Reference Checking for Embellishment

Conducting a thorough reference check is a good way to learn about what your candidate has embellished during the recruitment process. It is human nature that during an interview the candidate wants to make him or herself look as good as possible. Embellishing skills and experience, as opposed to outright lying about them is to be somewhat expected.

Make sure you take detailed notes during the interview and arm yourself with this knowledge when conducting a reference check. Ask specific questions about areas that your candidate has spoken about to you in the interview. Perhaps the candidate was involved in a process with their prior company but not to the degree he or she stated in the interview? Maybe the candidate’s technical skills aren’t as strong in the eyes of a former supervisor as opposed to what the candidate thinks about his or her own technical skills? Contrary to popular belief embellishment of a candidates skills or experience doesn’t warrant a sudden dismissal from the hiring process.

Now that the hiring manager knows what has been embellished it is up to him or her to determine whether the candidate is still suitable or if it is too risky to take them on. You can also compare the candidate more accurately to others you are considering for the role. It all comes down to being thorough and open minded during the recruitment process, while interviewing all the way through to conducting reference checks. Ensure you are well informed and understand what to look for before making the final decision on a candidate.