Do Candidates Lie During Job Interviews?

“Alfred sounded great during our interviews with him,” a manager commented to me.  “However, in a few short weeks Alfred managed to alienate most of his team members with his arrogant, condescending and uncooperative behaviors.”    

More than eighty percent of attendees in my leadership workshops say they have been badly fooled during candidate interviews. 

Rachel Feintzeig, writing in the Wall Street Journal, reports several studies showing that lying is rampant during job interviews.  And Dr. Nicolas Roulin, author of The Psychology of Job Interviews, estimates that up to eighty percent of job candidates embellish their experiences and about twenty percent invent things—like degrees they have not earned and positions they have not held.

Numerous reports suggest that many job candidates inflate their skills, experiences and responsibilities.  And what do they minimize?  Short comings of course.  Further, applicants showcase the likeable version of themselves and may feign passion for what they perceive to be interviewers’ interests. 

I do not suggest the elimination of candidate interviews.  Rather, the intent is to heighten awareness and confirm impressions with other tools such as cognitive tests, personality assessments, work samples, and reference checking.