Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

3 Ways to Catch a Video Resume Fib

Is your superstar candidate stretching the truth in their video resume? Unlike Pinocchio, the animated Disney character whose nose would grow if he told a lie, there’s no surefire way of telling whether or not your candidate is being truthful.

It’s always a good idea to be skeptical about the skills, qualifications and experience being presented on a resume. Whether you’re viewing a video resume or scanning over a traditional paper resume the odds are high you’ll come across at least one or two candidates massaging the truth. 

A recent survey showed 46 percent of resumes submitted by job seekers contained at least some form of false information. That’s almost half of the resumes that come into your inbox or play across your monitor.

You might think the early-adopting job-seekers who submit a video resume are immune to the urge to lie. Don’t fall into this trap! Even a good-quality video resume could be filled with less-than-truthful statements.

You don’t have to be The Mentalist to figure out if your job seeker is lying in the video resume. Here are some ways to catch a fib before you waste more of your precious time on a candidate misrepresenting themselves:

It’s too good to be true
Does your candidate just seem too good to be true in their video resume? Maybe that’s because the truth is far less impressive. One of the first video resumes to go viral belonged to a man named Aleksey Vayner. In his video resume, titled ‘Impossible is Nothing’, Aleksey Vayner boasted of his superior skills and qualifications. He even included his ability to ballroom dance as a reason he should be hired!

Aleksey Vayner might not have been lying, but his outlandish claims certainly should have merited some research. If your candidate gets on film and tells a story seemingly too good to be true, don’t just accept it at face value. Do some research and listen to your gut reaction.

Be especially careful of job seekers making big claims without any concrete evidence to back up their boasts. At least Aleksey Vayner really did ballroom dance! Don’t be afraid to ask job seekers for specific instances to prove their qualifications and skills.

They seem overly nervous
If a candidate seems to be sweating through their shirt, ask yourself if this is more than just common nerves. Signs of being too nervous might just point to the fact this candidate is lying. Listen to where the job seeker seems to be tripping up. Is it when they mention their previous salary? Keep in mind 40 percent of people have inflated their salary claims on their resume.

You’ll also want to pay special attention to the job seeker’s eye contact- or lack thereof. While not as telling as it would be in an in-person meeting or live video interview, you might find job seekers have a hard time maintaining eye contact in the video resume when they’re spinning a fib.

There’s a mismatch
In today’s technology-driven universe, social media might actually make it harder to lie in a video resume. If something about a job seeker’s video resume seems fishy, you can use social media profiles and channels to back up the information presented. Many job seekers don’t think to clean up their personal social media channels before applying for jobs.

You might be able to uncover a fib just by checking a candidate’s claim against their own social profile. For instance, maybe they actually worked at their last position for only a few months even though they stated in their video resume they were employed for a year. This won’t always do the trick, but it’s amazing what job seekers will forget in favor of a good fib to make them look better.

Biggest takeaway: Always check references!
The biggest lesson for avoiding hiring a liar is to always check references. A candidate’s list of references is the source most likely to give you the insight you need to make an informed and smart hiring decision. So never skip the reference check, or you might end up with a tall tale instead of a great candidate.

What are some ways you try to spot a fib in a video resume? Share with us in the comments!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Onion.

Heather Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Spark Hire. She writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets, and is the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010).