8 Quick Ways to Screen Your Candidates Better

The candidate you are interviewing seems bright, has the right qualifications and experience, and would be a good fit for the role s/he is interviewing for. But is that always enough? It is also important to gauge the intention of the candidate to prevent the most common hiring mistakes. The key is to not take the candidate at face value.

It may not look like it, but consistently allowing different candidates to lie in the interview results in increased hiring cost and a higher attrition rate in the long run. These candidates may select other job offers, leave for other opportunities or, worse, they may not turn out to be as skilled as you thought them to be.

Here’s how you can screen candidates better to know more about their skills and their intentions with the company.


1. Read the CV more carefully:

Recruiters often go through candidate CVs at the last minute and thus don’t know what to specifically ask each candidate. Avoid asking general questions that the candidates can easily lie their way through. It’s important to read the CV carefully to know what you want to ask them.


Related: Why the CV is not the answer to your hiring problems


2. Ask specific questions:

Stop asking questions like “Tell me about yourself”. This question has nothing to do with the responsibilities attached to the role and allows the candidate enough room to talk in generalities. Therefore, it’s best to ask specific questions related to the job. For example, if the job is for a field agent and the candidate has written about his experience as a field agent for an insurance company, ask questions which will tell you what the candidate actually understands about being a field agent.


Related: The 3 mistakes you’re making while hiring entry-level employees


3. Probe for missing information:

Typically, the candidate’s CV will have all the information you need. While candidates may not always speak truthfully, they usually prepare their resumes truthfully. You can find irregularities and false information by carefully examining the resume. If you find a discrepancy in dates, figures, etc., probe with further questions.

4. Surprise them:

Surprise your candidates with questions they aren’t expecting. If a candidate is prone to lying, s/he would have practised and perfected the lies. To catch these lies, you have ask questions spontaneously based on their responses.

5. Ask directly if they are lying:

Asking this question directly to candidates whenever you feel that they are lying can be very helpful. It is never expected in interviews and thus no one is prepared to answer whether they are lying or not. The reaction to this question can help you figure out if the candidate was actually lying.

6. Check social media:

You can always check the social media profiles of candidates to get to know them a little before the interview. For example, if a candidate interviewing for a travel job has mentioned that he has experience as a freelance photographer and has travelled extensively, you can attempt to verify the same on social media. If it’s on their profiles and visible to you, then you are allowed to use the information for screening purposes.


Related: How HR can leverage social media


7. Examine body language:

Look out for sudden uncomfortable movements by the candidates, such as casually touching the nose, sudden shift of the eyes or gaze averted to the ground, etc. while responding to questions. These movements could suggest that the candidate is either withholding some information or is telling a lie.

8. Put the skills to test:

If the candidate claims to possess a certain skill, put it to test. For instance, if a candidate claims to know French very well, ask her to write something in French and verify its correctness online. Or, if someone says they have played state level Under 19 cricket, ask them who won the tournament during the year they played or what was the name of his/her coach.


Related: Is your candidate going to show up for the interview?


You have little control over the candidates that apply to your organization. The control you have starts when you have to screen your candidates.


To hire pre-screened candidates at 1/2 the cost and in 1/2 the time, register with

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