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How to spot job-interview liars: Focus on 4 résumé ‘soft spots’

by on
in Human Resources

Great résumés are a dime a dozen, particularly in the Internet era. That's why smart business owners use clever interview techniques to smoke out résumé lies and exaggerations.

Here are four common fraud targets you should zero in on:

1. Academic credentials. Phrase some questions to determine whether the candidate really attended the schools listed.

Example: "Is William Drew still teaching Marketing 101 at your school?" If you made up the name and the person says, "Sure, he was my professor," you know you've got a liar on your hands.

2. Time gaps. Ask about intervals during which the applicant apparently did nothing. Compare dates to those referenced on the job application.

3. Claims of supervisory duties. Probe deeper when someone's résumé says he or she has managed or supervised others.

Ask, "How many people did you manage?" Don't be satisfied with a number.

Ask, "When you say you 'supervised,' what did your duties involve? Did you assign work, evaluate employees, conduct reviews?" A true manager would have done all that, and more.

4. Claims of saving the company money or time. Résumé comments like "made staffing change to cut clerical time" may mean the applicant trimmed a half-hour off his secretary's lunch hour. Follow up on such claims with questions such as, "How exactly were those savings realized?"

Also, probe deeper into claims that follow MBA words such as "reorganized," "restructured" and "implemented."

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