What To Do When You Catch A Job Applicant In A Lie

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No one likes a liar. Liars leave a bad taste in your mouth akin to cough medicine — it’s smooth going down until you take a breath and then it’s not so pleasant. You tell your kids not to lie, not to cry wolf, because if they do, no one will believe them — and if they lie enough, sometimes no one will believe them for a very long time.

NationSearch is an employment background check company located in Northglenn, CO, that offers various verification services and screening for employers and businesses, including drug screenings, criminal records search, and verification services that are FCRA compliant. We help your small business save you money by ensuring your potential employees are who they say they are and are not in violation of any laws. So what do you do when you catch a job applicant in a lie? In this blog post, we’ll answer that question and more. Contact us today for all of your employment screening needs!


  • Do not get angry. As a business owner, you’re always looking for the right candidate for the job. You want to believe that every person who applies for your job opening truly wants it. However, the reality is that many people blindly apply to a job hardly reading the job description. Some are desperate; some truly don’t care. Some just want to see if they can land an interview. Don’t take it personally if you catch a job applicant in a lie. Odds are, they are among the ones who truly don’t want to work for you anyways, and good riddance!
  • Make sure the candidate is, in fact, lying. Most verbal lies are done in phone interviews where candidates are looking up answers on the internet as you ask them questions. However, written lies on a resume can be easier to catch, especially if you employ a top-notch employment background check company that can tell you with 100% accuracy whether or not your candidate did graduate from Harvard with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. Make sure you have indisputable evidence at hand.
  • Judge the severity of the lie. Would the lie be considered a white lie, such as if the job applicant said he or she knew someone at their former place of employment, when in fact they didn’t? Or, is the job applicant lying about something big, such as education and job experience? NationSearch understands that as the employer, you can’t afford to hire someone who is not qualified for the job. After all, it takes money to onboard that person and train them —  money that would be wasted if, at the end of the day, you had to fire that person because they couldn’t do the said job. When you partner with NationSearch, we’ll verify not only employment information on job applicants’ resumes, but also education, certifications, and identity checks. We also perform background checks and drug screens. It’s important to make the right decision when hiring for your company, and NationSearch helps to make that happen.
  • Are there reasons behind the lie? We’re all human, and we’re all looking to improve our lives. While there really is no good reason to lie, sometimes leeway should be given. For example, is there a sick relative in the family and the job applicant really needs a job? Do they really need the job you are offering because of the benefits you are offering? This is a very common reason for people to switch jobs as either he or she or a dependent has a medical condition that they need health insurance for. Is the job candidate passionate about what you do and they don’t have the experience required for the position, but they really want to break into the field and just can’t or don’t know how? Again, look at the severity of the lie and the reasons behind it. Of course, if the job candidate is just lying to prop himself or herself up, that’s cause for immediate dismissal. However, it can be admirable the lengths some people will go to work for you in particular. Take that into consideration as well.


Opinions are divided by employers on whether they should confront the job applicant or not with the evidence. You can finish up the interview like normal and then just never call the applicant back, or you can confront the applicant with the evidence in a professional manner. Either is a personal preference. NationSearch suggests you ask the question of yourself before deciding on confrontation: are you telling the candidate you caught them in a lie because you want to be right, feel powerful, and crush the candidate’s soul, or are you telling the candidate you caught them in a lie because you truly want to help them and hopefully prevent them from lying to the next guy?


NationSearch, located in Northglenn, CO, provides pre-employment background checks on job candidates for businesses. With over 30 years of experience, NationSearch offers various employment screening packages for your convenience. This allows you to perform only those pre-employment screenings that you need. We are FCRA compliant, and we offer quick results. We serve all industries with our employment screening services, from small businesses to the financial and medical fields. At NationSearch, we’ll help you find the best candidates for your company by validating the facts of their resume and conducting additional background checks, as needed. Partner with us. Contact us today to get started!

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