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How Do Interviewers Identify Phony Candidates? (VIDEO)

How Do Interviewers Identify Phony Candidates? (VIDEO)


A few ways we who interview figure it out.


How do interviewers identify phony job applicants? I wish I could give you a simple answer, but there are 1,000,001 ways that we do it. I'll start by saying that begins with our experience. Because we talked to a lot of people. I use myself as an example.

I worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. I've spoken to hundreds of thousands of people. I looked at even more resumes than that. My website says over 600,000. But that's as many as I been able to quantify. There are plenty more from before I ever started counting that have since turned up.

There are a few obvious ways. You claim credit for more far more than you could have possibly accomplished in a particular period of time. I remember one person who sent the resume to me many years ago who claimed you designed and implemented 25 major systems at firm within 6 months of his joining. Help me understand how you do that! You start to see the DS patterns.

When you're actually interviewing someone, we scratch beneath the surface there is a lot of hemming and hawing or distraction, or fumbling around rather than giving the clarity of an answer. We scratch that even one layer down from that, your BS detector goes off something fierce! It is just something in the way the person is telling the story that lets you know that there's bull there.

Another way involves references. You may give me a reference but when I called the firm that reference doesn't work there (that's because I'd rather go through the corporate switchboard, rather than go directly to the person with the phone number and been given). You may say they are a former employee, go to HR and find out and find out whether they are a former employee and discover that you have been lying to me.

There are a lot of different ways that we find it.

There are so many signals the job hunters give you in the course of interviewing them that let you know that you are lying. Again, this is putting aside whether in a technical discussion, whether that is in engineering, IT, accounting, whether you can actually demonstrate that you have the knowledge that you are claiming to have the knowledge of. Book learning is different than the real McCoy.

You always will be able to demonstrate that your experience is congruent with what has been described in your resume and that there are people there to back it up.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and leadership coaching. offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions. NOW WITH A 7 DAY FREE TRIAL

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