Lying Their Way to Success: 32% of Employees Reveal They Have Lied on Their CV

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For an employer, hiring manager, or recruiter, there’s a good possibility they’ve been misled and weren’t aware of candidates lying in the CV recruitment process.

The cornerstone of any successful company is competent people. A 2022 StaffCircle study found that 32% of respondents admitted to lying on their CV. Not only this but around 60% of those who lied mentioned ‌they might lie again, too – especially for a remote working role.

51% of respondents said that they lied due to a lack of experience in the required field. Around 26% of respondents lied about their previous job’s salary, to get a better package from the position applying for. Additionally, 38% of respondents said that they lied about their skills. 

Identifying Lies and Fraud

Most people rely on physical signals to discern if someone is lying. However, many of these alleged visual “tells” might be caused by anxiety or other powerful emotions. Michael Wade Johnson, CEO of Clear Law Institute, in front of a large audience at the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) annual conference, essentially said “The direct stance used in many interviews, which can mimic the style of imagined police interrogations on television, may taint the results and skew in favour of out-of-date and inaccurate physical indicators.”

Everyone believes that fidgeting, loss of eye contact, changing blink rate, and looking slightly to the right are signs of lying, but this might not be the case with everyone. And because such are perceived as signs of deceit, someone lying may ‌manipulate the system, such as staring an interviewer in the eye or maintaining eye contact while lying on their resume.

What should HR professionals do to catch lies and false claims? Here are some speech patterns and details to look out for:

Duration of Speaking Time

People arrive for interviews well-prepared, with prepared questions and responses for the interviewer. Liars will skirt a subject, hoping the interviewer will move on. They could even ask the same question repeatedly to gain time to consider a response.

Details

A liar typically gives few specifics because the more information is given, the riskier it is. It requires a lot of effort to construct a story with lots of details, which can be harmful because they can be quickly forgotten if they are untrue or easily confirmed or shown to be false with proof.

Is Lying Worth the Hassle?

93% of individuals who acknowledged lying in the survey claimed they were not caught. 40% were working in companies where they fabricated the truth during the interview process.

But it’s never a smart idea to lie. Most people who openly lied did not believe it gave them an advantage over the competition. Some even suffered repercussions. Of the 1,500 respondents, 14 had lawsuits filed against them by their employers.

So it is not worthwhile to lie during an interview. Even if people pass the reference checks, they can be placed in a position for which they are not qualified. Employers must ensure that they place the right people in the relevant jobs.