5 Most Common Lies Job Applicants Tell
Trust and honor are two critical character traits every employer expects from his or her employees, and rightly so. Yet, there are many lies job applicants tell – or what they reason as “merely stretching the truth a little” – in order to win a coveted job. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to realize that a lot of their “part-truths” can be easily caught during a formal background check!
Here are 5 major falsehoods that candidates often use to elevate their not-so-accomplished credentials.
1. Lying about their education
This is a common occurrence with white-collar jobs, especially if it is a niche or knowledge-based industry. Here, candidates may resort to the following dubious tricks in order to sell their non-existent credentials:
- Lying outright about degrees, attributing them to some obscure university.
- “Borrowing” a degree from a friend/family member with the same name as the candidate. (Yes, this can and does happen!)
- Buying a forged degree certificate from a dubious source.
- Exaggerating their degree (like describing their post-grad stint at a university as a Ph.D.).
Fortunately, these questionable claims can be easily caught by a smart background check.
2. Giving false information about their last job
Some candidates may decide that a little embellishment is in order, so they can get a better position/compensation at their next job. Hence, they may choose to exaggerate the title at their last job (like calling themselves a “team lead” in a 2-person project), or their salary, or even their accomplishments. Asking candidates for professional references who can verify these claims is often the first step to spotting a lying candidate. If the candidate can blatantly lie about their profession, then you might want to reconsider if they are fit for hiring – most likely not.
3. Hiding details about their past
This might seem harmless at first sight. After all, everyone is entitled to his/her privacy, right? Not quite. For instance, you may not expect them to tell you outright that they were arrested for drunk-driving, once. But this might be a justifiable concern if the candidate extends tenures of past service, in order to cover gaps in employment. As an employer, you have a right to know this, especially if it is driven by a medical need that may also impact his/her ability to work.
4. Providing intentionally misleading information
Consider that a candidate intentionally hides their middle name, or uses only initials, in order to avoid detection of criminal records from the past. This can be potentially dangerous to your organization. Fortunately, it can also be easily caught by a smart background service.
5. Hiding important personal details, like addictions
Again, not every employer can expect candidates to admit to a drinking habit or even the usage of drugs. But if you are hiring for a driver who needs to be alert every moment and when other people in society could be at risk, these questions should hopefully be covered in the interview. Again, the candidate may blatantly lie in order to attain the job. And again, a professional background service can easily help you smell out this deceit.
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