The Scourge of “Fake” Candidates

Whether you call it resume padding or application fraud, the trend of candidates lying on their resumes is increasing as unemployment rises. The problem can get even worse, with fake candidates applying and performing the interviews while sending a different person entirely on the first day of the job.


Estimates from sources like Steven Levitt and estimate that more than 50% of applicants lie or exaggerate the truth in their resume and cover letter. Leaders at top organizations such as Samsonite and Yahoo have been removed from their position after being exposed lying on their resumes.


On average, a bad hire of a fake candidate costs an organization $17,000. As applications for top positions become even more competitive, fake candidates may list fraudulent degrees, references, successes, and even entirely falsified positions. This could lead to you hiring unqualified staff who will require additional training and represent your company poorly to customers or investors. If you are a staffing company, this could forever damage the reputation of your services.


Here are our best tips for mediating the potential costs of fake candidates.


Ask Detailed Questions About Their Experience


During the interview, ask them to tell you specific examples from their previous positions with the measurable results. Watch for answers that are vague or have details that don’t align. If they mention incorrect dates of employment, different job responsibilities than were listed on their resume, or don’t give any specifics about their job duties — you’ll know you potentially have a fake candidate.


Call Their References


Estimates range from 50-85% of hiring managers follow through with calling top candidates’ references. This is a quick way to ensure you are hiring a qualified candidate. Identify your top 2-3 candidates and call their references — they will be able to tell you the dates of the person’s employment, their working style, and whether there were any issues with them performing on the team. You may even want to go beyond their listed references (who may be coached to say specific things) to people you have common connections with on LinkedIn. They may be able to tell you more honest information than the candidate’s listed references.


Utilize Artificial Intelligence Technology


Artificial intelligence technology matches their video interview to their uploaded form of ID to ensure it is the same person. Appliqant uses advanced facial recognition technology to match the photograph in the ID to the person taking the video interview, to ensure there are no substitutions. Having a recorded video of the candidate also ensures that there can be no substitution with a different person in future interviews. The software also has the ability to understand people’s facial expressions and language patterns. This gives you a personality profile that details traits like narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy — all red flags you want to avoid in a potential hire.


If a candidate has lied about any aspect of their experience, artificial intelligence automated interviews will help you screen those candidates to recruit the best, most qualified talent. Further, video interviews allow you to remember their appearance and voice to ensure the right person steps into the job on day 1.


Trust Your Gut


If the candidate doesn’t  want to perform a face-to-face interview, their phone number changes after they’re hired, their voice or appearance don’t quite match what you recall, or if it just doesn’t feel right in your gut — trust your instincts! If something feels wrong, take the steps to ensure you are protecting your business and reputation from fraudulent candidates.



It is unlikely that fake candidates will go away any time soon. By taking the steps above, you can mitigate the costly risk of hiring a fake candidate. Take advantage of artificial intelligence automated interviewing with Appliqant’s platform.


Schedule a live demo of Appliqant’s video interviewing and assessment technology today to learn how our personalized packages can help you recruit and retain the best talent.



Appliqant is an AI-infused, blockchain driven, automated video interview platform developed by the team at Quantilus.



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