How to Know if Your Job Candidate Lies


By: Ana Margarita Olar|

A spotless resume and an impressive interview with a job candidate are not all it takes for them to get the job. As an interviewer, you must be able to discern whether the person in front of you is lying or not. And here are some tips on how to do it:


Know the person you are going to interview beforehand. Accomplish your homework as a supervisor and read the job candidate’s resume before the interview. You can make notes on a certain work experience and ask detailed questions about his past company, his past work designation and the reason why he left the company.


As a supervisor, it is hard to focus on the interview while looking for signs of deception. So assign another person who would do that job: look for obvious lies. Be careful not to confuse signs of lying with normal interview anxiety.

employee lieLISTEN TO THE WORDS.

Have you ever experienced listening to a five-minute answer to a simple interview question and then suddenly realizing that your question has not been answered? It may be a sign of being defensive and an obvious sign that the job candidate is lying.

A liar would add details not relevant to the issue with the intention of deflecting your attention from the real issue. But also, take note that a nervous interviewee may also have a tendency to babble. So take the conversation back to the original topic and don’t be distracted by the interviewees’ babble.

Another word clue is when they are speaking in the third person. Because they are uncomfortable in telling a lie they may speak in the third person in an attempt to distance themselves psychologically from the lie.


Look for signs of being unable to look straight into your eyes when talking, suddenly looks away when asked with details regarding their previous work, slows down or suddenly speeds up in speaking (because the answer is not coming naturally), sudden pause ( because they are trying hard not to get caught). And if you have hit a nerve, they may not be able to talk or stammer because they didn’t expect that you will catch them. Another is suddenly covering the mouth, which is an extension of flight or flight response. If you see the job candidate covering up, you have to probe deeper.


Mostly, a liar will rehearse a script, so a simple way to know if he is telling the truth or not is to ask to tell stories in reverse order. Liars would have difficulty retelling a rehearsed story but the one who tells the truth will be able to touch the details no matter how you try to confuse them.

Appointing a liar can cost the company a lot, from training, salaries, and poor performance. Keep in mind, a that a human body gives off a series of subtle signs if a person is lying or not, and as a supervisor, it is your job to practice being a human lie detector which comes in a handy not only during a job interview but when dealing with your employees as well.