The Most Common Lies Candidates Tell During Interviews

Recent research by SEEK has found that 59% of candidates believe it’s unacceptable to lie during the interview process.

Although in an almost comical caveat, SEEK was also able to uncover the interview questions that people were most open to bending the truth about.

Here are the most common lies candidates tell during interviews:

“Why are you looking for a new job?”

According to SEEK, this is the most common interview question for Candidates to lie to, with 18% of people believing it is okay to lie during their response to this question.


Perhaps it is because they’re afraid of being seen as untrustworthy or don’t want to admit they’ve had a fall out with their previous boss.

“What was the salary of your most recent role?”

15% of people believe it is acceptable to lie to question. It is likely because they are wanting to sound more valuable than they truly are. Or, they don’t want to set their current salary as a benchmark for their new role.

“What are your weaknesses?”

Again, 15% of people believe it is acceptable to lie in their response to this question, with 18% of males admitting to lying during this question, compared to 11% of females.

This is likely because many people have difficulty in seeing their own weaknesses, and thus, simply say whatever they think you would like to hear.

Interests outside of work

Interestingly, 14% of people believe it is okay to lie when asked about their interests outside of work.


You would have to figure that people are simply wanting to be perceived as someone that they’re not. Indeed, they’re likely trying to be who they think you want them to be rather than who they truly are.

Previous experience

Males were more likely than females (13% vs. 6%) to say it is okay to lie about their previous work experience.

Of course, individuals do not want to be perceived as inexperienced, and equally, they may try to buff themselves up to more quickly advance their career.

The most dangerous part is that lies are going to make a candidate sound better. However, they’re only going to make them worse for your business.

So, how can you spot a candidate’s lie?

How to Spot a Candidates Lie

A few ways to spot a candidates lie would include:

  • Social Media Check: Look up the candidate on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. If they’re being honest in their answers, you should expect to find proof on their social media profiles.
  • Ask for detail: Generally, someone will stumble or struggle for words when they’re asked to give detail about something that isn’t the truth.
  • Watch Body Language: Any deviation from how the candidate has previously been behaving may be a sign that they’re lying. For example, you may see them not looking you in the eye or suddenly fidgeting.
  • Complete Reference Checks: Double check a candidate’s claims by thoroughly conducting reference checks. Carefully see if what the candidate says is equal to what others say about their personality and experience.