According to numerous studies that have been conducted, about half of all new hires are not entirely honest on their resumes.  That is a staggering amount. The job market worldwide is also becoming tougher and tougher, and it is becoming more and more difficult in many regions to find a job, which is not helping the problem, as job seekers are becoming desperate, which increases their chances of being dishonest when looking for a job.

Reports state that on average only 1 in at least 50 applicants for a professional position, receive a job offer. These are depressing statistics for job seekers, and possibly one of the main reasons that job seekers are not honest during the interviewing process.

It seems the things that people lie about most during interviews are as follows:

  1. Their level of education
  2. The dates they were employed
  3. Their job titles and their skill level
  4. Their salary

Recruiters are aware that it is going on, but are often not sure what to do in order to protect themselves. Apart from the obvious which is doing background checks, there are signs that you can look out for. Firstly carefully review resumes, cover letters and employment applications. Ensure there are no inconsistencies with dates, reasons for leaving, lapses between jobs etc.

When interviewing, always ensure that you ask very specific questions about information that the job seeker has included on their resume. Vague, broad rambling answers are often a warning sign, as are stating that it is “confidential” when asked who they reported to etc.

Watch out for pauses and hesitations when asking questions. If you ask a job seeker a question that they should automatically know the answer to and they hesitate, that may be a warning sign.

If you feel they did not answer the question properly the first time round, ask the same question several times at different stages of the interview, and ensure you get the same answer. If you don’t, there is a good chance that the job seeker is not being honest with you.

Having a look at job seekers social media pages such as FaceBook and Linkedin can also be helpful, as is calling applicants references and requesting original transcripts.

The relationship between employer and employee is based on trust. Deception or dishonesty may very well be grounds to terminate the employment relationship, and will certainly sour it. For this reason it is important for all parties involved that the relationship starts off on a clean slate.

It is so tempting for job seekers when desperate for a job to exaggerate or omit certain details of their work history, they may omit information such as that they were fired from a job, or are not honest about the time frame spent with a company, or exaggerate their responsibilities and skill level.

Job seekers often worry that a former employer will not give them a good reference and may be dishonest because of it.  There are all sorts of reasons that job seekers will be dishonest during the interviewing process.

A recent study shows a massive increase in lies in job applicants. According to HireRight’s 2017 study, as many as 85 percent of employers caught applicants lying on their resumes, which is up from 66 percent 5 years ago.

It is important for job seekers to keep in mind that misrepresenting their background in any way during the interviewing process can result in being fired.

Rather than fabricating the employment history, job seekers must focus on being honest and straightforward. Job seekers should focus on the positives and what they may have learnt from any bad experiences, or mistakes they may have made in the past.

And recruiters need to keep their eyes open and be vigilant at all times.


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