6 Signs Your Candidate Is Lying To You

Published on: 12 Oct 2017

Lying candidate

If there was a magic wand that we could  wave that meant no-one lied about anything and everyone was honest, the World would be a very different place. How many times have you been in a situation with a candidate where you suspect they might be lying, but it would be unfair for you to jump to conclusions without any evidence or reason to mistrust them? Probably a few, right? We've decided to investigate the psychology behind 'fibbers' to find out which physical and verbal cues could expose the liars among your candidates. Note that we say 'COULD' indicate - unfortunately none of these behaviours are fullproof signs, but they've been known to have strong correlations in conjunction with little white lies. Next time you post a job, give thought to how much information you're giving away. Sometimes, it's important to hold a little something back in order to gain genuine answers and reactions from your candidates. Have you experienced any of these?


They Are Touching Themselves

Touching your face, rubbing your hands and fiddling around with various other body parts could indicate that your candidate is in fact, lying to you. It's difficult in an interview situation to pick up on these fairly obvious physical cues, but maybe you should think about it next time you're interviewing someone. Of course, you can argue that people fidget when they're nervous, so you can't take it as bible, but if you are suspicious of someone, it might be an idea to bear their personal, physical contact habits, in mind.


Head Positioning

If you notice a sudden jerk, a slight tilt or a quick twitch of the neck or head, this can also indicate that your dream candidate is LYING to you. Yep. When you interrogate them about an outstanding key achievement on their CV (that probably looks too good to be true,) be prepared for unexpected skull movements. These could be signs that all is, perhaps, not what it seems.



Come on, we've all done it. It's the 'I didn't eat all the chocolate' scenario, where the entire contents of a jar of Nutella just happened to end up halfway down your jeans, followed by an elaborate story about a magpie, a plastic bag and the scientific process of photosynthesis. That's over-compensating and candidates do it more often than you think. Again, this can be out of nervousness and there's nothing wrong with detail, but too much detail can be a sign of a lie.


Dodgy Eye Pointing

According to Psychology Daily, we use our eyes to indicate where we want to go. Our eyes tell people a lot more than we think they do. They give a lot away. If a candidate is lying, check out their eyes. If they are pointing towards the exit, it means they are looking for both their physical and psychological escape route. It's like an ancient human survival mechanism.


The Great Big Contradiction

This one tends to ring the alarm bells that arouse your suspicion in the first place. Whilst there's no individual verbal cue directly related to lying, there are a number which strongly correlate, and to contradict yourself is one of those. If your candidate isn't making much sense and you find that you're getting confused yourself, then you should see this as a red flag.


They Crumble When You Probe

So they've got some pretty wild claims on their CV and you're super intrigued to hear more, but upon further probing they crumble like feta and get themselves all confused and orally tangled. Yeah, that's a great way to spot a liar. You don't even need to bother checking with the referees once the almighty apple crumble has occurred.


No-one can ever promise honest candidates. You can't control a person's mind and sometimes there really is no way of truly knowing if someone is lying or not. The only guarantee you have is in finding quality candidates from a good source. We offer so much more than a simple job listing at OnlyMarketingJobs. We own the largest marketing network in the UK and we firmly believe that our network is your network. Sharing is caring after all, so if you don't have time to find the best candidates and could do with a little bit of help, it might be time to discover our Dynamic Talent Attraction service, unique job marketing packages and so much more. Enjoy!