April Fools! How to Spot Resume Lies

A whoopie cushion on your seat? That’s a harmless April Fool’s prank.

But a lie on a candidate’s resume? That’s no joke.

Opportunities may be plentiful, but that doesn’t stop unscrupulous job applicants from embellishing, exaggerating or flat-out fibbing to land an interview. And the practice is commonplace: as many as 85% of job applicants lie on their resume!

So, if you’re hiring, how can you keep lying candidates from fooling you this April? Today, our national staffing and placement agency shares smart tips for spotting resume lies – and making better hires:

  • Check each job application against the corresponding resume. Weed out dishonest candidates early in the screening process. Look for inconsistencies in areas like dates of employment, job titles and work responsibilities.
  • Confirm degrees before you schedule interviews. “Diploma mills” are a billion-dollar industry. If education is a key requirement for the job in question, taking the time to verify academic credentials before you get to the interview phase can save you from wasting time on unqualified candidates.
  • Ask behavioral interview questions. Operating on the principle that past behavior is the best indicator of future success, behavioral questions require candidates to provide specific examples from their work experience to support claims on their resume. Honest candidates are able to readily provide in-depth stories detailing their work experience; the quality of their responses indicates whether the experience is real.
  • Spend more time listening than talking. Candidates who lie on their resume will frequently reveal themselves if you just give them enough time to talk:
    • Ask open-ended questions to encourage candidates to speak freely.
    • Take notes of important details, keeping an eye out for missing or conflicting information.
    • Follow up with probing questions to clarify discrepancies and get more detail when warranted.
  • Pay attention to verbal and nonverbal cues. Subtle behavioral cues can indicate when a candidate is being dishonest. Examples include:
    • Maintaining eye contact for too long (honest people typically make eye contact about 60% of the time).
    • Repeating questions before answering them (to stall for time).
    • Using “convincing” statements (e.g., “I’m an ethical person.”) to try and influence your opinion without actually answering your question.

Ensure great hires and minimize risks with PrideStaff.

To get the honest candidates you want, without the headaches and hassles, partner with our national staffing organization. PrideStaff’s On Target fulfillment process eliminates the guesswork, chance and inconsistency in hiring – and ensures you receive better quality candidates, every time. Contact your local PrideStaff office to learn more.