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A degree of deceit

How to ensure you’re hiring a candidate honest about their qualifications? The routine of employing a new member of staff can cost time, money and effort. For large businesses, in-house HR will usually take care of narrowing candidates to a suitable number for interviewing. However, with so many people applying for jobs it may be hard to keep track on how legit the information you’re receiving is. It can be challenging to separate the honest candidates from those who have twisted the truth to suit the job requirements, writes Simon Houlton, CEO of IScreenYouScreen, a reference checking software, who has put together a list of protocols to ensure you hire an honest candidate.

Hiring someone with false information on their CV could have many repercussions and in turn, cause harm to the business. For example, the law industry is extremely tight on the qualifications needed to become a lawyer and if an employee has framed their CV to match these requirements it will backfire greatly.

1. Research social media accounts

Social media has allowed us to find anyone in the world. This can therefore prove to be an effective tool when researching a potential candidate. Simple checks like finding their age, looking for any images or tweets that suggest the candidate has attended university, or even matching their CV’s to their LinkedIn profile can all help when it comes to the trustworthiness of the job applicant.

2. Tailor your interview questions

When reading a CV, begin to prepare questions that allow the candidate to give specific examples. From previous work experience to playing for a university sports team, ask them to give examples of certain moments. Their response time as well as depth of answer should give you a good indication as to whether the applicant is speaking the truth. Questions like this can sometimes throw individuals off, leading them to struggle for an answer. Here is where you can begin to question them.

3. Create tasks

A good way to not only determine whether the applicant has a trustworthy CV, but to see if they’re fitting for the job, is to set a mini-task to bring to the interview. This will enable the candidate to demonstrate their skills while giving you an idea if they’re suitable to the role. If an applicant has written that they’re highly skilled in graphic design, but produce something that is average at best, it could speak volumes.

4. Carry out reference checks

Contacting past employers or checking their educational history can take up a lot of time. Using a referencing tool will help narrow down candidates immediately, giving you more time to arrange interviews and write down pre-planned questions. Finding out that a candidate has lied about previous work experience will say a lot about them and therefore save you the time of asking them to come in for an interview if you already know their CV is not 100% true.

5. Organise face-to-face interviews

As well as verbal communication being a way of determining whether a candidate is honest or not, having a face-to-face interview where you can see their body language also helps determine if they could be a potential employee or not. This partnered with general questions can tell you how confident the candidate is, judging by their movements and gestures. The benefit of a face-to-face interview compared to a phone interview, is exactly this. Putting a candidate on the spot to react to any questions related to their CV that they might’ve lied about, will cause them to react in a way that could raise questions about their honesty.

For more about Simon Houlton’s referencing checking software visit:


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