, we value honesty, integrity and accountability. How do you define these characteristics?" The answers you receive can reveal subtle yet key insights into that person's sincerity.

Listen for buzzwords

Jargon like "consulted with prospective clients" and "acquired development opportunities" sound good when spoken aloud, but they essentially translate to "talked to people" and "asked for training." Buzzwords are often used to inflate underwhelming sentences, meaning they could indicate a statement your candidate isn't confident about. If you start hearing these words often, ask for specifics like dates, numbers and percentages - something concrete to back up the person's claim. 

Let them know you're looking for honesty

Sometimes being direct is the best option in an interview. Let prospective employees know from the outset if you plan to follow up with calls to their professional references or previous managers and, if a job offer is extended, that you'll be conducting a background check. The knowledge that you plan to investigate their claims further will make them reconsider lying to you during the interview.

These tips should give you a clue as to your candidate's credibility and compel him or her to be more honest. They won't tell you with 100 percent certainty whether a person is right for the job, but you'll at least walk away with an understanding of that individual's integrity.  

Looking for a credible candidate with the qualities your business needs? Orange Tree is the background screening service for you - contact our sales team today.