Five markers to identify whether a candidate is lying in a job interview.

Identifying whether interviewee is truthful is one of the biggest challenges to human resource professionals. With the experience gained from screening thousands of candidates, we have identified five markers to identify candidate’s truthfulness which will make your work easier.

Observe the following markers in the interview to figure out the truthfulness of the candidate

  1. Vague or Unrelated Answers

When you ask a candidate a thoughtful, multifaceted question, and he or she responds with an irrelevant or imprecise answer. This isn’t just a sign that the candidate didn’t prepare for the interview, it could very well be indicating that the candidate is not being truthful.

  1. Body Language

If you see constant fidgeting, darting eyes, or complete avoidance of eye contact during important questions from the candidate, you can be certain that the candidate is not sure of their answers. And also, the candidate who bounces their knee every once in a while, he or she is uncomfortable with the questions and not being fully truthful.

These small observations of body language can help us a long way in finding the right candidate.

  1. Usage of We/They

Candidates who use more of “we”, “they” rather than “I”, “me”, “my” have doubts on their own ability or borrowing examples from other peoples’ achievements.

  1. Defensive:

Ask the Candidate questions on his or her background or integrity. If the candidate gets too defensive or try to divert the topic, it means only one thing – the candidate is not being completely truthful

  1. Change in speech:

Ask questions related to work mentioned on resume. If you observe candidate taking sudden pauses or throat clearing or stammering while answering it means he is not confident about the things mentioned in the resume and most probably taking credit for someone else’s work.

Bonus Tip: qualifying statements that leave an out for the person “As far as I recall…” “If you really think about it…” “What I remember is…” Hedged statements aren’t an absolute indicator of deception, but an overuse of such qualifying phrases certainly should raise suspicion that a person isn’t being totally up front with what he or she knows.

These 5 markers will help you to analyse and understand whether you are hiring the person who you really think who he or she is.


As background screening specialists we have a unique way to set up the interview: How The Cleard Life ‘Truth Telling’ Environment Is Set Up.