How to Tell if Someone is Being Dishonest During an Interview

Even after years of experience, it can be all too easy to end up hiring the wrong candidate. Applicants are very conscious of the fact that they are being judged.

So they naturally do their absolute best to present themselves in the best light – to highlight their good points and hide the bad ones from you.

You need to be aware of this and look out for the signals that tell you when a candidate is trying to hide something from you.

There are many of them, but the ones below are amongst the easiest to spot:

Look At Their Glasses

They say you can tell a lot about a person by the shoes they wear, and to an extent this is true. However, it is just as important (if not more so) to look at the candidate’s eyewear.

Most candidates make a big effort to be well-groomed when they attend an interview. If the candidate in front of you is wearing high-quality glasses that have not been cleaned recently, or they are scratched or warped this can be quite telling – they are not taking care to look after them.

It is also a sign that their grooming is not all it should be. Someone who truly cares about their presentation pays attention to the little details, as well as the obvious things.

The fact that your glasses are so prominent on your face means that they should be looked after properly.

If their eyewear is not at its best, they should have considered sprucing them up or replacing them before an important interview. Otherwise, this indicates they didn’t put much thought or effort into it.

Look Out for Deviating Eye Movements

An awful lot of people still think that if someone looks them in the eye while speaking, they are being honest. However, recent studies show that this is not the case.

Someone who is lying to you is more likely to make eye contact than not. They deliberately do so as part of the deception.

However, when someone lies, their eyes will often change or deviate from the baseline. If someone who is looking at you and suddenly looks up or to the side before answering, there is a chance they are not telling you the truth.

If you suspect that this is happening, you can use probing questions to help you to determine whether this is the case.

Pay Attention to Changes in Their Speech Patterns

If a candidate suddenly pauses mid-sentence or starts clearing their throat a lot, this could be a sign that they are lying.

They may be trying to buy themselves a little extra time to think.

They Are Speaking in the Third Person

When we lie, we all tend to speak in the third person. It is our subconscious way of disassociating ourselves from what we are saying.

If someone stops using “I” or “me” during sections of the interview, the chances are they are not being honest.

The language a candidate uses can uncover more of their personality than they realize they are revealing.

Their Answers Are Too Vague

If you ask the candidate to share an example of something they have done and they are hesitant or vague, there is a fair chance they are lying about how experienced they are.

When that happens, press them a little. That will usually uncover the truth.

Verify the Information in Their Resume

It is always worth referencing a few things they told you in their resume. If they have been honest, they will generally relax and find it easy to elaborate.

You know the position you are hiring for better than the candidate and have a clear understanding of the type of individual you are looking for. Watch out for these signs of dishonesty during an interview and also trust your own instincts.

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1 Comment

  • Absolutely! And the important thing that we should focus on is our instincts. Paying attention to their body language would be a great help too if you know how to read the human body language.