Dealing With a Desperate Candidate In An Interview? Do This!


We’ve all encountered those candidates with overzealous resumes that stop just short of curing cancer or brokering world peace. How do you separate fact from fiction? Where do you start when investigating a candidate’s background?

Of course, the vast majority of candidates are honest with their information, and looking to advance their careers. Beware of the candidate that oozes desperation, however. Desperate candidates can sometimes bend the truth to standout in a particular search.

If there is mutual desperation; the candidate for the job, and the recruiter for a placement, bad things can happen. These kinds of candidates typically don’t last long in an organization. This typically means a new search for free and a tarnished record for the recruiter and expensive turnover for the client.

Shady Resume? Look For These Things!

If you feel you have a desperate candidate fudging the truth, look for these signs.

Obscure Answers

During the candidate qualification process, vague answers linked to fuzzy timelines are a dead giveaway. If you encounter answers thin on detail, investigate further with professional firmness. You may feel you’re in an episode of ‘Law & Order’ but you’ll save yourself some time and effort in the long run.


Obscure answers will many times reveal defensiveness if handled properly by the recruiter. Candidates who can’t keep their cool are a no-brainer. Skilled recruiters can often offer the candidate enough rope to hang themselves, saving you time and effort.

Revealing Body Language

Zoom and FaceTime have become a game-changers! Psychology today says, ‘Body language is a silent orchestra, as people constantly give clues to what they’re thinking and feeling.’ Learn how to read people. At BKG, we use video interviews for all candidate finalists before we present them to the client. This gives the client insight and understanding critical to decision making.


Learn how to smoke out desperation and send embellishing, fidgety and hot-headed candidates right out the door! Your ability to quickly drill down to the details, read body language and uncover defensive tendencies will make you a more efficient and effective recruiting professional.

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