5 Ways To Avoid Hiring A Liar
3 Steps to Building Trust
How to Proofread Better Than Your Spellchecker
5 Ways To Avoid Hiring A Liar
Two recent news stories caught my attention: The New Yorks Times reported that MIT’s Admissions Dean resigned after 28 years of covering up the fact that degrees she claimed to have earned didn’t exist. She didn’t even have an undergraduate degree. And MSNBC reported that a senior executive for the Red Cross in one of the country’s largest metropolitan areas fabricated huge portions of his resume.
These stories caught my attention, but they were no surprise. They were just the most recent (and newsworthy!) examples of something we’d rather not believe: Many people lie on their resumes and in interviews.
Why do we so readily trust people we don’t know? Studies have shown that when we’re meeting someone for the first time, we tend to have a slightly positive impression. Even without data to support that impression. So, we tend to look for information that supports that positive impression, and ignore or discount information that conflicts with that view.
Here are 5 things you can do to avoid hiring a liar:
- Look for gaps on the resume. Gaps are frequently used to hide negative information. The applicant hopes you won’t notice the six-month gap between jobs. But now you will, and you’ll inquire about it thoroughly.
- Another technique often used to hide information is to include only the years associated with a job, not the months. So, 1990-1991 could be as short as a few days or as long as 24 months. Insist that applicants include the month when providing employment information.
- Verify dates of employment and degrees. If necessary, have the applicant sign a release giving you permission to verify this information. If they hesitate or give you excuses about why they can’t or won’t, they may be hiding something.
- Create a questionnaire that you use with all applicants. Using a standard set of questions will help you avoid the possibility that you are unconsciously biased in favor of someone who impresses you in the interview.
- Get a work “sample.” Give the applicant a task or question to answer, during the interview or while they are still in your office, that is a sample of one of the responsibilities of the job. Asking an associate attorney applicant to review and comment on a brief, for example. Or asking a marketing director how they might brand a new product.
Here’s a final thought: If you have a hesitation way back in your mind somewhere, that something’s just not right — or that the applicant is too perfect — trust your instincts. Inquire more until you’re completely satisfied that they are who they say they are.
Quotation Of The Month
“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” –Sir Winston Churchill
3 Steps To Building Trust
If there’s a lack of trust or open communication in your organization, here are 3 things you can do to reverse that trend:
- Be consistent. Eliminate any disconnects between what you say and what you do. People will learn to count on you if your observed behavior matches the values you espouse.
- Listen well. You will encourage others to talk to you and provide you with valuable information. Also, you’ll model great listening, so that they will be encouraged to do it, too.
- Admit your mistakes. When you’ve made a mistake, others have probably noticed. According to Harry Beckwith, admitting mistakes can increase the trust that others have in you, because it’s viewed as honesty, a critical business trait.
How To Proofread Better Than Your Spell Checker
Every PC user knows that spell-checkers are lousy at catching words out of context. For instance, a major accounting firm recently sent a proposal to a Fortune 500 client. On the cover they identified themselves as: “Certified Pubic Accountants.” Here’s the secret that professional proofreaders use: Proofread the document backwards. You’ll catch many typos you’d otherwise miss – especially if this is not the first time you’re reading the document. Why this works: When you proofread backwards, you focus on each word individually. Also, the copy has no meaning when read backwards, so your attention is on the individual words and their spelling; you don’t get caught up in the content itself.
Updates from Weiman Consulting
I do seminars often on a variety of topics… here are a few recent examples… a seminar about the psychology of establishing solid relationships with clients… a workshop on the psychology of marketing jewelry… a talk for a non-profit group on interviewing techniques, and a half-day workshop on ethics in the workplace. If you’re looking for a speaker for your next company or association function, call me at (610) 642-3040. Also … several months ago, we formalized a consulting arrangement with Pilat Technologies. Please contact me to learn more about incorporating web-based performance management and 360-degree (multi-rater) assessments and evaluations into your firm.
Learn How to Relax
If work is impinging on you like a suit that’s too tight, check out my book, The Stress Solution.