• December 2, 2022

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When it comes to job interviews, a candidate is always going to put their best foot forward to convince the employer they’re the best fit for the role. However, distinguishing between someone who is portraying their best and someone who is putting on an act just to get a job isn’t always easy, and no one wants to make a hire only to find out the person isn’t who they said they were.

To avoid this situation, employers will need to be diligent about looking for clues during the recruiting and hiring process. Looking for the following eight signs explained by the members of Young Entrepreneur Council can give you a good place to start in determining if a candidate is being their authentic self.

1. They Answer Surprise Questions Well

One sign that helps you tell if a candidate is being their authentic self is how they respond to “surprise” questions. A good candidate will have researched potential questions related to the job role and come up with answers; however, unexpected questions that force them to think on their feet will show you how they are day to day. – Diana Goodwin, MarketBox

2. They’re Comfortable Talking About Their Experiences

One key sign that a candidate is being their authentic self is if they’re comfortable speaking openly and candidly about their experiences. If a candidate is guarded or hesitant to share their thoughts about past experiences, it may be an indication that they’re not being their true self. Part of this also includes whether or not the candidate is capable of openly sharing their flaws and weaknesses. – Richard Fong, Disability Help

3. They’re Consistent In Their Answers

The No. 1 thing I look for in interview questions is consistency. Take detailed notes when you get answers from an applicant and ask the same question in a different way either later on in the interview or in a second interview. Generally, people who are “acting” have a hard time remembering the story they were telling you after some time has passed. – Karl Kangur, Above House

4. They Don’t Have An Answer For Everything

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Anything that sounds too good to be true usually is. Some people try to tell you what you want to hear, not their actual experience. The fact is, nobody is perfect, and real talent recognizes that. A truly wise person knows that they know nothing; they are always learning and improving. The latter personality trait is what you do want to hire. – Andy Karuza, NachoNacho

5. They Can Offer In-Depth Explanations

Seek in-depth explanations and not answers. I go in depth into a work-related or personality-related topic that doesn’t have a right or wrong answer to gauge how comfortable the candidate is talking about it at length. Usually after doubling down on five or six questions, candidates who aren’t genuine will start cracking up as they get nervous about whether the answers are correct or not rather than worrying about being truthful. – Vinay Indresh, Spacejoy

6. What They Say Matches What Their References Said

The most important part of the recruiting process is checking references to see how past employers’ impressions of a candidate match up against the candidate you met with. During the interview, every capable candidate will focus on their achievements and put their best face forward. It’s important to do your due diligence and speak with past employers to get a full picture before hiring the person. – Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR

7. They Can Verify Their Skills Or Knowledge

Sometimes what you see on paper or during the interview might be different from reality. One simple test that you can use to determine a candidate’s authenticity is to ask them to teach you how they perform a specific task or what they would do to accomplish any task. Using these tactics, you can easily distinguish between those with polished skills and those without. – Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz

8. They Embrace Difficult Questions

If your goal is to find out if a potential hire is authentic during the recruiting process, start by asking hard-hitting, direct questions that usually have straightforward answers. I keep an eye out for people who avoid difficult questions or skip over crucial information, such as why they were let go from their last job. Keep an eye out for generic answers and avoidance tactics. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

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