How to Spot a Liar during an Interview

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Here we go again. You’re interviewing another candidate for the most important role in your company. The role they are being interviewed for is pivotal to your company’s growth. You really want to make sure your new hire is the perfect one for the position. This time you want to make sure you’re not blatantly being lied to about experience or skills. Not like last time when the candidate lied to you about how he hit all his targets at his last company.

Spotting a liar during an interview needs you to read personalities and judge characters as quickly as possible. However, knowing if your candidate is lying to you or slightly exaggerating details can be tricky.

Most experts say that body language like failure to make eye contact, trembling hands or excessive sweating can be clues of deception. That being said,  an interview is a stressful environment to be in and these clues can also be signs of nervousness. Thus reading too much into body language clues can be misleading as well.

Here are 4 tips to spot a liar during an interview –

1. Set the tone for honest behavior

If you are looking for honest replies to your interview question, start by creating an environment that encourages honesty. Encouraging transparency during the first few minutes of interview is paramount. As an interviewer, being honest about the job opening, the position and other details  can help your interviewee know that a full disclosure is something that the organization believes in and also practices.

2. Ask factual questions

Abstract Questions such as “Tell us about your greatest achievement?” can give your interviewee a wiggle room to deceive you or even exaggerate some details. Your best bet about getting honest replies and actual facts from your candidate is to ask him/her more factual questions like “Tell us the biggest ticket size you have closed and the scope of work it had.” Factual questions will give you a more details regarding the person’s work profile and experience with less room for exaggeration.

3. Test the candidate

An interview cannot be used as the sole evaluating tool. Test your candidate on a skill-based task related to the position or insist for a work sample so that the candidate can actually showcase his/her skills. There isn’t any scope for lying when you are actually demonstrating skills on your resume.

4. Verify all that you’ve been told

Carry out a complete background verification of the candidate and verify everything that has been conveyed to you by the interviewee.  Ask for references and check with previous employers about the candidate. Finding any information that does not match with the information already conveyed to you can be a red flag.