5 Questions to Uncover the Truth in a Candidate Interview

Interviewing is hard work. And when you meet with multiple candidates for the same job, sometimes things can be too good to be true. How do you know when a candidate is lying? What happens if that seemingly perfect candidate has holes in their story or, worst case scenario, gets hired and is unable to perform the job? There are some specific interview questions that can help you uncover the truth. Here are the top 5 to add to your interviewing process.

  1. Can you give me the details of that achievement? If something doesn’t sound quite right about their experience or information, ask for more details. Ask them to be very specific in telling you about how they accomplished something. You can begin to judge their honesty in the way they answer, or if they falter. However, if they are proud of their accomplishment and actually attained it, they will happy to talk about it in great detail.
  2. Can I contact your employer to learn more info? There may be aspects of their previous employment that trip the red flags for you. The best way to handle this is to ask if you could contact that employer to learn more about their work at the company. If they hesitate or say no, they may have confirmed your fears. If they are proud of their experience they will give you permission.
  3. What were you responsible for on a daily basis? When you want to dig deeper into how someone has represented themselves, ask them for a “day in the life” description of their former job. For example, if you’re not sure they’ve done the type of work stated on the resume, a recap of their daily duties should tell you whether or not they know how to do that job.
  4. Can you tell me how you accomplish that task? By the same token, you can also ask them how they did something very specific if you have concerns about their truthfulness. If their previous experience includes something you know how to do, ask them to describe it to you without skipping any steps. Or, if it was more of a one off accomplishment, drill down to the basic steps they would have taken to achieve it.
  5. Are you telling me the truth? Of course, there is one most important question if you don’t believe what they’re saying is true. Simply ask them if they are telling you the truth. Plenty of people exaggerate on their resume. They may round up their years of experience or add a skill they’ve learned by never done professionally. Ask them flat out to see what their reaction is. You can weed out the confident from the people looking to obscure the truth.

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