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CV lies and interview technique | The Apprentice

CV lies and interview technique | The Apprentice

Christopher Davies, professional support lawyer, Halliwells

The final five faced interviews from hell this week. The interviewers were insulting, aggressive, uninterested in the answers and determined to make the candidates feel ill at ease, all the qualities that interviewers should not show.

It was certainly not a good example of how an interview should be conducted. In any recruitment process the interviewer should aim to gather the most information about the candidate. Putting the candidate at ease helps overcome any natural nervousness that might prevent the candidate fully expressing themselves. It was little surprise that the only candidate to be fired this week, Lucinda, expressed doubts as to whether she even wanted the job following the put downs that she had just faced in the interview.

However the key issue in this week's show has to be the embellishment of the candidates’ CV’s. One of the funnier moments was when Bolton born Alex was mocked for the description of himself as being 'fluent' in English. However it was not so funny when Lee was caught misrepresenting the period of time that he had been at university. His application stated that he had attended the university for two years. Upon checks being made it was found that he had in fact been there for only four months. “Are you sure it was two years?” and the tell-tale guilty reply: “To the best of my knowledge”.

Lee, one of the favourites to win the competition had been found to be lying and if he could lie on the application then that raises the question of what else he may not be so truthful about. One deception on an application form and suddenly the candidate’s integrity has to be under question. His subsequent admission that he was embarrassed by his lack of educational achievement and that he had tried to cover this did draw some sympathy. However had it not been for his previously outstanding contributions to the weekly tasks the lie would have been likely to lead to him being fired.

CV lies is a growing problem as the job market becomes more competitive. More than ever before, employers need to be alive to the fact that many people fabricate their CVs; whether it is qualifications, hobbies or previous employments. Only last year it was reported in a survey carried out by the pre-employment screening company, Risk Advisory Group, that half of all CVs contain some sort of lies while one in five feature serious misrepresentations such as falsified exam results and work experience.

To guard against fraudulent CV’s means ensuring that the recruitment process has adequate safeguards in place. Academic qualifications must be checked with the awarding establishment and references should be confirmed with the organisation that it appears has provided them. Where possible the referee should be personally contacted.

It is important to keep control of the situation. Any job offer should be made conditional upon satisfactory references being received and background checks being completed before allowing the employee to begin in the post.

While carrying out checks may appear onerous there are potentially very serious consequences if a candidate bluffs their way into a position for which they do not possess the qualifications or experience. Not only is the business likely to lose customers but the appointment will inevitably cause unrest among other employees, and then there is the embarrassment of having to right the situation and the significant cost of having to go through the whole recruitment process again.


Published Thursday, 05 June 2008 by Editor


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Industry Quotes


“more than 7.5 million of Britain's 25.3 million working population have misled their potential employer while applying for a job.”

Mori .

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