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The Need to Spot Fake vs. Real Performers in an Interview

Spotting fake performers in interviews is a real troubling question with companies these days. Due to the tight economy and heavy restructuring in companies, it has been proved beyond dispute that poor performers or problem performers can really kill a company, and good performers carry a company on their shoulders. The problem recruiters are facing during the extended recession (or its last phases) is that candidates have become extremely interview-savvy.

This is why the question of “fake” performers comes, because “poor performers” have learned to fake the attitudes and responses of real performers and fool interviewers. The potential employee pool has learned well that a person who knows how to get hired has a better chance of survival than someone who knows how to do the job. Companies need to learn how to spot “fakes” during interviews and not make the costly mistake of hiring poor workers who are exceptional interviewees.

In the current market, some things that were always known to recruiters and interviewers need to be stressed again:
  • The person who does best at a behavioral interview may not be the best candidate for the company.
  • The person who has the best level of skills on record may not be the best candidate for the company, if he/she is not motivated or experienced to put those ‘on-record' skills to good use for the company.

    This understood, the following also needs to be understood before creating a fake vs. real performer selection strategy:

  • Persons with hiring authority in the company often lack formal training and insight into conducting a motivational interview, which is needed to separate the real performers from the fake or poor performers.
  • People who draft job advertisements try to coin advertisements as “easy jobs” to pull in a greater number of respondents and end up overloading interview processes. The market is good enough where an employer does not need to go out with an “easy job” slogan. Instead they should explain what is required clearly so that people who are ready to work hard are those who attend the interviews.

These problems need to be taken care of from the beginning of the interview process to ensure a greater probability of hiring high performers.

While the proper steps of traditional interviews including checking records, assessment tests, and others need to be done, it is required that educated decisions be taken and recruiters do not act on their gut instincts.

Top performers are not difficult to spot during interviews, for their answers are usually simple, direct and quick. They are fully aware of the tasks they have done, as they have most likely measured them, and they should be able to prove whatever they claim. Any candidate who fumbles or says he “can't remember” something, or tries to define something as too complicated to explain on the spot is a fake. Go for those who have “drive” in them. Once you train them, they will be good assets for your company.

The need to decide between poor performers and real performers and act accordingly in early interviews has also multiplied due to the variety of discrimination laws, where any candidate eliminated during interviews can come back with a lawsuit, unless the interview system is sufficiently objective and unbiased.