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We provide competency-based behavioral interviewing training for interview teams including hiring managers, recruiters, and interviewers. We have been publishing articles for over 40 years to address the myriad of issues encountered in the process of hiring top talent.

Job Candidate Deception


Deception among job candidates, which can range from misleading statements on resumes to outright lying in interviews, is shockingly widespread.

Here's a few examples we've learned of in the last few months:

Three of the six MBAs that a Big Six consulting firm called back for on-site interviews told identical stories about their academic fundraising activities. Yet a call to their university confirmed that none of the three was even on the school's fundraising committee.

At a major LA law firm, one partner took the time to review a third-year law student's transcript before the interview. He called the law school when he noticed that the transcript appeared to be printed in different type fonts. It turns out that the student, who was later kicked out of school, had overstated his GPA and had doctored a significant portion of his transcript.

A financial services firm interviewed a first year Harvard MBA for a summer position. The student's story sounded suspicious and further checking revealed that he was not even registered at Harvard Business School. He had created a fake resume and walked into the school's career office to sign up for the interview.

One of the candidates who showed up for another Wall Street financial firm's "Super Saturday" had already accepted a job with a small regional firm. He was attending the Saturday session to see if he could get a better offer from a national firm.

Some employers have experienced the final insult - candidates who accept an offer, then don't show up to the first day of work. The reason? After accepting one offer, they keep interviewing until they find something better.

In all of these cases, the employer has misread the candidate's motivation and integrity. For more ideas on how to avoid these situations, see our other articles, "Decline of Authenticity" and "Skeptical? Ask Yourself These Questions."