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jacqui van loen

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Business Psychologist/director

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Apprentice star Lee, caught out for lying on his C.V.

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This week’s episode (Wed 4/6/08)showed the final five contestants being interviewed for the 6 figure salaried job, working for Sir Alan Sugar. How embarrassing was it for Lee McQueen, to know that everyone watching saw him being caught out for lying on his c.v? Lee, a recruitment sales manager, stated that he had been to university for 2 years. In actual fact he had been for 4 months. We watched him squirm in his seat, trying to wiggle his way out of being caught out red handed in front of millions of viewers.

But is it so rare to find a candidate that hasn’t lied on their c.v? How many of us have actually checked that deeply into the background of the candidate we see before us?

The trouble is, that when we interview, we are just hearing what the candidate wants to tell us. Everyone exaggerates in one form or another, its human nature to do so. Being at an interview is like being at a sales conference, only the product is “you”, so why wouldn’t you want to “over milk the pudding?”

For H.R, lying on the c.v can have disastrous consequences. I have spoken to a number of interviewers who have taken on people based on the c.v and interview process and then regretted the decision. Sales managers who said they can increase revenue but the company found out later that he/she couldn’t sell ice-cream on the hottest day of the year, team managers who said they motivated teams and then found most of their team leaving within 3 months. It’s a problem that many of us have encountered.

My answer is simple, if you want to know what people are really like then assess them. Personality and ability tests sort out the men from the liars. You can’t lie on a personality test, people can say they are outgoing but one look at the test will show you otherwise. The ability test, whether it’s numerical or verbal reasoning will show if someone can problem solve or not. It’s that simple. A psychometric test combined with an interview will soon show whether the candidate is exaggerating their talent’s or you really have found a gem.

Jacqui van Loen

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jacqui van loen

Business Psychologist/director

Read more from jacqui van loen
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