5 Tips for Identifying Lies on a Resume
It is common practice today to fib a little bit on a resume.
In fact, a study conducted at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst suggests that approximately 60% of adults cannot hold a conversation for 10 minutes without lying.
While this may provide advantages to applicants, as an employer, it is important to be able to weed out truth from fiction.
Interviewing and hiring honest, qualified candidates is key to your business’s success. To prevent getting the wool pulled over your eyes, learn to identify the top warning signs that a candidate is lying.
Then, further explore screening options like conducting a social media review, sales aptitude test, and strategic interview timing to get to know your candidate.
5 Resume Red Flags
Do you ever get the feeling something is not right, but you are unable to put your finger on it? Sometimes, bad sales people are welcomed to the team when they are word-heavy but talent-light. In other words, they can talk a good game, but may not be able to follow through.
Instead of ignoring it, use your intuition when reviewing candidates’ resumes, or risk potentially hiring sales reps with a penchant for dishonesty. In particular, make note of the following resume red flags:
- Unsolicited Name-Dropping – Is the applicant claiming a former apprenticeship with Jeff Bezos or Warren Buffet? Be suspicious of these claims and ask for more information during an interview, should you choose to schedule one.
- Inflated Job Titles – White lies like, “I was Director of Marketing,” when the candidate was actually a social media assistant, are not acceptable. Even small lies show a lack of integrity, and your company deserves a stand-up employee.
- Unfamiliar Alma Maters – There are many ways to fabricate an impressive educational background, and creating fake universities, or claiming to be an alumnus of a closed college, are common lies.
- Vague Job Descriptions – Extremely vague job descriptions, such as “outgoing sales” or “client retention” should be further researched. Often, candidates use buzzwords to stand out but fail to show proof of actual accomplishments.
- Date Discrepancies – If there are significant gaps or inconsistencies in employment, explore these in an interview. Whether it is a simple error or indicative of an attempt to hide something, you need to know the facts before hiring sales reps.
Most importantly, do not skimp on research. In one study, fewer than half of hiring managers spent more than two minutes reading a resume – hardly enough time to look for inconsistencies. Review an entire resume or CV to uncover hidden discrepancies and explore all concerns during the interview process.
Be Savvy about Hiring Sales Reps
Finding the best talent for your company is not an easy task. Sorting through resume after resume becomes tiring, increasing the chances that you will miss something. Before hiring sales reps, get to know the candidate you are considering by adding the following steps to your hiring process:
Research Social Media Profiles
Crucial for both personal and corporate brands, social media has a way of bringing out the truth.Before meeting with a candidate, look at his or her Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn profiles.
Are there inconsistencies, curious statements, or other information you find alarming? Make note of these concerns and bring them up during an interview.
Conduct In-Person Interviews
With the rise of telecommuting, some candidates have been able to slip through the cracks of otherwise perceptive hiring managers.
It is much easier to hide who you truly are when you do not have to physically face anyone, which is why you must insist on an in-person interview. Do not reveal your most probing interview questions before you are face-to-face.
Choose Interview Timing Wisely
Hiring managers often have more productive, revealing interviews when they are scheduled before noon. Comparatively, interviews held in the afternoon may be less revealing and honest, as candidates are more likely to lie.
Use Skills Testing
Whether you are seeking an expert typist or proven sales rep, pre-employment skills testing offers insight into a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. A sales aptitude test requires the candidate to demonstrate knowledge about the sales process – a piece of data not found on a resume.
For profit-minded businesses, screening candidates with a sales aptitude test saves time and money training an unqualified candidate to excel at sales.
Craft Questions to Elicit Honest Answers
In addition to skills testing, hiring managers need to craft better interview questions in an effort to receive honest responses. As an example, questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” do not reveal much about a candidate’s potential. In contrast, a pointed question that forces a distinct choice reveals more information.
Putting these tips into practice will help you build a dynamic team of professionals that works together to accomplish goals. Your company will benefit from hiring skilled, honest, and accountable individuals who use their talents wisely.
To be certain you’re making the best hiring decision, choose a sales aptitude test, like The DriveTest™, to assess your candidate’s skills and potential. Learn more about The DriveTest™ and SalesDrive today.
What are some of the worst lies you have heard in an interview?