Recruitment Truth and Lies – #MTtalk » Mind Tools Blog

Recruitment Truth and Lies – #MTtalk

February 13, 2018

Please Join Us!

What: #MTtalk
Where: Twitter
When: Friday, February 16 @ 1 p.m. EDT (6 p.m. GMT, 11:30 p.m. IST)
Topic: Recruitment Truth and Lies
Host: @Mind_Tools

“I am convinced that although training and development are important, recruitment and selection are much more important.”
― Stephen R. Covey (1932-2012), U.S. educator and business author

About This Week’s Chat: “1001 Interviews”

Having worked as a human resources manager, and in earlier years at a recruitment agency, I’ve always said that one day I will write a book called “1001 Interviews.” Oh, the stories you hear and the things you see!

I’ve always been very perceptive and intuitive when it comes to people. When I routinely did recruitment as part of my work, my perception and intuition grew even more sensitive.

I’ll never forget a particular candidate who applied for a sales position at a training and development company where I was working.

From the moment he walked in, alarm bells rang in my head, but I had no idea why. He claimed to be an out of work chemical engineer and said he was willing to take any job. In the country where I live, chemical engineers aren’t easily out of a job – they’re usually headhunted or scooped up within days of leaving a position.

So, just because I like science and have always been intrigued by the periodic table of the elements, I asked him what he found most interesting about studying the periodic table. His response? “What’s a periodic table?” Now, if ever there was a dead giveaway in the history of recruitment, that was it! When I asked for a copy of his qualification, he said it was destroyed in a fire the previous month. Needless to say, we found a more credible candidate.

Recruitment: Good and Bad Interviews!

Another interview that I’ll always think of with fond memories is that of a young lady who applied for a reception position.

We had very strict rules for our frontline staff and, among other things, they weren’t allowed to wear any face or tongue piercings, except earrings. This girl had the bubbliest personality and had us laughing throughout the interview with her quips, but she also had a childlike honesty about her: she didn’t pretend to be anything she wasn’t.

When I asked her if she’d be willing to remove her tongue piercing when on duty, she said, “Guurrrlll, if my dad could hear you now, he’d be so happy that he’d kiss you!” We appointed her, and she moved on from being an exceptionally good receptionist to being an excellent salesperson.

On another occasion, an interview was jeopardized by the very real threat of an embarrassing “wardrobe malfunction”!

I usually interviewed candidates with our organization’s managing director and an admin manager. We were recruiting for a new manager, and we’d invited a woman for interview. She turned up wearing the shortest of skirts and a very tight, low cut top. Twice during the interview, as she emphasized her workplace professionalism, she came perilously close to bursting free from her top! Our MD had to excuse himself, and later admitted he was simply too embarrassed to continue.

And then there was the guy who voluntarily told us he was 42 years old, but when we added up all the years of experience on his résumé, it totaled 40 years! An absolute prodigy if you ask me!

Recruitment Truth and Lies

Recruitment is a difficult, but crucial element of any business. Poor recruitment can negatively impact your team, your department, and even your whole organization.

In our Twitter poll this week, we asked what you think people lie about most often during job interviews. Almost half of our respondents said that people lie most about their reason for changing jobs. Surprisingly, only 7 percent thought that people lie about their career history. Click here to view all the questions and the results.

In Friday’s #MTtalk chat, we’re going to discuss “Recruitment Truth and Lies.” We’d love you to participate in the chat, and the following questions may spark some thoughts in preparation for it:

  • Do you believe in “gut feel” when recruiting? If so, how successfully has it served you?
  • How do companies misrepresent themselves, and how can a candidate check out the facts?
  • What are some of the funniest things you’ve heard in interviews?
  • How can you get a true picture of a candidate? What do you need to do?
  • What are some lies commonly found in résumés? How can you spot them?
  • What do you need to watch out for when checking references?
  • How can you reduce the effects of personal biases when recruiting?


To help you prepare for the chat, we’ve compiled a list of resources for you to browse.

10 Recruitment Mistakes
Effective Recruitment
Aptitude Testing
The Big Five Personality Traits Model and Test
Beyond Bias
How to Run Competency Based Interviews
Using LinkedIn Effectively

How to Join Our Chat

Follow us on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action this Friday! We’ll be tweeting out 10 questions during our hour-long chat. To participate in the chat, type #MTtalk in the Twitter search function. Then, click on “All Tweets” and you’ll be able to follow the live chat feed. You can join the chat by using the hashtag #MTtalk in your responses.

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