3 Helpful Tips for Unmasking Applicants who are Too Good at Interviews

unmasking applicants

Thanks to the internet technology, HR practitioners have now more tools within their disposal to help them find the best person for the available position. Compared to a decade ago, doing background checks has become much easier through online database and social media sites.

Unfortunately (and fortunately for job seekers), the internet offers the same exact advantage to job hunters nowadays. They too are able to check out potential employers before sending in their applications and this allows them to forge “personas” on their resumes or even during the job interview. Only a skilled HR professional can tell whether the person in front of them is truly the person they say they are or just a “façade” carefully crafted to make them look like they’re perfect for the job.

Here are several tricks to unmasking applicants and see them for who they truly are:

  1.  Make Use of Social Media

Every day, hundreds of resumes arrive at the HR’s desk. While it may be tempting to just skim through the big pile of resumes, don’t. Make sure you review the resumes carefully, looking into details such as previous work experience, skill sets, reasons for leaving current job, etc.

HR representatives should also consider doing a quick social media check. Look the candidate up on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Check their posts, photo uploads, etc. They should give you a fairly accurate picture of who the applicant really is outside the job interview.

  1. Avoid Asking Conventional Interview Questions

Job seekers are now frequently reminded of the fact that “first impressions last”. To hire someone that’s suitable for the position and not someone who is good at answering common HR questions, avoid asking anticipated questions [e.g. tell me about yourself, what are your weakness, etc.] If you want to somehow see the genuine side of the candidate, ask them about world peace or environmental protection or space exploration [of course some questions relevant to the job position are still essential].

  1. When in Doubt, seek help from another HR Rep

Another effective tip when dealing with applicants of questionable first impression is to ask the candidate to a second interview with another HR representative. Try to have the other interviewer formulate a different version of the questions previously asked to check and validate the consistency of the candidate’s reply.

Sending your HR personnel out to HR seminars and related conferences will definitely improve their skills in finding the perfect candidate for all of your job postings.

The challenge of finding the best person for just about any position is crucial as losing them through attrition or letting them go due to job mismatch can severely impact your business. At the end of the day, there are no foolproof ways to ensure you hire the best applicant but with a stringent hiring process and competent HR staff, the chances of hiring candidates that don’t fit into your company dynamics is greatly diminished.


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