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How To Deal with a Candidate Who Lied About Their Education

PSI Team | Industry Expertise

When your company is hiring, you want to find candidates of the highest quality. In addition to skills and expertise, this means hiring someone dependable and honest. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for employers to find false information on a candidate’s application and résumé. What do you do if your top candidate isn’t entirely honest with you? Companies must take care to navigate these tricky situations with tact and fairness. Learn how to deal with a candidate who lied about their education with this guide.

Why Candidates Lie

Confronting a candidate about false information can be a delicate situation. It helps to know exactly why lying is such a common occurrence. In today’s extremely competitive job market, many applicants can feel like they need to embellish facts on their résumés. In fact, many falsehoods are exaggerations rather than outright lies. Candidates may tweak their GPA, claim to have a high school diploma rather than a GED, or overstate the honors they list on their résumé. That said, some may tell straight lies. You might find a candidate who lies about the school they attended or claims to have a degree they never finished.

Catch False Information With a Reliable Background Check

The sooner you catch these falsehoods, the easier it is to confront your candidate and make the right decision for your company. The goal is to catch any lies—along with any other red flags—before you hire them. The best way to achieve this goal is to conduct a thorough and reliable background check during the hiring process. A professional background service, such as PSI Background Screening, can verify your candidate’s qualifications in a timely and trustworthy manner, allowing you to make your final hiring decision with confidence.

Confront the Candidate for an Explanation

If a background check pulls up evidence that your candidate is lying, you should calmly and respectfully confront the individual. Give them a chance to explain or dispute the allegations. This step is crucial in dealing with a candidate who lied about their education. Keep in mind that every company and candidate is different. The individual might have a reasonable explanation for the discrepancy, so you may decide that the falsehood is relatively small compared to the rest of the candidate’s qualities. Alternatively, the lie might be a sign of unreliability that you simply don’t want on your team. No matter what you decide, be sure to establish a clear, fair, and compliant process for confronting the candidate and making your hiring decisions. This way, you’ll treat every candidate fairly, both now and in the future of your company.

Here at PSI Background Screening, education verification isn’t the only crucial service we offer. Whether you’re conducting thorough background screenings or further verifying I-9 information with our third-party electronic form I-9 services, PSI Background Screening is here for you with every new hire.